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Management Approach: Operations with Impact

Our long-term ambition is to grow our business while reducing our environmental impact.

GRI 2–24, 3–3, 306–1, 306–2

To track and encourage progress on this goal, we set annual targets for energy use, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and waste. Our latest results illustrate the progress we are making in this journey. Here we look at our environmental key performance indicators, the impact the changes in business operations are having on those indicators and how they are influenced by other environmental factors and our site initiatives.

As a chemical industry manufacturer, energy efficiency and CO2e footprint are two of our key sustainability topics. To promote carbon neutral activities, we are working to drive energy efficiency across our operations and in the transportation of our goods, and to use energy from renewable sources wherever possible. We have also set targets for reducing greenhouse gases and VOC emissions. Some coatings we use include VOCs, which not only have a significant impact on the climate but can also impact health. To meet our ambitious targets for reducing waste from our operations, we are seeking ways to eliminate or repurpose waste wherever we can. This is part of transitioning towards a circular economy. Moreover, taking responsibility for the impact of our operations, we look beyond our own premises: we want to take our suppliers with us, ensuring supply chain sustainability, as we move our industry towards environmental and social sustainability.

How our operations impact the environment and people

To produce goods, our facilities use energy and natural resources, and they emit greenhouse gases, (hazardous) waste, and wastewater as “by-products".

At Beckers, we work hard to reduce our environmental footprint, promoting carbon neutral activities to do our share in the fight against global warming. Moreover, our operations endorse the principles of a circular economy: while striving to reduce total waste generation in our manufacturing processes, we are eager to increase the share of repurposed (reused or recycled) waste. And we are determined to mitigate the environmental impact of our chemical manufacturing facilities.

How we manage Operations with Impact

In 2021, we created three new positions to support our efforts in gathering data, analyzing our sustainability performance, sharing best practices, and supporting our sites in building and implementing their sustainability programs. These new positions are VP Global Sustainable Industrial Development, Environment & Energy Manager and Global Sustainability Controller.east New operations positions. We also developed the concept of the Paint Plant of the Future to future-proof Beckers’ sites and make them sustainable over the long term.east Paint Plant of the Future. Moreover, we introduced a new global capital expenditure process with a focus on sustainable investment.

Further actions

A number of concrete actions helped us to further foster a circular economy, reduce carbon emissions and make our supply chain more sustainable. We significantly reduced our landfill waste.east Circular economy. We raised our share of renewable electricity to 56 percent in 2021.east Our climate footprint. Three of our sites, including our biggest site in France, are certified for ISO 50001. We are continuously driving the certification of further sites and implementing energy efficiency programs. We also work to ensure that the water we use as a raw material is conserved and responsibly sourced. All of our key raw material suppliers are regularly monitored by an independent CSR rating institute.east Supplier Award. Lastly, we furthered our collaboration with our suppliers to help them reduce their CO2 emissions.

Stakeholder engagement

Engaging all Beckers employees is crucial to reduce our environmental impact. In 2021, we kicked off an internal sustainability campaign to not only raise awareness but also to engage all employees on topics concerning energy and water saving, waste reduction and protection of the environment, among others. We held interactive sustainability workshops across all sites to identify individual needs and local challenges, and we developed customized sustainability roadmaps for each of them. Looking ahead, we will continue to roll out our internal sustainability campaign so that everyone understands how they can contribute to Beckers’ sustainability goals.

We also engage with our suppliers on sustainability issues. We conduct our own in-house audits on selected key suppliers to verify their compliance with our Corporate Social Responsibility and quality expectations. The suppliers are selected for auditing based on factors in our risk assessment, such as geographic location, industry or sector, self-assessment results, length of relationship and previous performance. We then work together with them to improve quality control and sustainability performance, sharing proposals for improvement and requesting action plans within a specific time period. This approach has brought about remarkable improvements.

We want to inspire all our supply chain partners to work with us to create a positive impact on our industry globally. This goal is the inspiration for our annual Beckers Supplier Award, which aims to show our appreciation to the supplier that has made the most progress in improving their EcoVadis rating. In some countries, we have worked with third-party logistics providers and we also engage with the communities around us through our employees.

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