We are a global organisation with 4,580 employees across 38 countries*. By being close to our customers around the world, we have a collaborative approach to business, which allows us to respond quickly and efficiently to unmet needs.
Our business is split into four reporting market sectors:
Personal Care: We are the world’s leading supplier of speciality ingredients for the personal care industry. We achieve this by offering our customers expertise in formulation development, claims substantiation, market analysis and regulatory support. Our ingredients are used in a range of applications including skin care, sun care, hair care, colour cosmetics and toiletries.
Life Sciences: Our life sciences market sector comprises three businesses, health care, crop care and seed enhancement. Health care delivers high quality ingredients and formulation expertise to pharmaceutical and nutritional markets, which includes dermatology and animal health. Crop care provides innovative ingredients and formulation expertise to agrochemical companies, enabling them to develop efficient, complex and safe products that help farmers achieve superior yields. Our seed enhancement business has the ability and technology to improve and enhance the quality of seeds and to apply seed treatment products.
Performance Technologies: Performance technologies delivers high added value additives to a wide range of markets. It is organised into four business areas. Energy technologies supplies automotive and industrial lubricants companies, as well as supplying into the oil & gas market. Energy technologies is also developing a niche range of specialist materials for thermal management, catalysts, electronics and batteries. Smart materials serve the coatings, adhesives and speciality polymers markets, including supplying additives into the plastics and packaging sector; and home care serves household product manufacturers, as well as industrial cleaning companies. Our water treatment business supplies innovative surfactants for use in the manufacture of water-soluble polymers as well as other chemistries for the water treatment industry.
Industrial Chemicals: Our industrial chemicals market sector sells a range of co-streams produced during the manufacture of core sector products and undertakes toll processing.
In addition to the above, the group has a Technology Investment Group that identifies and integrates new technology into the global business structure, and a Process Innovation Team that innovates with new and existing processes to improve operational processes.
A list of our principal subsidiary companies that primarily affect the financial statements can be found on page 144-145 of our 2018 Annual Report. No entity included in our financial statements has been excluded from this report.
More information on our organisational structure can be found at www.croda.com.
*As at July 2019
Our sustainability programme is guided by the four global drivers that we consider to be the most important to the future of our Business:
1. Changing Demographics
2. Fragile World
3. Demand for Transparency and Trust
4. Digitalisation and Interconnectedness
As the impact of such global drivers changes the world around us, our sustainability programme must continue to evolve to meet the needs of our stakeholders, especially our customers and their consumers. We review our materiality annually with our Executive Committee and a panel of sustainability experts within the Business who sit on our Group Sustainability Steering Committee. The review takes place in four stages:
1. Identification and prioritisation of key Material Areas within Croda
2. Identification and prioritisation of key Material Areas for our stakeholders
3. Determination of materiality
4. Revision of our sustainability programme
Stage 1 - Identification and prioritisation of key Material Areas within Croda
We first defined our Materiality and Matrix in 2011. In 2013, we conducted an extensive review of our programme by considering the opportunities and threats presented by global drivers of change. As a result, we redefined our programme into 10 Material Areas with longer-term objectives.
In 2015, we conducted an appraisal of these Material Areas. Experts on the Steering Committee and the Executive Committee provided insights on how these Material Areas were received within the business, how they could be improved, where more resource is required, and gaps in the programme with future potential. These suggestions were then considered together with other factors, such as stakeholder priorities.
In 2018 these material areas where reviewed at the annual Sustainability Conference and increased to 14 key areas. At the subsequent Sustainability Steering Committee meeting, members of the committee discussed the position of each Material Area in terms of importance to Croda. The result of this was an order of importance to Croda (from high to very high) of all Material Areas with Our People and Process safety considered of upmost importance for Croda.
