Sustainable Development Goals
17 Goals of the United Nations for Sustainable Development
Sartorius is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact. With 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations has created political objectives designed to secure sustainable development at economic, social and ecological levels. The success of implementing the SDGs relies on the actions and collaboration of all stakeholders, particularly in committing and engaging the private sectors. Sartorius has accepted this responsibility by making the SDGs part of our corporate responsibility strategy.
Based on a materiality analysis, Sartorius determined how it can impact the UN SDGs, identifying the most significant positive and negative effects on people and the environment in relation to company growth and costs. Eight SDGs were defined as material to the business activities of Sartorius.
Sartorius contributes to SDGs
Good Health and Well-Being
According to the United Nations, health is considered one of the basic human rights and is a major indicator of sustainable development. This is why we gauge our performance concerning the material topic “availability of health care” on how we contribute to SDG 3: “Good Health and Well-Being.” We currently are working on appropriate indicators.
Our impact on health becomes particularly clear by SDG 9: “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” because based on our innovation, we are improving the availability of healthcare. SDG 4: “Quality Education,” SDG 5: “Gender Equality,” and SDG 6: “Clean Water and Sanitation” as well as SDG 17: “Partnership for the Goals” equally touch many aspects of healthcare. We specifically report on each SDG in sections of this Non-Financial Group Statement.
The complementary fit of our products and technologies as well as the use of digitalization saves times in bringing a new medication from initial drug discovery through market readiness. This expedites the entire workflow by approximately 30 percent. As a result, the use of our optimized process technologies makes production of biopharmaceuticals more efficient and flexible. Production quantities can be adapted to changing needs more quickly. Additionally, sterile, single-use equipment helps prevent cross-contamination from occurring, thus increasing safety in manufacturing medical drugs.
We contribute to SDG 4: “Quality Education” in various ways. To us, education is a valuable asset, and we consider it part of our corporate responsibility to support it in our realm of expertise.
At the company's major production sites in France, Germany, India, Puerto Rico and Tunisia, where 65 percent of the workforce is employed, a total of 60,428 hours was invested in additional training initiatives in 2018. On average, each employee completed 11.8 extra training hours.
In Germany, the group currently offers vocational training and education in 17 different fields and has five work-study programs. By December 31, 2018, Sartorius had a total of 121 vocational trainees and 12 work-study students, of whom 91 were males and 42 females.
During the past five years, Sartorius gained 5,620 new recruits. The proportion of women in our workforce has been increasing steadily in recent years and, at the end of the reporting year, was 38.2 percent, which corresponds with numbers from the prior year. Aligned with the German Act on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Executive Positions in the Private and Public Sectors, Sartorius has set targets for the proportion of women one management level below the Executive Board. By 2022, the company plans to increase the proportion of women in the first and second management levels below the Executive Board to 30 percent. Currently, the proportion of women at all management levels is 30.2 percent.
We enable our employees to develop personally and professionally throughout their careers. To create the same opportunities for people regardless of their life situations, we instituted a flexible work schedule at many of our sites. Employees often choose between flextime, part-time and telecommuting options, balancing their needs with the requirements for their position. Sartorius also offers production employees a flextime scheduling option.
Our response to one work-life balance need is child care opportunities. In Göttingen, for example, we offer programs for school-aged children during vacations. In 2018, a new day care center opened on the Sartorius Campus in Göttingen, ensuring a convenient option for working parents. The center is integrated, offering spots for handicapped children as well. Sartorius has won many awards for its family-friendly policies. As part of our corporate culture, we also offer family leave for fathers.
Clean Water and Sanitation
In view of competing interests for water usage, access represents a considerable challenge. This is why water supply, use, recycling and disposal requires a special degree of responsibility. The company takes great care to reduce water consumption and soil sealing, particularly at manufacturing plants located in baseline water risk areas defined by the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, such as Yauco, Puerto Rico; Bangalore, India; and Beijing, China. In Yauco, for example, the company established an additional system for rainwater use. Most of the water is used for rinsing while manufacturing filter membranes according to the precipitation bath method at the Göttingen site.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 9: “Industry Innovation and Infrastructure” aims to extend scientific research in all countries throughout the world. While Sartorius does not have a direct influence on the areas of infrastructure or sustainable globalization, it does contribute broadly toward achieving this innovation goal. Since each of our production sites functions as a center of competence, we engage scientific expertise at many global sites.
Since 2011, we have acquired and successfully integrated eleven companies. In these cases, as well as those that preceded them, major locations have been expanded and additional jobs created following the acquisitions. A total of 628 people worked in R&D and Corporate Research Department during 2018, 44 more than the prior year. This represents an increase of 8.4 percent. In 2018, the Sartorius Group spent €78.2 million on R&D.
Responsible Consumption and Production
The population is growing, and, due to economic and demographic development, prudent use of natural resources is even more necessary. This is why we measure our environmental performance based on SDG 12: “Responsible Consumption and Production,” among others.
To us, treating natural resources responsibly reflects our added value, both in our operational processes as well as how our products are used. In a typical commercial-scale manufacturing process of monoclonal antibodies, for instance, manufacturers that primarily rely on single-use products need up to 80 percent less water and up to 30 percent less energy than primarily using reusable systems.
The greatest impact from engaging both single-use and reusable products occurs during their usage phase – above all caused by high-energy requirements for steam sterilization, water purification and operation of stainless-steel bioreactors. The impact at the end of their useful life is considered rather low in terms of their entire product life cycle. The high-purity level of our plastics for making single-use products also can be utilized as fuel in heat or power generation.
Emissions that are caused by the direct operations of Sartorius are comparably low. Nevertheless, we are constantly seeking ways to reduce them. The success of our actions so far has been gauged by how well we contributed to SDG 13: “Climate Action.” Despite substantial expansion of our manufacturing operations, both our energy consumption and gas emissions have remained below proportionate levels with respect to revenue growth.
Partnership for the Goals
Working in alliances and partnerships has been a part Sartorius’ corporate policy ever since it was spun off from the University of Göttingen. The company’s close ties with the scientific community still occurs today. Sartorius maintains partnerships with around 120 scientific partners in various countries.