“We use our smart science to innovate with our customers to meet their needs and improve lives by contributing to the challenge of the SDGs.”
Steve Foots, Group Chief Exec
"In times of increasing environmental, social and economic uncertainty, we are determined to continue playing our part in meeting the global challenges and to make a positive impact. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are beginning to focus global efforts on positive change; for us in Croda they have reinforced our drive to provide solutions that support sustainable development as a moral and business imperative. We shall continue to thrive, not simply improving our own economic, social and environmental performance, but also actively creating positive change.
Smart science to improve lives:
Continuing to deliver strong and consistent financial results, together with strong and consistent non-financial results, reflects our vision, mission and values. This is now encompassed in our new purpose statement, ‘smart science to improve lives’. Since the very beginning of Croda in 1925, we have understood the important part that science plays in everyday life. Over 90 years later, our unrivalled ability to innovate through ‘smart science’ enables us to meet our customers’ and their consumers’ needs. Our products have always added financial value and we increasingly recognise the positive environmental and social impact that they all have; we work to ‘improve lives’.
During 2018, we increased focus on our contribution to the SDGs. I have been delighted with the breadth and depth of the work that has been undertaken throughout our businesses to identify many areas in which we are making significant positive contributions. Most satisfying is that these contributions are coming from across all of our functions; not only through the application of our products, but also in the sourcing of raw materials, innovative product design, our flexible operations, and our acquisition of exciting new sustainable technologies. The measurable output of our innovation is increasing economic and shareholder value, but we are intent on further measuring our positive impact and setting ambitious targets.
Our innovation goes beyond delivering more value and benefit from ingredients with a lower environmental footprint. Today, more than ever before, we are innovating up and down the value chains. Creating new ingredients in our research centres and in collaboration with our customers, suppliers and Open Innovation and Smart Partners, we are identifying and commercialising unique opportunities that add value to our customers’ products, satisfy the needs of their consumers and improve lives.
We shall continue to decouple our growth and increased shareholder value from our impact on the environment, and further futureproof our business with our capital light, carbon light, technology and intellectual property rich acquisition strategy. Following six years of collaboration developing specific applications in Personal Care and Crop Care sectors, in January 2018 we acquired Nautilus, a technology-rich marine biotechnology company based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
In March 2018, we acquired Plant Impact, an innovative bio-stimulant business. Using chemistry and novel molecule discovery, Plant Impact identifies ways to improve the yield and quality of crops by stimulating or moderating plant responses in both healthy and stressed crops during key growth stages. Then in late December we acquired Biosector, a vaccine adjuvant specialist, seen as a natural extension of our existing pharmaceutical excipients portfolio within our Health Care business.
We believe that our culture and our people set us apart from our peers. Our can-do attitude, agility, family spirit and customer focus are at the heart of what makes Croda different, and a true source of our competitive advantage. I am determined that we will continue to safeguard our culture and nurture the environment that enables everyone to reach their full potential."
Our two most senior decision-making bodies, the Board of Directors and Group Executive Committee, govern and are ultimately responsible for our economic, environmental and social performance. As such, they play an active role in ensuring that sustainability remains an integral element of our business strategy.
However, responsibility for shaping and delivering our sustainability programme does not just lie with our leaders but reaches right across our Business. Each and every one of our employees has a role to play in our sustainability activities; we are truly all responsible.
Our Vice President (VP) of Sustainability, manages our Global Sustainability Team and chairs our Sustainability Steering Committee. They report to our President of Sustainability, who sits on our Executive committee and reports to the Chief Executive. Our President of Sustainability is responsible for driving all aspects of our sustainability, global procurement and sustainable sourcing agenda, including the development and delivery of our 2030 targets.
A group of nine experts from specific areas of the Business sit on the Committee as Material Area Owners, representing our business functions and the external stakeholder groups with whom they are most closely linked. Four Regional Representatives also sit on the Sustainability Steering Committee who, with the support of their own Regional Steering Committees, play a 360˚ role: cascading details of our activities globally, representing the needs of their regions and reporting back on the delivery of our programme.
We have 66 reporting operations covering the whole Business, each with a Sustainability Champion who reports progress against our targets and a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Along with details from our Material Area Owners, this information is communicated to the Group Executive Committee on a quarterly basis. All members of this committee take part in an annual Sustainability Conference where our full sustainability programme is reviewed with the Global Sustainability Steering Committee.
The Board of Directors also receives quarterly summary reports, and a number of bespoke presentations on key sustainability topics throughout the year, as it is an integral part of their agenda alongside our other corporate functions, which include Safety, Health, Environment and Quality, Human Resources, Legal, Information Technology, Finance and Treasury and Intellectual Property. This approach ensures that our sustainability programme feeds into our wider Business strategy and keeps sustainability at the forefront of our business thinking.
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