Sustainability begins with product development at Clariant. In order to assess development projects in terms of their absolute and relative advantages, Clariant introduced the »Corporate Sustainability Index« for research and development projects (CSIR&D), which goes beyond commonly used standards and legal requirements and is an integral part of the Portfolio Value Program. This index allows an assessment of the sustainability of new products in comparison to other projects in the pipeline, as early as the beginning of the development phase – mandatory for all Class 1 projects. With this plan, Clariant wants to visualize the sustainability ideas and approaches early and ensure that all of the products developed today are still feasible and competitive tomorrow.
The CSIR&D is used to assess the products to be developed based on the criteria of economic efficiency (Performance), social responsibility (People), and environmental compatibility (Planet). Use and origin of raw materials, the production process and energy efficiency as well as an inspection of the effects of product applications are examples of what is being examined. Based on these results, projects can be compared in terms of their cost-benefit ratios and sustainability. In this way, the CSIR&D helps to optimize the entire development portfolio in the medium- and long-term. The higher the score of a certain project, the more attractive is the project in the context of sustainability. The CSIR&D creates competition between the different projects and provides additional transparency in the process. This motivates the R&D project managers to focus their projects on sustainability targets from the outset. Moreover, the index helps management to allocate resources optimally to projects and to increase the overall sustainability of the company's project and product portfolio.