Key figures

€ 3.1 billion revenue

+/- 15.500 employees

40+ countries

77% of employees believe that Aliaxis is environmentally responsible

-9% greenhouse gasses emitted

Letter from the management

Chief Executive Officer Laurent Lenoir and Chairman of the Board of Directors Olivier van der Rest look back on the year 2019.

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Dear reader,

More than ever before, we are building One Aliaxis – a truly integrated global industrial group – for our employees and for the benefit of all our external stakeholders. The new Aliaxis brand, launched in 2019, symbolises we are now one global company. In all our activities, we focused this past year on giving meaning to our purpose: to Make Life Flow for all people on this planet.

Overall, we made good progress to meet our objectives in 2019. Our teams around the world put a tremendous amount of energy and passion into building a stronger Aliaxis. We would therefore like to sincerely thank all our employees for their hard work!

It is fair to say that our 2019 results are reflecting mixed performances. In the US and India, we further strengthened our leadership positions and achieved strong growth, while other areas experienced more complicated market environments. As we continued to divest non-core assets, our 2019 net profit was boosted.

Looking more closely at the priorities we had set for 2019, we have made significant steps forward. Firstly, within the growth area, we strengthened our position in the USA with the acquisition of Silver-Line Plastics and several innovative new product launches. In India we already opened a second unit in our new Bhiwadi plant (North of the country), and we are progressing well with a new site opening in Eastern India. We have also revised and expanded our R&D strategy to boost innovation, with an increased focus on digitisation.

Secondly, we have invested significantly in our leadership and talent across the globe. A dedicated ExCom will drive agility, increase the speed of performance and deliver our transformation globally. Three new ExCom roles were created, and our customer facing capabilities were amplified.

Our third priority for 2019 was to further transform Aliaxis as a company, where we also made good progress. We initiated the biggest project ever within the group: the launch of a global ERP system. Furthermore, we are continuing to rationalise our portfolio with the divestment of our pumps and ceramics businesses. Within our core businesses, we made significant progress in simplifying our organisation and making it more efficient and robust, both operationally and commercially.

This past year, our newly created Sustainability Council developed a strong Corporate Responsibility Framework for Aliaxis. This will guide us in our efforts to be a responsible employer, engage in our communities and support innovative technology to provide more sustainable solutions for our customers.

And last but certainly not least, we continued to put a lot of emphasis on our people, with Health & Safety as our most important objective. We also launched Workday, a new global HR IS tool, and we continued to support our employees in developing their skills.

We remain focused and determined to stay on track for our 2025 destination, in line with our priorities for 2020: manage our costs, generate further growth, strengthen our talent at local level, and launch one ERP system. Together we will make our company future proof and successful for years to come.

As other global groups, Aliaxis is today being confronted with the Corona virus pandemic. We have decided to re-assess our priorities to ensure the financial viability of Aliaxis, by applying a clear set of measures. While doing so, we are committed to limit the impact on our people as much as possible and to ensure continuity of service to our customers in a safe manner.

We are confident that our healthy balance sheet, reinforced by recent divestments, together with our geographic diversification and the relentless support of our teams, will help us to weather this storm. But above all, our hearts and minds go out to our friends, colleagues and families that are being hit by the virus or its consequences.

Yours sincerely,

Laurent Lenoir        Olivier van der Rest
CEO                          Chairman

April 24th, 2020

Providing solutions for a changing world

Our world is constantly evolving. Populations are growing, urbanisation is speeding up, the climate is changing and the demand for water and energy is increasing. Each of these megatrends confronts the world with a number of challenges. As a global industry leader in piping solutions, Aliaxis has both the experience and technical know-how to provide solutions for those challenges.

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As water is one of the most important resources for life on our planet, providing access to clean water is at the top of our priority list. Across the continents, we offer world-class water and energy solutions. This, combined with the specific knowledge and experience of our people in the field, allows us to make a difference for our customers.

Whether it is designing the most efficient water supply systems or meeting the ever-growing demands of cities and their inhabitants, we always work closely together with our customers and partners to deliver a performance they can trust, today and tomorrow.

