Group Chief Executive's Statement
"We are passionate about sustainability, a key component of our growth plans. It is through our extensive knowledge of the markets we serve that we continue to work closely with our customers to create, make and sell the sustainable innovations that they need to meet the demands of the consumers they serve.”
As our strategy continues to be shaped by the way we respond to global mega trends we drive top and bottom line growth through product and process innovation, creating new ways to address future challenges and opportunities; and our commitment to sustainability, which is increasingly a means of differentiating ourselves from our competitors, as well as being the right thing to do.
Sustainability is the thread that connects every aspect of our Business
In 2016, we have continued to lead our industry with almost two thirds of our raw materials being derived from natural and renewable resources. Through our progressive work to deliver products containing certified sustainable palm oil derivatives, for which we have received peer recognition, we have worked closely with our suppliers and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to achieve RSPO certification at 12 of our manufacturing sites. This activity has also given us greater traceability of the palm oil derivatives we use, and our work with Sedex across our raw material supply chains is providing increased transparency on other social and ethical practices.
Our New and Protected Products (NPPs) met an average of 11.6 of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry in 2016. This industry recognised, independent standard continues to be used in the development of all of our products. We are also placing an even greater focus on measuring their benefits in use. As we move forward with our plans for growth, we always consider how to reduce environmental impacts. A major example in 2016 includes work at our Atlas Point manufacturing site in North America to build a bio-ethylene oxide plant for the manufacture of 100% renewable surfactants, which will be powered by landfill gas. We also made a significant investment in power generation from bio-gas at our Gouda site in the Netherlands and to reduce water consumption from a stressed aquifer at our Mevisa site in Spain.
Our people are at the heart of sustainability
We know that our people underpin everything we do, their shared values and can do attitude are fundamental to the Croda culture, which we believe is a key business differentiator that plays a significant role in our continued success. In 2016, we continued to invest in our people and the communities in which we operate with over 102,000 recorded training hours during the year and more than £115,000 in-kind donations through our 1% Club employee volunteering programme, 48% of which focused on educational programmes.
A new impact based way of reporting our sustainability story
This year you will notice that we have moved to a different way of reporting. This is in response to our stakeholders telling us they wanted to hear more about the compelling story of our sustainability credentials and its impact on our Business, our customers and the world in which we operate. Whilst the 10 Material Areas are still key to the way we manage and measure our performance against set targets, in this report we want to illustrate our key sustainability credentials across: Sustainable Product Innovation; Planet and Process and People and Community.
Our approach to sustainability means that we are ideally positioned to help our customers achieve their current and future sustainability targets. We will continue to do this by meeting their demands for sustainable products through the raw materials we use and the way we create and make them, to the benefits they deliver during use by consumers. I am proud of how our local teams form global networks, working together to inspire each other to meet the unique needs of industries and consumers everywhere. I would like to thank everyone across the Group for the contributions they make to sustainability every day.
Group Chief Executive