Sustainability has been a key element in Sika's corporate strategy for more than ten years. As a result, the company is now a leading player in the development of sustainable solutions in the construction and industrial sectors. Patricia Heidtman, Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer and Member of Group Management, explains in this interview the achievements in 2021 and the way forward.
With its sustainability strategy, Sika has been systematically striving to reduce its environmental footprint for several years. Which particular successes was the company able to achieve in 2021?
Our “More Value – Less Impact” strategy did indeed achieve some great successes in 2021: we invested in our production facilities in order to use energy and resources as efficiently as possible for our solutions. We share the best solutions across the Group so that local approaches can be increasingly deployed worldwide. A multitude of different initiatives around the world have contributed to the reduction of our carbon footprint in scope 1 and 2 (see box) last year by 2.0 kg CO2eq per ton sold.
What will be the biggest challenges in the next few years in the field of sustainability and which parameters does Sika need in order to overcome them?
Each challenge is also an opportunity, even when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases. This provides us with the possibility of using new raw materials for our customer solutions. For example, our special cement and concrete admixtures entail significant advantages as our customers can adapt their materials to the new LC3 properties. By collaborating with research institutes, we create new solutions without making compromises to the water consumption, workability, curing, and durability of LC3 concrete as opposed to conventional products. We also work closely together with our customers and support them in a rapidly changing regulatory environment so as to always have a good Sika solution to hand.
Patricia Heidtman – Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer and Member of Group Management
Sika has developed into a specialist for sustainable solutions. For which solutions do you see the greatest potential – today and tomorrow?
At Sika, sustainability begins with longevity: our solutions help to ensure that construction projects can withstand external influences for longer. Extending the life cycle is a very relevant contribution, even more important than volume reduction or recyclability, which we also focus on. In addition, we help our customers to produce their products with a smaller environmental footprint, by promoting lightweight formats in industry and construction for instance. I’m confident that we will also be able to use our experience in industry for innovative solutions in the construction industry in the future. This is underpinned by our efforts in the field of modular construction.
Do you have a sustainability target that’s particularly close to your heart?
Profitable, sustainable growth can only be achieved with well-trained employees. We want to invest in our employees and offer them opportunities for continued development so that they can realize their full potential when dealing with the new requirements, including in terms of sustainability. Developing innovative products and solutions for our customers in a way that also allows us to carefully manage natural resources motivates us and generates an incredible amount of commitment.