Stage 2 - Identification and prioritisation of key Material Areas for our stakeholders
In addition to the insights from the business in 2018, we recruited Corporate Citizenship Consultancy to perform an extensive global stakeholder survey to further inform our internal materiality matrix. Croda provided Corporate Citizenship with external stakeholder contacts comprising customers, suppliers and academic partners, amongst others. Corporate Citizenship conducted 45-minute interviews with each stakeholder, the key highlights of which are as follows:
Further analysis of stakeholder interviews provided the following feedback taken from Corporate Citizens final report:
Customers rate Croda as a very attentive organisation. They saw this as being a facet of its ‘can do’ attitude. A typical comment was:
“Croda visit us on a regular basis – every one or two months. If we have any issues to resolve they provide information and offer to solve the problem.”
Many other customers made similar comments.
One would not have thought regular personal contact with a supplier was all that unusual (though maybe in today’s online world it is!). Whether it is or not, customers portrayed Croda as always aligning itself to the customer priority and actively finding solutions to meet customer-challenges.
A word that was frequently cited unprompted was ‘innovative’. The innovative and entrepreneurial nature of Croda’s business model was seen as a significant plus.
A further word that frequently emerged was ‘natural’. The natural nature of Croda’s products was seen as a net positive in terms of sustainability and crucial by a number of customers to the development of their own product range.
The customers varied considerably in which Material Areas they prioritised. Six customers completed the survey. Five different Material Areas were picked out as number one with only Product Innovation being selected more than once.
We interviewed three investors as part of the exercise. The two represented active investors were looking to identify companies that had business strategies designed to deal with and benefit from key global trends. It was clear that they both recognised Croda as meeting that test.
What was equally striking was that all three had Product Innovation as one of their top two issues.
Across the whole range of stakeholders Product Innovation was accorded greater importance than Croda afforded it in its own ranking exercise.
We deduced from the conversations with the investors that they saw growing emphasis on the difference that products made and the measurement of the total footprint of products, from sourcing through to use and disposal.
Stage 3 - Determination of materiality
Following our internal materiality review and consultation with external stakeholders our key material areas were re-mapped onto our Priority Matrix, which details the areas of most importance to us and our stakeholders. The results from our stakeholder survey informed our updated Priority Matrix (figure. 1), which shows the areas of highest importance to us compared to our stakeholders.
Figure 1. Material Matrix, Croda vs. Stakeholder
Stage 4 - Revision of our Sustainability programme
In 2018, our sustainability programme was again reviewed by the Group Executive Committee with the Global Sustainability Team and the Global Sustainability Steering Committee. No changes were made.
As a result of the annual review of our sustainability programme, the below Aspects were considered material:
|Economic||Environmental||Labour Practices and Decent Work|
|Procurement Practices||Energy||Occupational Health and Safety|
|Anti-corruption||Water||Training and Education|
|Anti-competitive behaviour||Biodiversity||Diversity and Equal Opportunity|
|Effluents and Waste|
|Human Rights||Society||Product Responsibility|
|Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining||Local Communities||Customer Health and Safety|
|Child Labour||Public Policy||Product and Service Labelling|
|Forced or Compulsory Labour||Marketing Communications|
There are no restatements to report.
Since our last report in 2017, there have been some changes to the Group targets.
Our performance against targets and future targets can be found throughout the Sustainability Report.
This report covers the sustainability performance of Croda International Plc for the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. The scope of this report is all wholly owned operations, plus those operations where we have significant management influence due to a majority shareholding. Unless otherwise stated, data provided throughout this report is for continuing operations.
In January 2018 we acquired marine biotechnology specialists Nautilus Biosciences Canada with potential applications in Personal Care and other markets, and in March 2018 we acquired Plant Impact Plc an innovative biostimulant technology for our Crop Care sector. In December 2018 we acquired Brenntag Biosector, a specialist supplier of human and veterinary vaccine adjuvants.
Sustainability data from these acquisitions are not within the scope of this year’s report.
During 2018 we developed a strategic partnership with bio-pharmaceutical company SiSaf a novel drug delivery technology company providing solutions to pharmaceutical development problems across multiple therapeutic areas. Due to the nature of this partnership their activities are not within the scope of our sustainability programme.
The material aspects therefore cover all fully managed operations. The boundary assessment concluded that most material aspects are only material within the organisation. If and where exceptions occur, these are clearly stated within the disclosure.
More information about our operations can be found in our Annual Report.