Innovation Study
A Commitment to Sustainability

Wesel / Germany, October 21, 2016
  • Companies committed to sustainability have above-average innovative strength
  • Action needs to be taken above all in the development of environment-friendly products
  • Sustainable companies appeal more to entry-level professionals

The current study “Industry Innovation Index” carried out by the Forsa institute on behalf of the specialty chemicals Group ALTANA proves that there is a correlation between sustainability and innovative strength in German industry. According to the study, companies with a sustainable commitment to economic, social, and environmental aspects have above-average innovative strength.

Fifty-seven percent of the managers surveyed considered sustainability to be very important for a company’s innovative power. Among entry-level professionals, it was even 62 percent. 

“Combining new solutions for resource and climate protection with economic benefits” 

But many companies do not yet fully exploit the potential of sustainability measures. Special action needs to be taken when it comes to developing products that make a contribution to environmental and climate protection across the entire value chain. “Not only is a sustainable, foresighted perspective needed, but also innovative strength that combines new solutions for resource and climate protection with economic benefits,” says ALTANA’s CEO Martin Babilas. 

Another important factor enabling a company to push ahead sustainability is the sensitization of employees to the issue. However, of all the essential measures that contribute to the sustainability of a company, for example health and safety protection or the use of renewable energies, a sustainability culture is the least pronounced in the companies surveyed. Yet according to the study, resource protection and social commitment are so important to about three quarters of entry-level professionals that their choice of employer is also based on these criteria.

“Companies could tap this potential to strengthen their own innovativeness. The key is the consistent promotion of talented employees,” says Martin Babilas.

Background to the “Industry Innovation Index” Study

In the spring of 2016, the market research institute Forsa, on behalf of the specialty chemicals Group ALTANA, conducted 500 telephone interviews with representatives of companies that have at least 250 employees. 250 management board members, general managers, and division heads were interviewed. In parallel, Forsa surveyed 250 entry-level employees in companies aged 18 to 35 who had one to five years of professional experience.

This press release and a printable graphic can also be found at
industry index

ALTANA is a global leader in true specialty chemicals. The Group offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions for coating manufacturers, paint and plastics processors, the printing and packaging industries, the cosmetics sector and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. ALTANA's four divisions, BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants, all occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service. 

Headquartered in Wesel, Germany, the ALTANA Group has 47 production facilities and more than 50 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group about 6,000 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2015, ALTANA achieved sales of more than 2 billion euros. About 6 percent of sales are invested in research and development every year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most innovative, fastest growing, and profitable chemical companies in the world.

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