High-rise buildings and hospitals, for example, have their own challenges in terms of water supply, drainage and health and safety. Together with our partners, we are developing and testing new and more efficient ways to ensure comfort and a healthy living environment for everyone involved.

We are constantly challenging ourselves to think further and faster, ensuring we deliver ever smarter, more innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit people all over the world. We are ready to help shape a better tomorrow and to continue to make life flow.

Corporate Responsibility

As the world is changing, so are we. We identify opportunities for providing solutions for global challenges and we recognise our responsibility in caring for the environment and our people.

By reducing waste, water and the use of energy and by increasing our efforts to develop innovative products and processes to support this sustainability ambition, we are taking our Corporate Responsibility to heart.

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Developing a Corporate
Responsibility framework

In 2019, Aliaxis defined its structure and approach to Corporate Responsibility. Our commitment begins with the fundamentals of ethical business: from compliance to health and safety, and extends to our wider social and environmental impact.

We developed a new Corporate Responsibility Framework, that clearly defines our top priorities for enhancing our sustainability performance over the coming years. By helping to shape a better tomorrow, we want to make a positive difference in the world. We are committed to be a responsible employer, engaging in our communities and supporting innovative technology to provide more sustainable solutions for our customers.

The 11 priority issues identified during the materiality analysis informed the development of our Corporate Responsibility Framework. The full details about these 11 priorities can be read in the Corporate Highlights section of the Annual Report.

Each priority sits within the framework, in some cases within a broader workstream topic (for example, plastic pollution sits within the environmental standards workstream and chemical additives is included within green innovation). Our commitment to transparency is an underpinning principle across the whole framework.

This is the foundation upon which we prioritise our actions, set goals, and develop policies and programmes to achieve results.

It consists of three levels. The base is built on robust business practices – our commitment to health and safety, labour and environmental standards, and business ethics.

The next layer consists of high impact areas strongly linked to Aliaxis’ core business, where we have identified that we can make a significant contribution – such as green innovation and circular economy.

The top of the framework – representing our highest ambition – is our commitment to provide solutions for sustainable water management. This is our company purpose: We Make Life Flow.

we make life flow

Sustainable water management

People with
purpose

Green
innovation

Towards a
circular economy

Energy use and
climate change

 Health and
Safety

Labour
standards

Environmental
standards

Business
ethics

Sustainable water management

Around 80% of Aliaxis products are used to distribute or store water.

We can play an important role in addressing – and providing solutions for – the various challenges the world is facing in water management. Our products already make a difference in providing access to clean water, dealing with water scarcity and abundance, and improving and monitoring water quality.

Increasingly, our products address core sustainability issues:

  • Clean water and sanitation:
    borewell systems bringing clean water and sanitation solutions to communities for the first time, wastewater treatment solutions, toilet systems.
  • Water abundance:
    stormwater management, water reticulation systems, syphonic roof drainage, surface drainage solutions.
  • Water scarcity:
    rainwater harvesting, leak free water supply lines, relining of existing water supply systems.
  • Water quality:
    industrial and municipal water treatment, hot and cold water distribution systems in high demand environments such as hospitals and hospitality buildings, specific drainage solutions for high-rise buildings.

In 2020, Aliaxis will set priorities for its sustainable water management portfolio and determine how to measure impact.

People with purpose

Individual actions by our people can contribute to sustainability, both inside and outside the company. Whether it is taking responsibility for saving energy by turning off machines and lights at the end of the day, researching sustainable materials for our products, or volunteering in the community, we want our employees to feel that they can make a difference.

For 2020, our priority is to build understanding of our new Corporate Responsibility Framework among our employees, and to help them visualise the role they can play in delivering our goals. This will include enhancing the existing opportunities to volunteer in support of relevant causes.

Green innovation

Within the green innovation programme, Aliaxis will develop new technologies, processes and solutions that will help to reduce our own environmental footprint and assist our customers and end-users in limiting their environmental impact. We are beginning to introduce eco-design principles into our innovation processes that consider impacts such as energy use, waste production, raw material use, packaging and hazardous materials.

