VCI honours prize winners of the Responsible Care Competition 2019
The supply chain as guidance for a responsible future
Prizes go to four projects for sustainability in the supply chain ++ Large businesses and medium-sized enterprises demonstrate exemplary responsbility.
Sustainability in the chemical industry’s supply chain does not depend on company size. This is shown by the nationwide Responsible Care Competition 2019 whose winners received their prizes today in Berlin from the German chemical industry association VCI. The first prize went to Lanxess AG (Cologne) for a project called “ReeL”. This abbreviation stands for “Resource-efficient manufacturing of leather chemicals”. The second prize was secured by Epple Druckfarben AG (Neusäß) for developing a new “colour system for printing inks”. DAW SE (Ober-Ramstadt) achieved the third prize with their “supplier code”. The special award for medium-sized enterprises went to CHT Germany GmbH (Tübingen) in recognition of an “information tool for supplier assessment”.
The Responsible Care Competition 2019 was all about “Our contribution to sustainability in the supply chain”. The Responsible Care programme is part of Chemie3, the industry’s sustainability initiative. After first rounds at the level of the VCI regional associations, a jury of independent experts made the final decision on the nationwide winners. They were chosen from those entrants who had previously prevailed locally. The competition also included the 5th VCI special award for projects of medium-sized enterprises, which honoured CHT Germany for the second consecutive time.
The first prize winner Lanxess AG convinced the jury with a project for the resource-efficient manufacturing of leather chemicals (ReeL) which is seen as an innovative business model that avoids waste, is environmentally sound and reduces transport and costs. With this in mind, Lanxess built a pilot plant where leftovers from leather production by tanners or other users are recycled in an on-site manufacture of retanning agents. In the described strategy, tanners largely manufacture themselves the chemicals they need – from bio-based residues from their own leather production. As the process provider, Lanxess retains the responsibility for the chemical synthesis process. The ReeL pilot plant has proven the feasibility of the concept. Eight times larger production plants are being planned in cooperation with leading large-scale tanneries in Europe.
Epple Druckfarben AG took second place for a new system for sheetfed offset inks with several ecological advantages: Their binders are based on renewable raw materials and they do not contain potentially toxic metal dryers, photoinitiators or mineral oil. The waste paper printed with them can be recycled up to six times, with excellent fibre yield. Furthermore, there are social advantages, as no toxic ingredients are used and odour is reduced in printing and in the end products. The jury commended the project for taking its starting point in the very core business of the printing ink manufacturer.
DAW SE came third for developing the company’s own supplier code. This code regulates, inter alia, the treatment of employees (workers’ rights, health, safety, equal treatment), environmental protection (compliance with national laws and standards, environmental management system) and the behaviour in commerce (prohibition of corruption, avoiding conflicts of interests). DAW views infringements of its supplier code as having a significant damaging impact on the contractual relationship. In this framework, DAW attaches great importance not only to the classification and assessment of suppliers but also to a regular exchange on topics such as innovation, trends and sustainability. The jury was impressed by the broad approach to sustainability within a holistic picture.
For the second consecutive time, CHT Germany GmbH won the special award for medium-sized enterprises. The company combines a supplier assessment with sustainability criteria globally and an information tool for customers in the customer care sector. This is a kind of product passport which refers to quality, chemical composition, product safety, certification and legal provisions. Customers can use the tool for the sustainability assessment of their own products. In 2018, 453 suppliers of the CHT Group underwent such supplier assessments. Out of this total, 311 suppliers were found sustainable.
Some background information about the competition
The VCI’s Responsible Care Competition starts locally. In 2019, 57 project entries were submitted to the VCI regional associations. The regional winners automat-ically take part in the nationwide competition.
An independent 7-member jury decided on the nationwide winners: Dr Winfried Horstmann (Dr. Heinrich Lochte stood in; federal ministry for economic affairs and energy / BMWi); Dr Michael Reubold (editorial office of CHEManager); Gertrud Sahler (federal ministry for the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety / BMU); Xaver Schmidt (Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union / IG BCE); Professor Dr Ferdinand Schüth (Max Planck Institute for Coal Research). The VCI was represented by Dr Utz Tillmann (director general) and Dr Gerd Romanowski (executive director of science, technical and environmental affairs).
Photos of the Responsible Care award winners 2019 are available in the download section at the top of this page
The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of around 1,700 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media. In 2019 the German chemical industry realised sales of over 198 billion euros and employed around 464,000 staff.