Sika is the industry leader with a portfolio of sustainable products, systems, and services. They make an essential contribution to customers in the construction and other industries to meet their sustainability targets, e.g., energy-efficient vehicles and buildings. Sustainability is a key component of the company’s capacity for innovation and an important driver of product development. Sika strives to extend the service life of buildings and industrial applications, to reduce maintenance effort, to improve energy and material efficiency, and to further enhance user-friendliness. One of the company’s main objectives is to reduce resource consumption, energy consumption, and the associated CO2 emissions along the value chain – both internally and for partners and customers who place their trust in Sika products and solutions.

TARGET:
All new product developments are reviewed against sustainability criteria using a standardized methodology, including a documented relevance audit and an appropriate improvement plan where necessary. In 2016, this target has been achieved.

IMPLEMENTATION:
In 2015, Sika introduced a uniform sustainability appraisal process (including guidelines and work aids) throughout the company that addresses the relevant sustainability indicators and forms part of the official Sika product development process. The objective of the sustainability appraisal process is to assess all relevant sustainability aspects of a new development over its entire life cycle, compared with the company’s own or competitors’ solutions. Economic, environmental and social aspects are assessed and serve as the basis for deciding what measures are needed to improve the sustainability profile of a development. If a new solution fails to provide an improvement over the existing product, it may not be worthwhile to further pursue a particular development. On the other hand, if a significant improvement over the existing product is achieved, the relevant projects must be prioritized for special attention.

Product development using the sustainability appraisal process

During the year, Sika largely completed the global rollout of the new product development process in all companies. One key task was to provide the individuals responsible for the local rollout in the various business lines, regions, and technology centers with training in the sustainability appraisal process and associated methods and tools. In the year under review, the sustainability appraisal process was used to assess 122 new local and global product developments. Of these, 16% underwent or are undergoing closer scrutiny as they offer a significant improvement over the existing product and are therefore of particular importance for the company’s sustainability.

The major Sika national subsidiaries prepare a sustainability action plan and implement all key projects planned in this context. The plan is aligned with local trends and with market requirements and encompasses the key projects and topics that are geared to the global initiative.

All of the larger countries in the key regions North America, Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, UK, Germany, and Turkey further developed product sustainability roadmaps in the year under review in conjunction with the Corporate EHS&S team. A further priority in 2016 was to extend the scope of the roadmap activities into the Latin America region. With the technical support of the Corporate EHS&S team, action plans were locally developed for Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. The plans are exchanged and managed, activities and progress discussed, and the details of successful projects and local action shared at periodic presentations involving the local, regional, and global functions.

Other key countries in the Latin America region and the first countries in the Asia/Pacific region will join in 2017. In this regard, the newly created Sustainability Academy program will play an important role in involving further national subsidiaries and increasing the number of projects. Local sustainability experts will be nominated, trained, and empowered to independently draw up and implement local market-oriented roadmaps in the countries.

Strategy implementation in the countries

The implementation of the “More Value – Less Impact” campaign calls for sound data and knowledge about the effects of product manufacturing and the added value of finished products in their application and use phase. In the year under review, as in years before, Sika added to the life-cycle data for its products, technologies, and applications in accordance with the international life-cycle assessment (LCA ) standard ISO 14040, and expanded the existing reference database. The information enabled Sika to develop a series of new work aids and successfully introduce them in an initial group of national subsidiaries.

Examples include the preparation of the first environmental product declarations (EPDs) for polyurethane liquid membranes for roof waterproofing solutions under the UK BRE standard, and green guide ratings for the sustainability performance of polyurethane floor solutions for office, school, and health care facilities under the UK BREEAM standard for sustainable buildings. The reporting year also saw the development of the first “sustainability packages” in the form of toolboxes for the various target markets. These feature a variety of tools with which the sustainability added value of Sika solutions and their contribution to sustainable construction can be explained and illustrated in an easy-to-understand way.

These packages, together with the tools for roof and floor systems introduced in the previous year, offer added value for customers at two levels: first, they tangibly demonstrate the sustainability added value of Sika solutions. Second, they allow a quantitative, product- and project-specific assessment of the sustainability performance of Sika solutions in a clearly communicated, standardized form that addresses customers’ needs. Implementing the acquired expertise in the market, a number of national subsidiaries in Northern and Southern Europe have successfully launched and tested new services to quantify the sustainability performance of Sika solutions. Further projects have thus been successfully acquired in countries such as Spain, Italy, and the UK using the locally introduced sustainability arguments. In other countries too, e.g., the Czech Republic and Austria, first projects have been secured with the sustainability tools.

The focus here is on the further rollout and local introduction of the sustainability sales tools in the roofing and flooring segments in additional target countries, e.g., in the wake of the roadmap activities. Priority will be given to services related to sustainable construction, e.g., LEED and BREEAM , to the contribution of roof system to the energy efficiency of buildings, to the local adaption of the newly developed target market sustainability packages, and to the better integration of sustainability with the local companies’ business priorities.

This underscores Sika’s aim to move further in the direction of a solution supplier, providing customers with innovative solutions to decisively enhance the efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal of buildings, infrastructure facilities, and installations. The integrated concepts and solutions address the entire life cycle of a built structure, from initial construction and maintenance through refurbishment or expansion to demolition.

Brochures, product and project case studies, and videos from a range of target markets containing detailed information can be found at www.sika.com/sustainability. They show how Sika solutions support sustainable construction and help to save energy, raw materials, and water, and reduce CO2 emissions while meeting sustainable building standards.