In 2020, we will define our green innovation scope and develop a Green Innovation Policy. This will establish sustainability criteria for innovation processes based on current pilots and define indicators to track progress.

Towards a circular economy

We can reduce waste and our environmental footprint by identifying and implementing opportunities that advance towards a more circular economy for plastics.

We are committed to increasing the proportion of recycled plastic in our products. Yet significant challenges remain, particularly the lack of infrastructure to collect and process used materials, so they can be safely used in new products.

Increasing the availability of recycled plastics will require collaboration across the value chain and engagement with different stakeholders, to build understanding of the challenges and barriers – and to find workable solutions.

Aliaxis companies are already taking steps to increase their use of recycled materials, and we are playing a leading role in driving industry initiatives. In 2019 for example, Aliaxis executives led the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA), the French Plastics Federation, la Féderation de la Plasturgie et des Composites and the Plastic Pipe Industry Association (PIPA) in Australia. Those organisations are all working on increasing the recycling of plastic waste.

In 2020, Aliaxis will collect further data on how and where recycled materials are already used across our supply chain and seek further opportunities to increase recycled material content in our products.

Energy use and climate change

In 2019, there was an increased focus on the need for all stakeholders to address climate change. For several years, Aliaxis has been working on improving energy efficiency in our factories and measuring our associated greenhouse gas emissions. During 2019, energy efficiency improved by 4% and greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 8%, primarily due to switching to wind sourcing in India.

In 2020, we will also establish new long-term targets and expand our approach into a wider strategy covering energy efficiency, onsite renewable energy generation and procuring electricity from renewable sources.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of everyone working for Aliaxis, including our contractors, is our top priority. We are currently focusing on 7 key risks in our factories and distribution centres (through the application of new Group HSE Standards) and on developing the H&S capabilities of our line managers. By developing a safety-first mindset, our goal is to “Go For Zero” incidents.

In 2019, we introduced two new leading indicators: a Global Standards Implementation Index (GSII) that measures the robustness of our standards implementation process, and Near Miss Reporting (NMR) which measures how many near miss incidents workers report. We were able to significantly increase both, reflecting aligned management of health and safety and an increasingly proactive approach on the part of our personnel.

In 2020 we will continue to focus on the implementation of our Group HSE Standards and on improving safety-related behaviours.

Labour standards

Underpinning our responsibility as an employer is our commitment to respect our employees’ fundamental rights across all locations in which we operate. Tracking relevant employee indicators is key to monitoring performance and identifying any gaps. In 2020 we will continue to improve the completeness and quality of workforce data and establish minimum global labour standards for the Group.

Environmental standards

In addition to addressing sustainable water management, green innovation, circular economy and climate change, we recognise that there are fundamental environmental impacts and risks across our direct operations which need to be managed, particularly in our factories and distribution centres. These include water use, wastewater discharges, air emissions and solid waste disposal.

In many locations environmental management systems are already in place and we use these to minimise our operational impact. These include reducing water use through closed loop cooling systems, reducing waste through onsite recovery of scrap, and preventing offsite air emissions using onsite dust collection and filtration systems.

In 2020, we will develop new Group HSE Standards for waste and water management. In addition, we will focus on water use at facilities in water stressed areas and review our controls to minimise plastic pellet and powder loss at manufacturing sites.

Business ethics

Aliaxis is committed to operating its business ethically and with integrity. Our global Corporate Compliance Programme supports this commitment. The Compliance Programme at Aliaxis provides strong policies, employee training, a dedicated internal web hub, and mechanisms for employees to report ethical concerns, which are then actively followed up.

Key policies include a Code of Conduct, Market Abuse Regulation, Anti-corruption and Anti-bribery, Trade Compliance, Antitrust and Privacy. Trainings to date cover the Code of Conduct, Market Abuse Regulation, Antitrust and Privacy.

In 2020, we will focus on continuing to roll out our Global Corporate Compliance Programme, including compliance reporting and new trainings, notably on Anti-corruption and Anti-bribery, and on Trade Compliance.