Case Study
Male employee in protective clothing at sustainable chemical company

Sustainable Chem: New start for the organization

The R&D department of a chemical company becomes a transformation driver. 

A company from the chemical industry wants to strategically align its business more strongly with sustainability. The newly created, central R&D and innovation department is to become the heart and driving force for future development. For this purpose, the entire organization has to be set up accordingly. Together with the management, ROI-EFESO develops an integrated approach to implement the necessary changes in the product portfolio and in areas such as innovation management, planning and budgeting together with executives and employees. Within the shortest possible time, the company should be operating in the new organizational logic

Challenge

A company in the chemical industry wants to strategically focus on sustainability and needs to adapt its organization accordingly.

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ROI-EFESO approach

ROI-EFESO develops a multi-level approach to implement the desired changes at all levels in a timely manner.

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Lessons learned

An integrated approach that actively involves employees helps to operationalize sustainability strategies. In addition to technical issues, the development of the newly created unit's management team is critical to success.

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ROI-EFESO success model

With methodological competence, industry expertise and pragmatic solutions, ROI-EFESO efficiently leads strategic projects to success.

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R&D as a driver for change

A leading specialty chemicals company is comprehensively aligning its strategy and product portfolio with sustainability goals. The executive board is committed to forward-looking resource management and comprehensive performance measurement and reporting. R&D and Innovation plays a key role in this realignment and is expected to become a driver for future development. To enable it to develop its full impact, the innovation departments - previously located in the individual business units - have been combined in a central innovation unit.

In order to leverage the hoped-for synergies and reflect the development initiated at the strategic level in the organization and its processes, it was necessary to fully integrate the newly created central innovation department – among other things by means of integrated planning, central budgeting and project management, and uniform recording of key performance indicators. To ensure that planning and budgeting for the following year could already build on the new structure, the new processes had to be fully implemented within a few months.

Comprehensive anchoring of the sustainability strategy in the organization

To operationalize the sustainability strategy, the company’s management developed with ROI-EFESO an overarching guideline that was divided into four complementary streams. In addition to aligning the organization with sustainability, these included redesigning the budgeting process, creating company-wide technology platforms, and further internationalization. This guideline was broken down to the individual business units. During this, the product portfolio was analyzed, the products evaluated in terms of their sustainability and divided into clusters. The aim is to increase the share of so-called Nextgen Solutions, which have a particularly high sustainability impact and at the same time meet high market demand, to at least 50 percent by 2030. This results in numerous organizational implications and corresponding measures, including for portfolio management, innovation management and capital allocation.

In order to implement the measures promptly and achieve the desired results, ROI-EFESO developed and conducted coordinated workshops for the employees. One component of this series of workshops was to allow the new management team in the area to come together as a unit and to formulate a common vision of goals. This proved to be critical for the sustainable implementation of the new structures. In the course of the project, the company introduced cross-divisional sustainability KPIs and a general catalog of criteria for evaluating projects in terms of their sustainability. In order to optimally establish the new budgeting process, it was benchmarked against state-of-the-art approaches in the industry.

Clear objectives as a success factor

Implementing sustainability strategies effectively and profitably can pose significant challenges for companies. This is especially true for industries with a large ecological footprint such as the chemical industry. In this case, the management succeeded in solving the task holistically together with ROI-EFESO, putting the company in a significantly improved strategic starting position. Two factors were decisive: first, a holistic, empirically based approach was developed based on a clear objective. Second, implementation was accelerated in order to quickly bring the organization into the new, robust state. The clearly defined timeframe of the project with a hard deadline was helpful. 

Industrial sustainability needs strategy and pragmatics

ROI-EFESO supported the client in securely planning and implementing this company-wide project of strategic importance within a tightly defined timeframe. An important success factor was the structured approach with an overarching guideline, complementary project streams and individual workshops for employees with management involvement. The ROI-EFESO consultants not only applied their methodological expertise and industry know-how. They also managed the project pragmatically with a view to the critical deadline. Thus, the central R&D department was integrated into the company within a short period of time and the entire organization was aligned with sustainability.