This goal intends, among other things, to end global hunger, secure global food security and promote sustainable agriculture. This goal is closely linked to other goals of the 2030 Agenda, as hunger and food security have a strong impact on health, education, poverty reduction and the sustainable use of natural resources. By achieving this goal, the basic needs of people around the world should be better met in ordert to create a sustainable and equitable future.
Our commitment to SDG 2
We offer solutions to the issue of hunger and, by offering a variety of plant nutrients, contribute to achieving necessary yield increases on the global, limited agricultural land. K+S is also aware that this topic is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
As a fertilizer producer, K+S sees itself as part of the solution in overcoming this challenge. Against this background, K+S launched the "Growth for Uganda" project in 2013 together with a partner, the Sasakawa Africa Association. The focus of the project was on the efficient use of resources through consulting experience on plant nutrition. Further training courses are held on a regular basis. Initial results have already shown an increase in crop yield and an opportunity for small farmers to trade with the production surpluses. In 2016, the topic was also refreshed by a so-called Future Food Forum. This World Food Day, which K+S organized, was intended to strengthen active dialogue with key national and international stakeholders from politics, science and NGOs in order to increase the fight against hunger even more efficiently.
Good health and well-being
SDG 3 intends to ensure healthy lives for all people and promote their well-being. It targets the entire health sector and is divided into 13 specific sub-goals. These include maternal and child health; communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis; and non-communicable diseases, such as cancers and diabetes. Other subgoals address the health impacts of pollution, tobacco use, and alcohol, as well as research and development of medicines and vaccines. In general, SDG 3 aims to expand universal health coverage and provide affordable and simplified access to quality and essential vaccines and medicines.
Our commitment to SDG 3
The health of our employees is of great importance. At K+S, we are committed to the development of health-promoting working conditions and live modern and comprehensive occupational health and safety.
Our occupational health management (OHM) is composed of workplace health promotion and prevention. On the one hand, it aims to make work itself healthier, for example through ergonomic workplaces or a concept for occupational safety. On the other hand, it aims to promote individual health and includes measures such as courses on fitness, back health, nutrition or stress management, campaigns on colorectal cancer screening and blood donation, and offers of flu vaccinations.
The aim of our occupational health management is to maintain and improve employee health and achieve a high level of job satisfaction by optimizing working conditions and enabling employees to lead active and healthy lives.
In addition, we make a further contribution to achieving SDG 3 through our products that go into pharmaceuticals. With our products, we promote access to high-quality medicines.
SDG 5 addresses gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to empower. The aim is not only to put an end to discrimination and violence against women and girls, but also to recognise unpaid care work and the promotion of shared domestic responsibility.
Our Commitment to SDG 5
We are actively committed to gender equality and have set a target for women in leadership positions. We have set targets for the proportion of women in the first and second management levels below the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft, which are to be achieved by the end of 2025. A target of 30% was set for both the first and second management levels below the Management Board.
Clean water and sanitation
SDG 6 aims to ensure global availability and sustainable management of water and guarantee adequate sanitation for all. Water is one of the most precious commodities for us humans and for nature. We need it not only for drinking or cooking, but also for important basic needs such as personal hygiene. Water is also an indispensable commodity for sanitation.
Our commitment to SDG 6
Water is also an important and necessary resource for us, as we have to use it in many processes to manufacture our products. Production processes and in the area of tailings piles give rise to saline wastewater, which we have to dispose of. K+S is constantly working on measures to reduce the volume of saline wastewater and on alternative disposal options.
A central measure in this regard is the planned storage of highly concentrated saline water underground in the Springen mine field (Merkers mine). This is intended to enable the disposal of saline process water in the future. In addition, the Unterbreizbach (Thuringia) and Wintershall (Hesse) sites of the Werra Verbundwerk will be converted to a dry treatment process by 2026/2027. The switch to dry processing at these plants will reduce the volume of process water by more than 1 million m³ per year from 2028.
In this area of action, K+S has set itself the goal of generating 500,000 m³ less saline process water per year from potash production in Germany from 2030 onwards than in 2017 (remuneration-relevant KPI). In addition, there is to be no more discharge of process water from the end of 2027.
Decent work and economic growth
SDG 8 addresses the promotion of lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. In particular, the promotion of sustainable economic development, the creation of jobs, the improvement of working conditions and the elimination of forced labour is of great importance.
Our commitment to SDG 8
In particular, the health and safety of employees is close to K+S's heart and describes one of the company's values. Wherever we identify hazards as well as work-related stresses and health risks, we actively implement health and safety measures. As a preventive measure, we inform our employees about training courses and campaigns. The worldwide introduction of the management system "Safe with System" based on ISO 45001 by 2022 ensures standardized and continuous improvement. In addition, we pursue the goal of remunerating our employees in a performance-oriented, market-oriented and comparable manner, which can be guaranteed, for example, through regular market comparisons.
