Responsibility For Our People
When we talk about responsibility, we refer first and foremost to our responsibility towards our employees. We employ several thousand people in more than 60 countries across five continents. To complement Clariant’s membership of the UN Global Compact, our Group Policy Statement On Human Rights and our global Employment Standards lay the foundations for further activities to safeguard a global workplace with common principles and values for employees and contractors at all locations and ensure fair working conditions for our employees including a fair and equitable treatment. The documents create clear and measurable commitments and obligations related to HR practice areas like recruiting and development, compensation, employment contracts, employee engagement, employee grievances and thus are considered part of our social responsibility for Clariant. Read more about working at Clariant.
Lived Appreciation Is At The Center Of Our Values
Clariant’s culture centers on »appreciation« with its brand values Performance, People, and Planet. Together these three values form the key principle guiding our conduct and daily business. Because only when we strike a balance between profitable growth, people orientation, and environmental goals, can ecological, economic and social performance be assured.
The needs of our customers, employees, and shareholders are at the core of everything we do. We therefore do our utmost to ensure innovative, competitive solutions for our customers, adherence to company values for our employees, and above-average returns for our shareholders. Environmental responsibility and corporate sustainability are further focal areas for Clariant. Our above-average value creation for stakeholders sets us apart from the rest, and puts us well on track to achieve our goal of becoming the world’s leading specialty chemicals company.
We’ve created an international working environment in which our people have scope to demonstrate their strengths, implement ideas, and make a valuable contribution to our success on a daily basis. And because we want to maintain and promote this environment, the professional development of our employees is extremely important to us. After all, only when our people have the opportunity to make the most of your talents and to grow can you achieve great things. Work with us towards ambitious goals!
A culture of fairness extends throughout all aspects of our global employee relations. Clariant has joined the UN Global Compact and is fully committed to the “protect, respect and remedy” principles set forth in the framework. The ten principles include – besides others – full respect for regulations concerning freedom of association and collective bargaining.
We respect or surpass local minimum wage regulations. And, depending on the competitive situation in each location, entry level wages are often above minimum wage levels. As a result, we are able to attract the strongest candidates and retain a loyal workforce. We also adhere to all local rules relating to the treatment of temporary and part-time employees. Approximately 50 percent of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements and we work closely with employee representatives and members of staff when operational changes arise. It goes without saying that Clariant rejects any form of child labor and strictly complies with local regulations concerning legal minimum age requirements for work permits. ILO convention numbers 138 and 182 are expressly acknowledged as the minimum standard here. Further details about Clariant’s workforce can be found in our annual Integrated Report.
Managing Talents Individually
At Clariant, we strive to provide our employees with the scope they need to realize their potential and forge successful careers. We also believe that motivating and training our employees is essential to the company’s success. We therefore offer, based on the principles of equal treatment and equal rights, extensive specialist and interdisciplinary training and enable work towards recognized qualifications. The Clariant Academy plays an important role in this regard.
We place particular emphasis on our People Performance Cycle, which comprises a range of programs dedicated to promoting the sustainable success of Clariant. One of the main goals of the People Performance Cycle is to ensure, over the long term, that our employees have the direction, the skills, resources, and scope to take on the challenges that confront them. Employee development, succession planning, and talent management are among the program’s components.
The annual Talent Management process, which is held on a country, regional, and global level, is an important means of defining needs-based measures for ongoing development. The process’ talent review components enable us to identify strengths and development areas and establish individual development plans for our talents. The 360° feedback process and annual performance appraisals serve to encourage both us and our employees to reflect on development areas, and to define development targets and activities.
Balancing Work and Private Life
Clariant understands the importance of providing parents with the opportunity to enjoy family life while pursuing a career at the company. We are active proponents of a family-conscious labor policy. As an example, we have introduced the Clariant Family Support Policy across the company for all permanent Clariant employees, full-time or part-time, as part of our commitment to ensure employees have a better chance of finding an appropriate balance between their work and private lives.
Under the policy, mothers returning to the company up to one year after having given birth are guaranteed a comparable position will be made available to them. This protection policy is also extended to mothers who take time off after adopting a child.
