CSR, at the core of our strategy
Our CSR policy is built on a solid foundation and a commitment to sustainable growth, not just for us, but everyone in our value chain. Virginie Delcroix, Vice President Sustainable Development, explains.
How much have the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations informed Arkema’s CSR initiatives?
Virginie Delcroix – In 2012 we organized Arkema’s CSR process around five facets of our business and strategy: safety, the environment, innovation, social development and dialogue with our stakeholders.
When the UN SDGs took effect in early 2016, we naturally connected our six innovation platforms to six of the 17 goals. Arkema’s innovation strategy was supported by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda.
In 2017, we further identified SDGs linked to our five CSR priorities and stepped up our response to the world’s social, environmental and economic challenges. This helped us to better assess Arkema’s CSR and sustainability contributions and expand our commitment as a responsible chemical producer and our contribution to society across our value chain.
Internally, the SDGs help us reach the entire corporate community and make it easier to spread a culture of corporate social responsibility. More broadly, the SDGs give stakeholders a common language, making it easier to communicate and consolidate contributions.
How does Arkema involve stakeholders in its process?
Stakeholder dialogue – especially along the value chain comprising our employees, suppliers and customers – is part of our DNA. In 2017, we focused in particular on helping suppliers assess their CSR performance. So far we’ve evaluated over 1,000 suppliers using Together for Sustainability (TfS), a chemical industry initiative to create a responsible supply chain. Based on the results, we have zeroed in on suppliers who need to show improvement. In addition, following on the materiality analysis conducted in 2016, we’ve met with stakeholder representatives to present accomplishments and keep the conversations going.
What do you take away from the assessments of rating agencies?
Arkema’s good ratings recognize both our efforts and those made with our partners. But let’s not confuse things: ratings aren’t an end to themselves. They are an excellent way to measure our progress and to pinpoint paths to improvement.