What developments have we seen in sustainability over the past few years, and what are the conflicts between sustainability and growth? These and many other questions were discussed by Stefan Buchholz, head of Creavis, in the recent Creavis Lounge in Hanau with economist Michael von Hauff of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and Matthias Hau, President of the Eastern Europe Region and head of Evonik’s European sites. About 100 guests were present at the event.
Moderated by Stefan Haver, head of Evonik’s Corporate Responsibility central division, the debate explored various aspects of the main theme, such as the perception of sustainability in different regions of the world. The experts agreed that consideration of sustainability was often possible only in a situation where basic needs had been satisfied: In many regions, a certain degree of wellbeing would have to be achieved before any thought could be given to sustainability. On the other hand, companies like Evonik bring their sustainability standards with them when they come to these countries, and so set standards.
Also discussed were sustainability and innovation; that the two need not be incompatible is clear from the example of Creavis. The strategic research unit has expanded its I2P process to include People and Planet (in addition to Profit); all research is carried out also with these two factors in mind.
In addition to visiting the Creavis Lounge, those interested had the opportunity to learn more about the research unit at the Creavis Roadshow, which afforded insights into Creavis’s work. What are the projects on which Creavis is currently working? Who is working there, and what’s on their minds? How do the ideas and innovations arise that expand Evonik’s businesses and open up new business options for the Group? In addition to many employees at the Hanau site, invitees to Lifecycle Management Day, taking place simultaneously, also took advantage of this opportunity.
Creavis uses the Roadshow format to regularly inform Evonik employees about its work, both at its Marl headquarters and at other sites of the Group. The aim is to make sure that projects are not carried out behind closed doors, but are transparent.
The object of the Lounge dialog, also a regular feature, is to encourage joint exploration beyond relatively narrow individual horizons. Creavis frequently invites partners, creative out-of-the-box thinkers, scientists, and all those excited by innovation to promote collaboration and exchange within the company as well as with external partners, thus broadening employees’ own perspectives.