Upon returning to work, mothers are also granted an additional ten working days of paid leave in order to support a smooth transition back into the workforce. This additional leave is valid from the date when the mother returns to work with active status up until two years after the date of birth or legal adoption of the child. An additional ten days of paid leave is granted to fathers following the birth or legal adoption of a child, which is also to be used over the following two year period. The benefits of the Family Support Policy are in addition to any locally applicable benefits.
Family issues are an important priority for Clariant. The extra time off granted after returning to work affords both parents the additional flexibility of balancing work and family issues.
Commitment to Diversity
We are a cosmopolitan family with employees drawn from more than 90 nations. We aim to provide our managers with international experience to better equip them for leadership roles. High-level managers are required to work in at least two different regions in order to progress.
We employ and promote our staff solely on the basis of their qualifications and skills. Whether a candidate is appointed to a particular position is determined by his/her suitability for the vacancy and whether his/her individual future potential is in line with Clariant’s corporate strategy and objectives. Furthermore, our professional development programs and initiatives ensure that all employees receive maximum support along every step of their career path, regardless of whether they’re just starting out or already have several years of professional experience – and our work climate supports men and women equally so that they can achieve success in their field.
Alongside our commitment to diversity is a rigorous adherence to the Clariant Code of Conduct. All employees are trained in the Code, which outlines the company’s strict non-discrimination policies.
Our goal Is Zero Accidents
One of Clariant’s most important objectives is the safety of its worldwide activities and the protection of people and of the environment. For this purpose we set protection goals that are valid throughout the group. The overall goal is zero incidents and zero accidents.
Comprehensive process safety management systems are in place across our plants to ensure high standards. Process risk analysis, change management, and regular audits are core elements to identify, eliminate and control risk in the production process.
Occupation safety is a main focus. Clariant closely monitors everything that could lead to an accident, examines its employees’ health on a regular basis, and keeps precise track of accidents – not only of its own teams, but also those of globally employed and supervised staff.
Our commitment to the safety of our employees includes clear safety rules and mandatory personal protective equipment to prevent injuries. Regular safety and health trainings are carried out by a network of local internal experts to implement the concept of work safety in employees’ mindsets.
This commitment to ensure that every employee returns home after work as healthy as they arrived at the workplace, is reflected in a set of management programs and leadership measures such as AvoidingAccidents@Clariant – a global program that creates safe working environments by raising awareness of safety and encouraging employees to record critical safety situations. Since the start of the program in 2007, the lost time accident rate (LTAR) has declined significantly from 0.92 to its lowest ever annual rate of 0.15 in 2018.
For more details see the annual Integrated Report.
Clariant Human Rights Commitment, Due diligence and Impact Assessment
Respecting human rights is key in sound business governance and promoting socially sustainable growth. Clariant is committed to respecting and supporting human rights, both in our own operations, as well as in our business relationships and supply chains. This commitment is enshrined in our Human Rights Policy Statement. We expect our suppliers and business partners to maintain the same high standards with regard to human rights. Our Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct for Suppliers make it clear that we will not tolerate the use of child labor or forced labor anywhere in our business and supply chains and protect our employees’ and supply chain workers’ rights in key human rights areas, including non-discrimination, working conditions and freedom of association.
To implement these commitments, we assess, monitor and manage our human rights impacts, both in our own operations and in our supply chains, and work to make sure that we do not contribute, knowingly or unknowingly, to any adverse human rights impacts. In doing so, we rely upon our strong management and monitoring systems that enable us to detect and effectively mitigate potential human rights risks. We have established our Integrity Line to enable people to bring to our attention any concerns they may have. In addition, we strongly support collaborative initiatives aimed at promoting respect for human rights across the industry and are signatories to the UN Global Compact and the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative, a member of Together for Sustainability, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. The figure below illustrates key elements of our human rights due diligence process:
In 2016, we carried out a comprehensive human rights impact and due diligence assessment with the help of external human rights experts to optimize our approach to managing our human rights impacts. This involved extensive interviews with internal stakeholders, document and policy reviews as well as a detailed assessment of potential human rights impacts (such as right to health, fair working conditions, freedom of association, land rights, liberty and security), vulnerable groups (such as children, women, indigenous people, contracted labor forces, migrants and temporary workers), country-level human rights risks and existing due diligence processes.
