Press release
Corporate Press
April 20, 2011

Sustainability Day—Evonik makes a perceptible contribution to sustainable development

  • Klaus Engel, Chairman of Evonik’s Executive Board: Sustainable development and corporate responsibility are vital for the future viability of companies—Germany's industrial base needs acceptance
  • WBCSD President Björn Stigson has a vision: In 2050 the world will have nine billion inhabitants who live well—within the limits of the planet’s resources

How important is sustainability for business? Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries, has a clear view: "We need to act because at the end of the day the market and stakeholders determine which products are purchased and thus benefit society in the long term." More than one hundred participants at Evonik's Sustainability Day in Essen (Germany), including high-ranking representatives of politics, the labor union, industry associations and customers, discussed sustainability with members of the company's Executive Board and other senior executives.

Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said that the 'green race' had started. Among other things, it opens up lucrative new prospects for sustainable business operations. Only companies that pay above-average attention to protecting resources and offer products that enable their customers to do the same will survive the coming decades. Germany and Europe still lead the world in this respect, but their position is increasingly being challenged by China, Brazil and the United States. He appealed to companies to work together with governments to address the upcoming challenges and find suitable solutions. The WBCSD has drafted Vision 2050 with 29 global companies including Evonik. The vision is that in 2050 the world will have around nine billion people, all living well—within the limits of what the planet can offer.

"Sustainable development and corporate responsibility are vital for the future viability of companies," said Engel. He highlighted the contribution Evonik can made to the sustainable development of society: Many of Evonik's products play a role in saving resources, facilitate the use of renewable energy resources, and help enhance health and nutrition, while others are produced from renewable raw materials. Engel: "Evonik invests in future-oriented projects that promise business success but also benefit people and the environment."

One example is the planned construction of a new production complex for the amino acid DL-methionine in Singapore. Adding this protein to feeds helps poultry digest its feed far better. In this way, Evonik helps meet rising demand for meat and eggs. At the same time, the use of amino acids reduces pressure on the environment and cuts CO2 emissions.

Another example of the company's investment projects is the plan to raise production capacity for precipitated silicas by 25 percent in Asia and Europe by 2014. Innovative materials like precipitated silicas have significant environmental benefits when they are added to tire rubber in combination with new silanes: high-tech tires with these components cut fuel consumption by an average of 8 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by the same amount.

Engel commented: "Germany's industrial base needs competition, but we also need broadly based acceptance by society of industry and technology." That requires a dialogue involving all groups within society.

About the WBCSD
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global association of some 200 companies which deals exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development and share knowledge, experience and best practices. Vision 2050 is a project established by 29 companies, including Evonik, with the support of WBCSD and in collaboration with other companies and regional networks

About Evonik

Evonik is the creative industrial group from Germany. In our core business of specialty chemicals, we are a global leader. In addition, it has energy and residential real estate operations. Our performance is shaped by creativity, specialization, reliability and continuous self-renewal.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2010 more than 34,000 employees generated sales of around €13.3 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.4 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.