Building for the future
SustainAgility™ underlines our commitment to exemplary business conduct across all our operations, and we expect our partners across the minerals value chain to share and promote the same principles.
As a company with around 14,000 employees across more than 40 countries, our operations and products have an impact on the world around us. Our goal is to always operate ethically in a rapidly changing world and to create a lasting, positive impact for our employees, communities, local economies and supply chains. Good corporate governance, fair operating practices, responsible purchasing and effective community engagement are integral to our long-term business sustainability and to maintaining our position as an industry leader. We also aim to make our products as sustainable as possible, both in how they are produced and by offering sustainable solutions to our customers.
We need everyone at all levels of Imerys and our value chain to be engaged in building for the future. The UN SDGs and the UN Global Compact provide a framework around which everyone can rally.
It goes without saying that we respect the spirit and the letter of the law of every country in which we operate, but we are committed to going further. We, as a company, must adhere to the most demanding international codes of corporate conduct, such as the United Nations Guiding principles on business and human rights. Communication, transparency and trust underpin all our relationships—whether with our employees, customers, investors, suppliers, partners or other stakeholders—and are central to our open and healthy culture.
We believe in acting with transparency and integrity, and speaking up if something violates our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics or applicable laws and regulations. Speak up! is our global whistleblowing system for reporting suspected incidents of wrongdoing. It is open to all, confidential and ensures that issues raised will be investigated and handled carefully, with respect for the rights of all involved individuals.
Fair operating practices and responsible purchasing
We are committed to exemplary business conduct across the Group through continuous improvement in our compliance program and by working closely with our suppliers to ensure they adopt similarly high ethical standards. The Imerys Code of Business Conduct and Ethics sets out the ethical business direction we and our business partners, including suppliers, must take to sustain our industry leadership and ensure that safety, sustainability, ethics, innovation and profitability all go hand in hand.
Suppliers must comply with our Supplier environmental social and governance (ESG) standards in order to work with Imerys.
Effective community engagement is an essential part of being a sustainable business. Companies have a key role to play in working with communities to help address local economic and social challenges.
Broad-based community support is particularly important to mining companies. Many of our operations have deep roots in their local communities and we are often a major employer of local people in remote areas. This gives us a unique opportunity to create a lasting, positive impact, not just on our employees and their families, but on wider local economies and supply chains, helping to build a better future for everyone.
Imerys operations support education in local communities by tackling illiteracy and encouraging the education of women and girls.
Rethinking the use of the world’s natural resources is a major challenge for the coming decades.
The expectations of our customers, investors and wider society are rapidly changing. The ever-increasing demand for vital minerals to meet the world’s needs means a growing clamor for more sustainable speciality products that reduce negative environmental and social impacts.
Many of our customers are tackling these complex issues and requesting more information and emissions data on our products. They are increasingly embracing circular thinking: looking to optimise available resources; make better use of waste material; and reuse, recycle, remanufacture and extend the lifespan of products to get more out of less.
Responding to these needs and being transparent about the impact of our products is increasingly important to our reputation and creates exciting new business opportunities for Imerys. Unlocking the sustainable potential of minerals to help address major societal and environmental challenges is key to our competitive advantage and long-term success. How we manage our product portfolio is therefore critical to the long-term sustainability of our business.
Assessing our portfolio footprint
We are committed to minimizing the negative environmental and social impact of our products while maximizing the economic benefits for our customers and the social benefits to end-users.
We have embarked on an ambitious journey to screen our existing and future product portfolio against environmental and social criteria from A to Z with our SustainAgility™ Solutions Assessments. This state of the art, science-based method, aligned with international standards, allows us to quantify both the impact and benefits of our products and to differentiate Imerys solutions from less sustainable alternatives.
We have made clear public commitments to extend our SustainAgility™ Solution Assessments to cover 40% of our sales value and ensure at least 50% of new product developments are approved as "SustainAgility Solutions" by the end of 2022.
We are raising awareness about our product impact within Imerys and mobilizing our people to achieve ambitious goals through a systematic approach and concrete action plans. This rigorous approach informs decision making throughout the business, and is central to our approach to innovation and new product development.
We will continue to work closely with our customers to help develop circular economy solutions—eliminating waste, making better use of available resources and extending the lifespan of products—to support them in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our technical know-how puts us in a strong position to innovate and create new market-driven products that help meet global environmental and societal challenges and drive our business forward.