The process enabled us to identify the human rights issues that are most relevant to our business and which we will focus our attention on to effectively prevent and mitigate human rights impacts. These include:
- Ensuring that working conditions, wages, working hours and training on workplace safety meet our standards in situations where workers are employed through third-party labor providers, especially in geographies where the national legal framework in this regard is weak.
- Monitoring and developing our approach in relation to the potential human rights impacts associated with conflicts or volatile security situations in some countries.
- In relation to our supply chain, particularly in relation to raw materials, we have identified that there may be issues with regard to workers’ human rights. Clariant procures more than 14,000 different raw materials from more than 20,000 suppliers worldwide and we expect our suppliers to maintain high standards both with regard to environmental and social sustainability. We are committed to ensuring respect for human rights in our supply chain, both generally and in relation to specific human rights issues that we become aware of.
- Clariant also complies with national requirements and emerging regulations such as the UK modern slavery act. Clariant can provide upon request the relevant policy statement detailing all the steps that have been taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our organisation and our supply chain.
Findings of the assessment in these areas will be instrumental in further strengthening our human rights due diligence and remediation activities. As an example of follow-up activities, a dedicated Human Rights Task-Force – led by Corporate Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs and comprised of key functions such as Group Human Resources, Group Procurement Services and Group Legal, has been established. Under its supervision a number of initiatives in high-risk areas have been launched in order to verify – and eventually strengthen – how control measures are implemented at site level, with a particular focus on the main potential impacts such as contract labor and daily workers.
In addition, under the steering of Group Procurement Services, remediation plans have been initiated or strengthened for specific high-risk supply chains, such as for mica (India) and palm oil (main producing countries).
In the context of our human rights due diligence, we also closely monitor reports received through our Integrity Line, which is operated by an independent third party, available worldwide, in 32 languages and can be accessed by any internal or external stakeholder to bring to our attention any issues or concerns they may have, including in relation to human rights. We take these reports very seriously and make sure they are being followed up on and resolved, including appropriate remediation action where necessary.Information on the number of reports received through the Integrity Line, including those relating to human rights, is available in our annual Integrated Report.
Business respect for human rights is an evolving area and we are constantly reviewing, refining and developing our approach. In the coming years Clariant will reassess on a regular basis the scope of our impacts and the effectiveness of our responses.
Fostering Close Relationships With Our Neighbors
Operating in more than 100 countries, across five continents, Clariant places great value on acting as a responsible and supportive corporate citizen, wherever we do business. We therefore cultivate and support a range of community initiatives and charitable efforts around the globe to foster a close relationship with our neighbors.
Clariant is involved in numerous projects, especially in the vicinity of its production sites. In a very large number of cases, we support the education, training, and personal development of children and adolescents. In addition, the company also supports numerous activities in the areas of infrastructure, science and research, and art and culture. Often these projects are not one-off events but part of long-term commitments. It is a continuous effort to steer the company’s activities and contribute positively to the global sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations.
The donations and activities carried out in 2017 amounted to a total of CHF 4.9 million. Some contributions are made through the Clariant Foundation, an independently-managed, purely philanthropic charity organization set up in 2014, while others are made through direct regional community and volunteering engagements run by our businesses.
About the Clariant Foundation
The Clariant Foundation is an independently-managed, purely philanthropic charity organization, funded by Clariant and through a private donation from Clariant’s CEO Hariolf Kottmann.
The Foundation's mission is to carry out community projects and support and fund ideas, organizations, and institutions in the key focus areas education, culture and art, science and research, and social commitment, with a specific focus on underprivileged children and teenagers.
Since its founding, the Clariant Foundation has committed over CHF 4.5 million in funding to projects including donations to Unicef, Sinfonia por El Peru (which helps to integrate street children), a school in Indonesia, and the Center of Proton Therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland.