Sustainability has long been a part of Sika’s identity. With the integration of Parex, the company has been able to further increase its strategic strength.
Sustainability has been a key value and a central element of Sika’s corporate management for many years. Through innovation, both Parex and Sika teams have been contributing to sustainable construction and strengthened the role of sustainability in the development of new products that meet the demands of the customers, while at the same time reducing the impact on the environment. Since mid-2019, Parex’s sustainability initiatives have been integrated into Sika’s framework. These initiatives have been merged into the overall sustainability strategy, the formulation of products, social commitment, occupational health & safety, as well as the management of resources in the production facilities.
Strategic Focus on Climate Performance
The transition to a low-carbon economy has led to an increased strategic focus on climate performance and on the development of new technologies and operational practices. Sika’s Sustainability Strategy “More Value – Less Impact” includes the overriding goal to reduce CO2 emissions per ton sold by 12.0% until 2023, which is aligned with targets to reduce the consumption of energy and water, reduce waste, and increase the renewable electricity rate. During the integration process, the Parex Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program “Building Responsibly”, with its contributions to sustainable development, has been reviewed and merged with Sika’s Sustainability Strategy. The joint initiatives are geared toward improving product sustainability and durability and optimize resource management to reduce the overall environmental footprint for both Sika and its customers.
Sika is focusing on eight of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). These eight goals are aligned with the Sustainability Strategy and supported by the initiatives that are driving the execution of the strategy. The UN SDG 13 “Climate Action”, for example, is supported by the increased use of renewable energy, reduced CO2 emissions, and product developments with a positive impact on customers’ carbon footprint.
New Solutions to Support Sustainable Construction
In the area of sustainable solutions, projects that involve the use of recycled or bio-sourced raw materials are prioritized. New solutions such as PARNATUR®, the first “easy-to-spray” thermal and phonic insulation hemp-based mortar, help to reduce energy consumption by promoting the use of bio-sourced aggregates in the building industry. Hemp concrete is a natural solution, as it has a high CO2 storage coefficient and is fully recyclable. Furthermore, the Sika Global Technology Center for cementitious systems, a former Parex R&D Center located near Lyon, France, is now working on alternative binders and sands which are by-products of industrial manufacturing. The team is developing product formulations to, for example, re-use and valorize production tails, or dust collector fines from mortar plants. Alternative raw materials are not only used to improve a product’s sustainability performance but can bring additional functionalities such as abrasion resistance.
Committed to the Environment, Health & Safety, and Community Engagement
Several actions are currently being implemented to reduce energy consumption across Sika's production sites, such as systematic consumption measures, energy sourcing optimization, and process improvement. Besides energy, waste, and water reduction, the Sustainability Strategy 2023 also focuses on Occupational Health & Safety and Sika has successfully adopted the “safety on line” template from Parex. By sharing information about root causes and preventative measures, the knowledge base is extended and the ability to avoid accidents improved.
The Parex initiative, in partnership with “PUR Projet”, a French social enterprise and an expert in operating community agroforestry, reforestation, and conservation projects, is set to be established in selected countries. Objectives are the mitigation of climate change impacts, water preservation, and local community development support.