Preface from the Management Board
2022 was a challenging fiscal year for the CHT Group.
Despite the ongoing but increasingly reducing Corona pandemic, the devastating war in Ukraine, extreme supply bottlenecks and increases in raw material prices combined with a highly volatile energy market, the CHT Group achieved robust sales and earnings targets.
We are concerned over the humanitarian impact of the devastating and, at the time of publication, unfortunately still ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
Economic impacts of the war were and still are inevitable. The moral obligation to immediately cease our business with the subsequently sanctioned countries had an impact on sales.
The major price jumps in the energy markets triggered by the loss of Russian oil and gas, almost tripled energy prices and further intensified pressure on our costs.
As a global business enterprise, we emphasize that the current global challenges posed by a growing world population, climate change and the increasing complexity of the flow of goods can only be mastered through sustainable action and stringent economic management. In doing so, we take responsibility for our personal actions, our company and society.
We have aligned our vision, our mission, and our entire corporate strategy, with clear goals and the three dimensions of sustainability: environment, economy, and social issues.
Our development shows that we are following the right path with Strategy 2025, which is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the “Green Deal”, the EU Commission is pursuing ambitious climate targets. We are actively involved in implementing these targets as part of the VCI’s “chemistry4climate” initiative. In addition, we as the CHT Group have set ourselves the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2045. To underpin this ambitious goal, at the end of 2021 we signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and are committed to the 1.5 °C target.
What challenges do we see as the CHT Group?
The transition to a sustainable and climate-neutral society is the greatest challenge of the coming decades. Many of our products and technologies contribute to the success of this transition. We are therefore working at full speed to develop products and process solutions that reduce our customers’ CO2 footprint, while at the same time making worldwide efforts to reduce the CO2 footprint of our own production value chain.
The further intensification of resource scarcity on a global level calls for responsible handling of raw materials. In addition, the chemical industry is very energy-intensive and dependent on fossil raw materials. Therefore, the transition of our energy consumption towards non-fossil energy sources is crucial. In addition, we see the expansion of the circular economy with increased activities in mechanical and chemical recycling and the increased use of biobased raw materials as a suitable way to drive forward climate protection.
We are therefore aligning our products and processes even more closely with the circular economy in the future. Thanks to the increasing use of renewable raw materials, our focus on Cradle to Cradle concepts, and our activities to establish industry-wide standards together with our market partners, we see ourselves on a successful path.
To successfully continue this transition, we will need further profitable growth in our businesses and a business-friendly environment. By 2025 we will achieve 80 % of our sales from products classified as sustainable. These products support our customers in traditional industries such as textiles or paper to make the transition towards lower pollutant manufacturing. Additionally, they ensure the reduction of water and energy consumption. Moreover, our additives are used in new and future technologies such as e-mobility, fuel cells and high-tech construction materials.
With regard to our business environment, the CHT Group, like the entire chemical industry, is currently still exposed to many factors with unknown characteristics and influence. In addition to European chemicals legislation, there is also excessive bureaucracy and approval procedures, which are a disadvantage when considering global locations, with identically high standards for hazard control and application safety.
In the Sustainability Report 2022, we present the CHT Group’s contribution to sustainable and responsible action and provide an overview of how we are meeting the diverse challenges described.
Dr. Bernhard Hettich | CTO
Dr. Frank Naumann | CEO
Axel Breitling | CFO