Sustainable Solutions

Sika aims to be the industry leader, staying ahead with a portfolio of sustainable products, systems, and services that help support customers in meeting global challenges. 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 improve energy and material efficiency, and to further enhance user-friendliness. The company makes every effort 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. The two Group targets are:  

Target: All new product developments are reviewed against key sustainability criteria using a standardized methodology, including a documented, recognized relevance audit and an appropriate improvement plan where necessary.  

Implementation: Sika has introduced a uniform sustainability appraisal process (including guidelines and work aids) throughout the company that addresses the relevant sustainability indicators. It is part of the official Sika product development process, which was revised in 2014. The objective of the sustainability appraisal is to assess all sustainability aspects of a new development over its entire life cycle, compared with the company’s own or competitors’ solutions.

Economic, social, and environmental aspects are assessed and serve as a basis for any decision to improve a development. If a new solution fails to provide an improvement over the existing product, it is normally not worthwhile to continue pursuing a development. On the other hand, if a significant improvement over the existing product is achieved, the relevant projects must be prioritized for special attention. In the year under review, Sika progressively implemented the sustainability appraisal process as part of the launch of the revised product development process as an obligatory part of the innovation process.

The individuals responsible for the global rollout in the various business lines, regions, and technology centers received training in the new procedures at a centralized event, where they were familiarized with the processes and methods. These individuals are responsible for the global rollout in all Group companies, which should be complete by the middle of next year.

Target: The major Sika country affiliates prepare a product sustainability action plan and implement all planned key projects.  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.

Implementation: The larger countries in the key North America, Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, UK, Germany, Turkey, and Mexico regions developed product sustainability plans in 2015 in conjunction with the Corporate Product Sustainability department. The product sustainability functions that have been created at a regional and local level enabled and supported the development, implementation, and management of these plans. The plans are presented and administered, progress and activities discussed, and successful projects and local implementations shared at quarterly virtual and annual in-person meetings of the local, regional, and global functions.

The focus in 2016 will be on implementing planned activities locally in the existing regions and countries and extending planning to the Latin America and Asia/Pacific regions. Practical implementation of the “More Value – Less Impact” motto 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 2015 , Sika added to the life-cycle data collected in previous years for its products, technologies, and applications in accordance with the international life-cycle assessment (LCA) standard ISO 14040, with a primary focus on mortar and liquid roof membranes, 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 country affiliates. Examples include environmental product declarations (EPDs) for roof membrane solutions under the German, British, and American standards and assessment tools for the sustainability performance of roof systems and polyurethane floor solutions for office, school, and healthcare facilities.

As added value for the customer, they enable project-specific quantitative assessment of the sustainability performance of the selected Sika solution in a standardized form that can be communicated in an easy-to-understand way that is focused on customer needs. Implementing the acquired expertise in the market, a number of country affiliates in Northern and Southern Europe have successfully launched and tested new services to quantify the sustainability performance of Sika solutions. A first set of projects has thus been successfully acquired in countries such as Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom using the assessment tools introduced locally.

In 2016 the focus will be on the further rollout of local introduction of the sustainability sales tools in the roofing and flooring segments in additional target countries, on services related to sustainable construction and energy efficiency in buildings, and on the better integration of sustainability with the local affiliates’ business priorities. This marks Sika’s aim to move further away from being a product supplier and more 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. Product and project case studies from all target markets can be found at www.sika.com/sustainability. They detail how Sika solutions support sustainable construction and help to save energy, raw materials, and water and reduce CO2 emissions.