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1. Human Capital

Clariant’s people are at the core of the company’s long-term success. To attract and develop top talents, Clariant follows a structured approach, from recruitment and onboarding to learning and performance management. In addition, Clariant ensures employees’ safety and supports employee engagement to foster a culture of learning and appreciation. In 2020, Clariant worked on multiple projects to realize the full potential of its workforce and stayed focused on its long-term goal of zero accidents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clariant took all necessary efforts to minimize adverse health effects.

With completion of the divestments of Business Line Healthcare Packaging and Business Unit , and divestment expected by 2021, Clariant’s size will be reduced by one-third. To ensure the smaller, less complex company functions appropriately, Clariant will reduce its workforce by approximately 1 000 positions by the end of 2022. About one-third of those positions are leaving Clariant with the divested businesses. The reduction of additional positions will include natural fluctuation and early retirement wherever possible. Where redundancies cannot be avoided, the process will be handled with the utmost care and social responsibility, and in accordance with relevant local legislation. Consultations with the respective local employee representatives are already in progress.








Total 2020




Change in %

Total staff (in FTE)


11 342


1 8931


13 2351


17 223



Employees (in FTE)


7 046


1 0201


8 0661


10 159





4 619




5 415 (67%)1


6 894 (68%)





2 427




2 651 (33%)1


3 265 (32%)



Workers (in FTE)


4 296




5 1691


7 064





3 945




4 799 (93%)1


6 603 (93%)









369 (7%)1


461 (7%)



Turnover rate (%)










Staff in Research & Development (in FTE)








>1 050


Personnel expenditures (in CHF m)3


1 034




1 306


1 478




Excluding Business Unit Masterbatches


Excluding Business Unit Masterbatches. If the Business Unit was included, the turnover rate would amount to 11.2%.


Including own employees and external staff


1 Middle East & Africa


Compared to 2019, the relative distribution of the workforce between regions remained almost unchanged, with minor decreases in North America (–1.9 percentage points) and Middle East & Africa (–1.5 percentage points) and minor increases in Europe (1.7 percentage points). Changes in Asia-Pacific and Latin America were less than 1%.  SEE FIGURE 001

The age and gender structure of Clariant employees also remained constant. In 2020, 14% of employees were younger than 30 years, 59% were 30–50 years old, and 27% were older than 50 years. SEE FIGURE 002 The total Clariant workforce consisted of 77% men and 23% women. The number of full-time equivalents declined by 23% to 13 235 in 2020.

1.1. Talent Attraction and Development

Talent attraction and development is a central factor in Clariant’s future business success. To support this priority, the company follows a structured approach, from recruitment and onboarding to learning, talent, and performance management. In 2020, Clariant worked on a broad range of projects along the entire employee journey to realize the full potential of its workforce.








Total 2020




Change in %

Number of people hired








1 570











1 080














Number of people who left the company


1 272




1 522


1 817









1 085


1 322














Number of employees in the local, regional, and global talent pools


1 009




1 096


1 191



Global management positions (ML 1 – 5) filled with internal candidates (%)










Total training hours


101 7582


11 4322


113 1902


205 861



Number of training participants


9 919


2 711


12 630


13 891



Training hours (Ø per participant)











Number of employees with standardized performance management process


6 610


2 720


7 335


10 063




Including 104 FTEs hired related to the acquisition of Clay Industrial Minerals Co Ltd


A majority of in-person trainings was cancelled due to the pandemic and related travel restrictions.

1.1.1. Recruiting and training statistics 2020

Clariant strives to attract people who fit with its values and meet the defined role requirements. In 2020, Clariant hired 918 new employees (271 women and 647 men). With 36.5% of new hires, Asia/Pacific accounted for the largest share of new employees, followed by Europe, which accounted for 33.1% of new hires.

Clariant’s performance management process ensures that strategic business objectives are translated into the employee’s day-to-day activities. In 2020, 7 335 employees followed a standardized performance management process.

Overall, 12 630 employees participated in a training recorded in the central learning management system, for a total of 113 190 training hours. This represents a reduction of around 45% compared to 2019 and could be attributed to the effects of the pandemic. Clariant usually conducts trainings in the first quarter of the year, a time in 2020 when many countries worldwide went into lockdowns. Travel to external locations was not possible and the company had to postpone and cancel numerous trainings. In addition, virtual events, which took place instead, can usually be completed in less time. The average number of training hours per employee was hence significantly reduced to 9.0 hours per employee.

More than 1 100 talents were discussed in 50 talent reviews across the organization, and concrete development steps and career measures were defined to be implemented in 2021. The reward for Clariant’s systematic talent management activities is a very high talent retention rate of 94% in 2020, the same as in 2019. Clariant promoted internal candidates into 97% of senior management positions and filled 91% of group management positions with the internal population.

1.1.2. Swiftly adapting recruiting and development processes

In 2020, the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic called for agility and pragmatism. Clariant immediately intensified the uptake of digital tools to ensure that business-critical positions were continually filled, and invested the time needed to develop trust with candidates in these uncertain times. Clariant’s digital interviewing platform, which was introduced in 2018, facilitates the application process for candidates from around the world. Techniques like videoconferencing and asynchronous video interviews offer flexibility for both applicants and hiring managers, saving time and costs. The platform proved essential during the pandemic.

Clariant also quickly switched talent development procedures to a digital learning landscape with multiple new offerings and redesigned existing trainings. Where needed, traditional face-to-face discussions were replaced with combinations of virtual/face-to-face or fully virtual formats to not interrupt the continuous growth of Clariant’s employees.

1.1.3. Attracting and assessing more candidates

The digital interviewing platform also allows Clariant to improve the quality of hires by assessing more potential candidates than traditional interviewing would allow. Talents can be assessed on a more level field by ensuring every candidate is evaluated with the exact same selection criteria. Traditionally, talent attraction relies on predefined profiles targeting limited talent pools, which can lead to the exclusion of high-potential candidates who are not effectively evaluated. Moving forward, Clariant will redefine and prioritize critical desired skills and create a flexible employee value proposition that corresponds to a wider audience.

1.1.4. Recruiting for the digital transformation

Acquiring the expertise that can support Clariant into its digital future remained a focus in 2020. The company pursues this through strategic partnerships with renowned universities and institutions such as the Impact Hub in Basel, and at virtual lectures, tech talks, and working circles. Clariant is increasingly seeking the so-called »hybrid« skillset – a combination of digital know-how and traditional job skills that is challenging to find on the market. Programs such as the »Digital Enablement Learning Journey« – which aims to upskill existing employees in topics such as advanced analytics and data science – will enable Clariant to decrease its reliance on outside expertise.

1.1.5. Recruiting in the Chinese job market

WeChat, the targeted digital campaign rolled out via Clariant’s Chinese social network, was advanced in 2020 by further broadcasting Clariant’s brand identity and enhancing the integration of the network with local job boards to attract external talents. Through this initiative, Clariant received 7 907 views and 76 applications in 2020.

1.1.6. Key position placement and succession planning

Clariant maintains a strong talent pipeline and a robust succession planning system. Its approach to ensuring effective placement into leadership positions and fostering individual and organizational effectiveness is both active and predictive. In 2020, the organization held 58 talent reviews and mapped 202 Senior Management roles (ML 1 – 4) with potential successors. In addition, seven global job family talent pools were analyzed to identify implications of succession gaps and mitigation measures per region, and seven job family career paths were designed. Such career paths illustrate the steps needed to progress from a current to a key position within the organization for both managers and talents. Clariant’s dynamic placement process was evident in a 38% promotion rate for senior managers in 2020 and an average tenure in a role before promotion of only three years in the general talent population.