With our "Saint Barbara" occupational health and safety award, we honor good ideas in occupational health and safety. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of miners.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 9 addresses building resilient infrastructure, promoting broad-based and sustainable industrialization, and supporting sustainable industrialization. This will include improving access to financial services for small industrial and other enterprises and increasing and ensuring their inclusion in value chains.
Our commitment to SDG 9
K+S has its own research facility, the Analytics and Research Center (ARC). In our state-of-the-art laboratories, we offer optimal working conditions. In addition to the development of new products, our employees are also involved in the improvement of salt extraction and processing processes as well as the application of specially adapted analytical methods. Our aim is to make processes more efficient and to improve the quality of existing products. In cooperation with external cooperation partners and research institutions, our experts deal with e.g. with the continuous development of the extraction and refinement of raw materials for potash and salt.
Furthermore, in November 2019, K+S decided to establish the Innopark, an innovation center for the testing and establishment of new business areas, at the Sigmundshall site, which is intended to complement research and development in the search for new markets and business models. Through the innovation space, the research-based companies can benefit from each other: For example, flexible and individual services provided by K+S help companies to focus their entire concentration on their core business. Innopark is geared to the requirements of innovative companies in all phases of development.
Responsible consumption and production
SDG 12 aims to promote sustainable consumption and production to reduce environmental impacts, use resources more efficiently and improve people's quality of life. It calls for measures to promote resource efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, environmentally friendly technologies, and waste prevention through recycling. Likewise, companies are encouraged to incorporate sustainable practices into their business models. According to the UN, this includes environmentally sound management of chemicals and all waste throughout the life cycle, taking into account agreed international frameworks, and significantly reducing waste generation.
Our commitment to SDG 12
As a supplier of mineral products, the generation of liquid and solid mining residues cannot be completely avoided. K+S makes great efforts and uses state-of-the-art processes to keep the impact of production on the environment as low as possible. K+S is continuously working to minimize the unavoidable impact on nature associated with the extraction and processing of raw materials. From 2030 onwards, K+S will be in a position to use three million tons of residues annually for purposes other than stockpiling, which will be made possible through an alternative use of the tailings and the avoidance of residues by increasing the yield of raw materials.
We prevent the expansion of waste production by shipping the majority of our product unpackaged. For example, around 90% of our salt products are loaded directly into containers and containers are not used at all.
Furthermore, a responsible approach to the disposal of our waste is very important to us. As a certified waste management company, REKS, which was founded together with REMEX, offers solutions in the areas of waste disposal, covering of potash tailings piles as well as complete services relating to the recycling of aluminum slag containing salt.
SDG 13 aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts in the best possible way. The goal recognizes that climate change is a problem of great urgency with serious consequences for people and the environment. It aims to mobilize governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals to collectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Our commitment to SDG 13
K+S sets global standards for environmental and climate protection. Examples include the development of low-emission explosives and the recovery of nutrients from production water. In addition, we have already been able to reduce our direct emissions by 80% since 1990 and support the Paris Climate Agreement and climate neutrality by 2045 in Germany. To this end, we have set ourselves an initial interim target with which we aim to reduce our emissions by a further 10% by 2030. We are currently developing a transformation plan for adaptation to climate change for our respective production sites.
K+S wants to operate much more sustainably and is committed to its responsibility towards people, the environment and the economy in the regions in which K+S operates. The aim is to promote life for generations with our products and to be a pioneer for environmentally friendly and sustainable mining with our know-how.
Life on land
SDG 15 stands for the goal of sustainable development "life on land". It aims to protect, restore and sustainably manage terrestrial ecosystems, forests and biodiversity. It addresses the various challenges associated with deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss and land gradation. The United Nations warns: SDG 15 will not be achieved if our relationship with our natural environment does not change dramatically. The destruction of natural livelihoods and biodiversity threatens current and future generations. However, if SDG 15 is not achieved, about 80 percent of all other SDGs are also at risk.
Our contribution to SDG 15
Like any raw material production, potash mining is associated with unavoidable interventions in nature. In doing so, K+S makes great efforts and uses state-of-the-art processes to keep the impact of production on the environment as low as possible. In addition, K+S is involved in voluntary nature conservation initiatives at the sites.
For example, nesting sites for rare birds of prey are created on factory facades or in forests. K+S compensates for unavoidable interventions in nature and landscape with so-called compensatory and replacement measures, such as quarters for endangered hazel mice or the relocation of dozens of anthills.