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Strategy for the planet: the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development

The "Agenda 2030" adopted by 193 companies at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015 is the closest thing to a "Strategy for the Planet". The 17 SDGs aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, halt climate change, promote environmental protection, improve access to health and education, and build strong institutions and partnerships. With these goals, the international community aims to promote global economic progress and social justice while respecting the ecological needs of our planet.


The chemical industry pursues sustainability goals 

Not only the governments of the countries, but also all other social actors are called upon to make contributions in order to achieve the goals. Decades ago, the chemical industry was one of the first branches of industry to explicitly commit itself to pursuing sustainable development goals. Since then, awareness of the need for sustainable action in the broader sense and the associated opportunities has grown and matured beyond the borders of industries and countries. Sustainability today stands for the future viability of an industry whose solutions make important contributions to the implementation of global sustainability goals.

LANXESS - committed to sustainability in accordance with the SDGs

Sustainable, integrative thinking and action supports our corporate goals in a variety of ways - be it through greater resource efficiency, good relationships with our stakeholders, heightened risk awareness or cost structures that offer long-term benefits. In this context, our seven "key themes" are the guiding principles for our sustainable actions. Behind them stands the claim that our operating activities create value for our company, our stakeholders and society as a whole. To this end, we look at sustainability today in a broader context than it was a few years ago. In addition to the outputs of our entrepreneurial activities, we also take into account the effects of our actions on society as a whole. The "Sustainable Development Goals" are an important reference framework for us in this regard.

We want to make further significant progress on our key issues in line with the "Sustainable Development Goals" and thus support the "Agenda 2030". In order to live up to this claim, we need to understand exactly how our priorities - formulated in the main themes - are linked to the priorities of the world community.

Understanding the SDGs and their importance for LANXESS - our approach

We have carried out a detailed analysis showing where and to what extent our sustainable development priorities support the SDGs. To this end, we have compared the relationships between our main topics and the SDGs down to the level of subgoals. We have assessed the relationship using two factors:


  • How well do SDG sub-goals and our priorities match (the "match" factor)?
  • How active are we in supporting the subgoals (the “intensity” factor)?

We looked at and examined aspects such as our governance structures, sustainability goals, Corporate Citizenship activities, products, our supply chain, initiatives and programs, and research and development. Taken together - if there is agreement - this results in a small, medium or large contribution to the goals that we present in the "LANXESS SDG Matrix".

The "LANXESS SDG Matrix" leads us to a better understanding of our contributions to the SDGs. It can help us to understand challenges in society as a whole and to view our goals and strategies from this perspective. It can show us what opportunities there are to market our products as solutions for central challenges anchored in the SDGs. And it can draw our attention to risks and conflicting goals in order to address them systematically.

We also discussed the significance of SDGs for LANXESS with our stakeholders in a roundtable at the end of 2018. Stakeholder Roundtable

Our effect on SDGs - today and tomorrow

However, our analysis is not limited to contributions in support of the objectives - we have also examined the impact we have today on the aspects described in the objectives, such as climate protection. Some time ago, LANXESS created a theoretical basis for this with its impact assessment concept.

The approach is based on the notion that an entity's financial results alone do not adequately reflect the benefits and costs of its operations to society. Therefore, the calculation must be extended beyond pure business results and the monetary value of the benefits and costs to society must be included. Only the result after inclusion of the effect shows the true contribution of the company to society ("societal result").
We have supplemented this concept with positive or negative influences on the underlying aspects of the SDGs. The result shows: We create social value and have a positive impact on many SDGs. The challenges, for example in the area of climate protection, which we are tackling consistently and comprehensibly by pursuing our emission targets in line with the SDGs, are also becoming clear.

The Goals and LANXESS' contributions

Our concept of "impact assessment" helps us to understand the impact of our activities today - also in relation to the SDGs. It helps us to make management decisions against the background of society as a whole - and to reduce negative effects and expand positive ones.


Sebastian  Röhrig

Sebastian Röhrig
Head of Corporate Responsibility

Phone: +49 221 8885 1099

Fax: +49 221 8885 1769

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