1.1.7. Assessing and developing leadership skills

Clariant’s assessment center and capability development program provide aspiring leaders with clarity on requirements for various job levels and offer an assessment to identify development opportunities at organizational and individual levels. In 2020, the focus was on employees from the Human Resources and Finance departments, with over 100 individuals proposed for evaluation. Since the program relies on face-to-face exercises, schedules had to be adjusted according to local COVID-19 restrictions. Despite these challenges, 101 employees were able to participate, a higher number compared to 2019.

Leadership trainings at Clariant


The Pioneer Program was established in 2017 to enhance organizational understanding as well as leadership and communication skills of aspiring leaders by exposing them to short-term assignments outside their area of responsibility.


In the Mentoring Program, younger professionals get the opportunity to team up with experienced leaders to strengthen leadership skills and encourage knowledge transfer across functions and age groups. Since the inception of the program, more than 124 mentees participated in the program.


This training provides a toolkit for efficient recruiting and supports line managers in making the right hiring decisions. The program is offered to all hiring managers.


This training is designed for production managers and shift leaders. It covers basic leadership instruments that enable managers to effectively lead and motivate teams and manage change. The interactive training is facilitated by a dedicated Learning Manager and repeatedly receives outstanding reviews from participants.


This intensive course focuses on communication skills necessary to be a successful and inspiring leader. The participants either attend the Executive Performance Training, which is designed for cross-functional groups of six people, or the Inspirational Leadership Creative Communication Program, which is open to larger groups.


This program helps leaders apply measures that enhance trust within their team, improve the quality of decision-making, and strengthen the execution of commitments. The program was specifically designed to help leaders build high-performing teams.


This initiative identifies talents, develops key innovation skills, and assigns innovation professionals to suitable Business Units. Clariant also defined career paths for its innovation professionals and developed a learning curriculum focused on innovation-specific topics. So far, 50 roles were mapped and more than 60 proposals for learning measures, such as trainings and on-the-job learnings, were collected. In 2020, 86% of all innovation talents participated in development measures, including coaching, mentoring, and social learning.

1.1.8. Developing a holistic and adaptable approach to change

The pandemic has reinforced the value of holistic change frameworks that can adapt to a variety of developments. In 2020, Clariant started the initiative Change Management@Clariant to support the company’s readiness to embrace change, especially large organizational transformation projects, while maintaining agility and smooth operations. The initiative, including the upskilling of key personel, initial application of the framework to pilot projects, and the organization-wide rollout of the general framework, is expected to be concluded by the end of 2021.

1.1.9. Maximizing effectiveness of talent development programs

Clariant offers a wide range of formal and informal programs for high-potential employees. The company continued to provide various well-established leadership trainings including, for example, the »License to Hire« program, which is offered to all hiring managers, and the »Authentic Leadership Training.«

Since its inception in 2018, 154 talents have been reviewed as part of the Innovation Talent Management Review (ITMR) initiative. The third ITMR round was completed in 2020. Additional informal learning and development initiatives include learning communities, peer coaching sessions, and a coaching program led by an externally certified consultant that focuses on behavioral change.

To ensure benefits of all programs and initiatives are maximized, the company will target several aspects in the coming years. These include: early identification of talents and increased visibility of development opportunities; connectedness of leaders and development of synergies across Business Units and Service Units; support and tools enabling talents to be the protagonists of their own career development; and change readiness.

GRI Online Report

1.2. Employee Engagement

Clariant’s people are at the core of the company’s sustainable value creation. They are an invaluable competitive factor in developing, improving, protecting, and delivering Clariant’s products and services. Therefore, Clariant is committed to providing a company culture of learning, engagement, and appreciation for employees on all levels.

