Our approach to sustainability is founded on ethical business practices, and a strong commitment to both our people and the planet.
In 2020, Aliaxis developed a sustainability framework, based on a materiality analysis to identify where we can make the biggest impact.
This assessment defined three main axes for enhancing our sustainable performance over the coming years:
- Safety as our top priority, central to our robust internal business practices
- High impact areas linked to our core business, such as circular economy, green innovation and recycling
- Our commitment to provide solutions for sustainable water management
By helping to shape a better tomorrow, we want to make a positive difference in the world.
1. Safety as our top priority, central to our robust internal business practices
Health and Safety
The health and safety of everyone working for Aliaxis, including our contractors, is our number one priority. Our current focus is on enhancing the management of our key risks (through the application of 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. We want everyone at Aliaxis to anticipate and eliminate risk before anything happens.
This proactive strategy also means we support the overall wellbeing of our employees. This approach embraces both physical and mental health and extends beyond creating a safe workplace, to also helping employees lead safer and healthier lives outside of work.
Business Ethics & Labour Standards
Complying with all applicable laws and regulations is essential and non-negotiable for us as a business – and foundational for operating responsibly.
The principle of “business ethics” means going beyond legal compliance and adhering to guidelines in a way that is informed by our Core Values. By striving for the highest standards in business ethics, we reinforce confidence and trust.
The basis of our fully integrated set of business ethics guidelines is our Code of Conduct. Other key policies include: 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.
Next to our compliance with business ethics, we also ensure good working conditions for all of our employees, as this is fundamental to our success. As a result, Aliaxis has a Global Labour Standards Policy, aligned to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Core Conventions, which defines the minimum standards that apply for all of our sites and geographies. The policy covers issues including discrimination, child and forced labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, working hours and remuneration.
As a company, we recognise that there are a series of environmental impacts and risks across our operations which need to be managed, particularly in our factories and distribution centres. These include water use, wastewater discharges, air emissions and solid waste management.
Aliaxis has established Global HSE Standards for water management and waste management. Alongside training, communication and monitoring, these standards will help managers to minimise our operational impact, while ensuring business continuity.
For water management, all sites operating in water stressed areas are required to have a Water Management Plan. Other requirements include separating rainwater and industrial wastewater through a colour-coded system to avoid contaminating local water supplies.
For waste management, Aliaxis has joined an industry-wide partnership called “Operation Clean Sweep” (OCS). It is a comprehensive programme that aims to prevent plastic granules from getting into local waters and, eventually, our oceans.
2. High impact areas linked to our core business, such as circular economy, green innovation and recycling
Circular economy & recycling
We can reduce our environmental footprint by identifying and implementing opportunities that advance towards a more circular economy for plastics. At Aliaxis, we for example work with our suppliers to reuse and recycle materials in new products such as HomeTech, a high-performance wastewater system for the building industry.
We are committed to further 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. This is an agenda we are helping to drive through industry associations, by collaborating with our customers and providers of new and innovative solutions.
We are developing new technologies, products, processes and solutions that will help to reduce our own environmental footprint, and assist our customers and end-users in limiting their environmental impact by for example using less raw materials, energy and water. In turn, it accelerates our opportunity to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.
Green innovation is steadily becoming an integrated part of our business and we are introducing life cycle assessment into the innovation process to increase the focus in our innovation and research portfolio on initiatives which use less materials, lower usage costs, are less energy-intensive to produce or operate, extend product life and/or increasing recyclability.
Take the example of the revised design of some of our Italian PVC-U fittings. They are lighter, with improved functionality and 30% less materials usage. This not only lowers CO2 emissions (in production and distribution), but also transportation costs. In a nutshell, green innovation allows us to bring economic and environmental priorities together.
Climate Change & Energy Efficiency
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and everyone must take responsibility for it. Aliaxis is committed to play its part, having Climate Change & Energy Efficiency as one of the focus areas when it comes to sustainability.
In 2020, we began to map the carbon footprint of our value chain to enable us to identify hotspots and we are committed to taking more effective action. Through this mapping process, we have learned that almost 90% of our carbon footprint is related to the raw materials and services we buy.
However, improving our energy efficiency continues to be a focus, not only reducing our carbon footprint but also helping the business by saving energy costs.
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.
That is why we are empowering our people at Aliaxis to make the greatest possible impact to society. Our policies for volunteering and charitable donations will also help us make a meaningful difference to the environment and communities around the world.
3. Our commitment to provide solutions for sustainable water management
Sustainable water management
Sustainable water management is at the heart of what we do at Aliaxis – over 75% of our products are used to distribute, treat or store water. We are in business to help solve global challenges, be that water scarcity, abundance, or lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
Examples of our product portfolio that address some of the key water challenges the world is facing are:
- Providing people with access to clean water and sanitation: borewell systems bringing clean water and sanitation solutions to communities for the first time, wastewater treatment solutions, toilet systems.
- Handling water abundance: stormwater management, water reticulation systems, roof drainage systems, surface drainage solutions.
- Dealing with water scarcity: rainwater harvesting, leak free water supply lines, relining of existing water supply systems, closed-loop systems.
- Ensuring 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.
Governance of sustainability at Aliaxis
A dedicated council (involving both the ExCom in full and internal experts) has been established to oversee the implementation of the Sustainability strategy. This Council meets three times a year and consists of the members of the Aliaxis Executive Committee, Head of Communications, and the leads for each of our CR workstreams. The Council is a decision-making body that oversees the sustainability strategy, approves targets, and drives progress and performance towards these goals. Aliaxis policies relating to Sustainability are reviewed by the Executive Committee, approved by the CEO and each policy is assigned an Executive level policy owner.