6th-Gen Family-Owned Business Receives Sustainability Award

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The J.M. Huber Corporation has won the 2020 IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award, according to a press release.

The company is owned by over 220 family shareholders, who intend to keep it in family hands for generations to come, the press release states. The family has a family council, education academy, and family office, and is entering its sixth generation of family ownership.

Founded by Joseph Maria Huber in 1883 as a dry color producer, the business has evolved into a Portfolio Management Company and a global leader in the markets for hydrocolloids, specialty chemicals and minerals, and engineered woods. It has 4,300 employees in over 20 countries. The company’s principles: Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Sustainability, Ethical Behavior, Respect for People, and Excellence.

Sustainability targets are set at the corporate board level. The board has an EHS & Sustainability (EHS&S) committee, which is chaired by a family member. In addition, the VP of EHS&S is part of the executive team, and sustainability achievements in the organization are recognized by the Mike Huber Award and the EHS&S Outstanding Performance Award.

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The 2018-2022 sustainability strategy, “Prosperity with a Purpose,” includes efforts to ensure the safety, diversity, and inclusion strategy, “I belong at Huber” (People); industrial-scale solar projects at manufacturing plants (Planet); and Six Sigma for process improvement (Profit). Worldwide, Huber obtains more than 30% of its energy from renewable sources; it has an enterprise-wide goal of reducing energy, water consumption, and CO2 emissions by 10% by 2022. A number of Huber sites meet the criteria for zero-waste-to-landfill status.

The sustainability strategy was also aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the “GRI” standards for sustainability reporting. Thanks to these efforts, Huber performs Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and has created its own “Rapid Screening Sustainability Score Card”, which is the sustainability assessment used in R&D. This is shared with clients, referred to as “growth partners,” with the goal of co-creating common sustainability-based solutions to business challenges.

Huber’s “sustainable network” strategy also includes a whole range of outward-looking sustainability activities. Huber continually assesses the sustainability performance of its supply chain partners to ensure that they are aligned with its People, Planet and Profit objectives. Furthermore, transparency in the supply chain is ensured through the careful evaluation of “Tier 1” suppliers’ sustainability credentials. Finally, in accordance with the Huber Principles, at least 1% of operating profit is donated to philanthropic activities every year.