1.2.1. Increasing flexibility during COVID-19

Keeping employees engaged and motivated in times of change and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was one of Clariant’s major objectives in 2020. As a response, the company offered all employees flexible working conditions. To help employees work from home effectively and stay connected to their team remotely, Clariant issued a supplemental »Pulse Survey« in May, focusing specifically on the impacts employees were experiencing due to the pandemic. The survey received an extraordinary level of participation and engagement and showed very high levels of satisfaction with Clariant’s communication and crisis management, employee engagement efforts, and ability to effectively collaborate during the lockdowns. The company also implemented short, bite-sized learning offerings targeting self-directed learning, called learning nuggets, as well as virtual engagement sessions on topics such as resilience, change agility, and leading remote teams.

Clariant will issue a global flexible working policy in 2021, which will provide guidance and adaptability in finding the right work-life balance for employees and line managers, both currently and post pandemic.

1.2.2. Employee Survey

In November 2020, Clariant conducted its second biannual »Pulse Survey.« Designed according to best practices recommended by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the survey is invaluable in understanding the drivers and current levels of employee engagement. The survey addressed the entire management-level population, consisting of 750 employees, of which 60% responded. Since this represents a different employee pool than in 2018, the survey results cannot be directly compared. The company will conduct an employee survey with the broader Clariant population again in 2021.

The responses revealed that Clariant’s overall strategy, goals, and sustainability strategy are well understood and supported by the management. Surveyed employees feel safe and energetic at work, and a clear majority enjoy their work, are proud to work for Clariant, and would recommend the company as an employer to others. While fewer participants than in previous years reported a good work-life balance in 2020, the survey confirmed and even exceeded the high scores of Clariant’s previous pulse survey on the company’s management of circumstances resulting from the pandemic.

1.2.3. Promoting Clariant’s global Employment Policy

Clariant ensures that it stays open to new ways of working, offers a global workplace based on common values, and creates a sense of purpose for all employees across regions and age groups. Clariant’s global Employment Policy, adopted in 2018, describes what fair working conditions mean in daily practice, underlining the importance of employee collaboration. It clearly commits to equal development and promotion of all people across every organizational level and age group.

The policy is featured in the section of Clariant’s corporate website. Underpinning the importance of the topic for the company, Clariant’s Head of Group HR Services acts as the main contact person for all incoming requests on that site. In 2020, the policy’s positive, inspiring language was reflected in career pages, job descriptions, LinkedIn subpages, external employer review websites, and responses to external questionnaires.

1.2.4. A culture of recognition and appreciation

The company’s global Benefits Policy, adopted in 2018, provides a consistent framework for benefits programs across the organization.

Global Benefits Policy

This policy sets binding guidelines for benefits regarding flexible working, healthcare, travel, well-being, retirement, accidents, and death, while leaving some flexibility to adjust programs according to country-specific circumstances.

Clariant also maintains a formalized Recognition Framework with monetary and non-monetary recognition programs. While recognition is awarded for achievements, the company’s commitment to appreciation also acknowledges people and their behavior. An Appreciation@Clariant survey, conducted in 2020, to which 250 employees across regions, Business and Service Units responded, showed that Clariant lives up to its strong culture of appreciation. 73% of participants indicated that they express appreciation to their colleagues multiple times during the week, or even daily. In fact, 90% indicated that they consider timely appreciation as key to positive relationships. To further enhance the non-monetary recognition landscape, Clariant introduced new functionalities to the MySuccess platform in 2020. Employees can now nominate colleagues for an Appreciation Award through the platform and award Badges for a variety of reasons. These kind gestures have proven to be capable of fostering motivation, a sense of accomplishment, and altruistic working relationships among employees.

Recognition Framework

This framework includes monetary and non-monetary recognition programs such as the Special Recognition Award, the Appreciation Award, and Day-to-Day Recognition. Those programs aim at highlighting and rewarding outstanding achievements while encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate the contributions of their colleagues.

1.2.5. Elevating Clariant’s company brand and culture

Clariant’s people are an invaluable asset in promoting the company as an attractive workplace. True brand ambassadorship among employees can only be achieved through a company culture of well-being, inclusion, learning, and engagement. »Learning Friday,« a new initiative providing learning and bonding opportunities to employees, was introduced in China in 2020. The virtual learning program received positive feedback from both participants and the management team. Another particularly successful engagement program in 2020 was »E3,« Clariant India’s engagement initiative. It included team challenges, learning sessions, happiness and wellness initiatives, and even a lockdown support initiative, allowing employees to bond even while working from home. Lastly, to encourage employees to recruit new candidates from their professional networks, Clariant grants cash rewards for successful hires that arise through its referral program. In 2020, the company expanded the program to additional countries.

GRI Online Report

Learning Friday

A virtual learning program, delivered during Friday lunch time, focuses on management competencies. The program offers new ways of learning that help employees adapt to working from home, foster a learning culture, and enhance engagement during challenging times.

1.3. Occupational Health, Safety, and Well-being

In 2020, the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 dominated corporate discussions of health, safety, and well-being. Clariant took all necessary efforts to keep its employees safe and thanks to its decisive action, the company managed to minimize adverse health effects and prevent internal outbreaks. Clariant also kept track of its long-term goal of zero accidents, substantiating its commitment to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of all employees.

1.3.1. Responding to COVID-19

For Clariant, the key priority throughout the global health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus was protecting the health of all employees. The company enforced strong hygiene protocols, provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary, and sourced surgical masks to ensure safe working conditions. Surgical masks were also provided to employees for private use and Clariant implemented a varied strategy for remote working. The company also conducted a pulse survey to connect with employees, following up with a second survey six months later. The survey revealed the majority of employees felt well-informed, agreed with Clariant’s approach to crisis management, and was able to effectively collaborate with colleagues. To quickly adjust to a changing environment, including continually updated scientific advice and legal regulations, Clariant developed over 30 different response scenarios to address potential developments in the pandemic’s spread. The scenarios were approved by the Group Emergency Management (GEM) and communicated to regions, countries, and sites.

Since the pandemic started, Clariant has been offering comprehensive support to its employees around the globe, covering topics such as how to work from home, how to stay healthy, and how to stay in contact with the team. Clariant relied on an approach commonly developed by the Human Resources, Corporate Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, and Corporate Communications departments. Driven by facts and enhanced with uplifting announcements and executive messages to employees and external , Clariant fostered the same level of knowledge among all involved. To sustain the corporate culture and bonding, Clariant introduced virtual coffee breaks, set up a new social intranet, promoted virtual running groups, and raised awareness for social platforms such as Yammer. Any questions and concerns regarding the virus were collected and responded to in a digital COVID hub, which employees could reference as needed. Apart from internal measures, Clariant also granted external support: To alleviate availability issues in the midst of the virus outbreak, Clariant delivered approximately 80 tons of disinfectant free of charge to Swiss medical insitutions. The company managed to retain the sustainability focus embedded in its DNA even in these times of turmoil: It sourced the main ingredient for the disinfectant, ethanol, from CropEnergies, the largest European producer of renewable ethanol.

1.3.2. Tracking health and safety

Clariant utilizes dashboards for occupational health and safety reporting. All sites are required to report immediately after a lost time accident or restricted work case occurs, which prevents the affected employee from working for at least one day. For those cases, investigation reports are mandatory.








Total 2020




Change in %

Lost time accidents1











Lost time accident rate (LTAR)2











Number of recognized occupational illnesses











Lost workdays (LWD) caused by occupational accidents






1 229





Lost workday rate (LWDR)3











Process safety event rate4











Number of work-related fatal accidents












Number of occupational accidents with at least one day’s work lost


LTAR: accidents with at least 1 day lost/200 000 work hours


LWDR: loss of work days caused by occupational accidents in relation to 200 000 hours of work


Process safety event rate: ratio of the number of process safety events in relation to 200 000 work hours

In 2020, the overall health and safety performance at Clariant’s sites further improved. The number of lost time accidents decreased by 7.1% from 2019 to 2020, with one case concerning a supervised (non-Clariant) worker. In addition, six lost time accidents occurred involving contractors, which is a strong decrease compared to the ten accidents in 2019. 81% of all recorded injuries required first aid; 16% needed medical treatment; and 3% of recorded injuries were restricted work cases. The most frequent injury types in 2020 were sprains, bruises, and contusions (23%), bone fractures (23%), and open wounds (15%). Chemical burns and burn injuries each accounted for 8%. Internal injuries, poisonings, and limb losses each accounted for 4%. The remaining 11% were unspecified injuries. Neither any work-related fatal accidents nor recognized occupational illnesses were recorded in 2020.

Safety Counts! Cards

Clariant’s Safety Counts! cards also play an important role in ensuring health and safety, helping employees document critical safety situations and the circumstances that led to them. Improvement measures taken are shared locally, enabling the production teams to build best practices and promote a preventive mindset throughout the company.

The lost time accident rate (LTAR) slightly increased to 0.16 accidents per 200 000 hours of work, as compared to 0.15 in 2019. The total number of lost workdays increased significantly from 661 in 2019 to 1 229 in 2020, representing an increase of over 85%. This indicates that job-related injuries were more severe in 2020 than in 2019. Accordingly, the lost workday rate (LWDR) increased to 7.39 workdays lost per 200 000 hours of work. On the other hand, the number of reported Process Safety Events decreased to 60 in 2020, compared to 92 cases in 2019. The Process Safety Event rate decreased from 0.48 in 2019 to 0.39 in 2020.


AvoidingAccidents@Clariant is a global program that creates safe working environments, raises awareness of safety, and illustrates Clariant’s focus on prevention. Since the start of the program in 2007, the lost time accident rate (LTAR) has declined from 0.92 to 0.16.

1.3.3. Cohesive occupational health and safety management programs

Occupational health, safety, and well-being at Clariant means much more than wearing necessary safety gear. It is a commitment to tackle safety in a comprehensive way and ensure that every employee returns home after work as healthy as they arrived. The most effective way to prevent occupational accidents and achieve the goal of zero accidents is by implementing a set of cohesive management programs and leadership measures, among which are AvoidingAccidents@Clariant, Safety Moments, and Safety Counts Cards.

Safety Moments

Clariant launched the Safety Moments initiative in 2017 to strengthen its safety-oriented leadership culture. Safety Moments are brief reminders of important occupational health and safety-related issues and are shared at the beginning of meetings, among other distribution channels. Managers can rely on customized handouts with relevant information for each employee group, distributed via an internal platform. More than 250 Safety Moments are already available and in 2020, several Safety Moments related to COVID-19 were developed and shared.

1.3.4. Fostering employee well-being

Promoting workplace health and well-being is a local responsibility that is addressed with tailored programs in the different regions. Clariant offers free psychological counseling and stress management trainings in many countries. Employee assistance programs analyze and evaluate mental strain, educate employees on mental health risks, and ensure the development of relief strategies for affected employees. In 2020, health and well-being was included in the Corporate Human Resources strategy. Due to the crisis caused by COVID-19, Clariant introduced virtual resilience and change agility programs in its new digital Clariant Academy. Furthermore, Clariant’s Corporate Human Resources started the development of a new home-office policy.

1.3.5. Ensuring decent workplaces

To protect employees from work-related hazards, every workplace is subject to a systematic, multistep assessment. This includes workplace ergonomics, illumination, noise, indoor air quality, as well as humidity and temperature. If defined minimum requirements are not met, Clariant takes measures to redesign the workplace.

1.3.6. Promoting work-life balance

Clariant’s employees are offered a range of benefits designed to enhance work-life balance. These include the provision of fitness facilities and contributions to external fitness programs, flexible working hours, home-office arrangements, childcare facilities and contributions to external childcare, as well as support for employees taking care of elderly family members.

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