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Making the city a better place to live in


Paul Lindblad poses with what he wrote about his feelings on being awarded the Magnolia Gold Award.

Paul Lindblad, president of Wacker Chemicals China, has been honored with the 2018 Magnolia Gold Award for his outstanding work, his emphasis on social responsibility and his contribution to Shanghai’s international communication.

Wacker Chemicals China is a mid-sized company. However, under the helm of Lindblad, who has worked in Shanghai for more than five years, its sales in Shanghai increased significantly to 1.2 billion euros (US$1.4 billion) in 2017, as well as its tax to Shanghai reached 80 million yuan (US$11.6 million).

“There are 20 million plus people in Shanghai and there are many big brands here. Wacker is only a mid-size chemical company, but I think we do more than our size. The Magnolia Gold Award shows that the city respects us,” he said

Wacker Help, a charity sponsored by the company, was established in 2005. Last year, it signed a voluntary service agreement with the Shanghai Children’s Home, helping them build a library.

In addition, Lindblad approved business travel subsidies and paid holidays for employees engaged in charitable work.

Wacker has been involved in charitable work for some time. In 2008, it built the Wacker School in Chengdu after the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province. The first group of students are now going to college, Lindblad said.

He has twice visited the school, and the experience affected him so deeply that he established a new concept of charity.

“To help people does make one feel better. It is an investment in self-worth, so I want more Wacker employees to be involved. However, Sichuan is so far away, the staff who actually contributed are relatively few. So I decided that we should shift our focus of corporate responsibilitya little, to get closer to home. We challenge ourselves to find activities to do in Shanghai,” he said.

The problem was that Shanghai, as a first-tier city, didn't have the needs of a place such as Sichuan. So what could Wacker do for the city?

“Part of the corporate responsibility of Wacker is not just donating money. It’s your time and experience in other people. It’s one thing to give some money and try to help somebody, but it’s another thing to give your time, to interact with other humans,” he said.

A little help for Paul Lindblad as he has lunch with students at the Wacker School in Chengdu.

Wacker’s program with the Shanghai Children’s Home was started for such a reason. Lindblad said around 50 employees took part last year, interacting with the children, accompanying their reading and generally helping the children there.

Lindblad said that public prejudice about chemicals and the chemical industry distressed him.

“There is often a misunderstanding of chemicals in general, and that the production of chemicals is a negative act. However, in fact, the use of chemicals has made life better. For example, without chemicals, you cannot make an electric car. The chemical itself allows the world to be cleaner,” he said.

As for claims that the chemical industry pollutes the environment, Lindblad says the production of chemicals was sustainable and green, but the byproduct was something else and often posed problems. However, such problems can be solved, he said.

“Now the government is encouraging chemical companies to move into the chemical park. The closer to other chemical companies, the more likely your byproduct will be fully used. For Wacker, we have an integrated production site, which helps us make use of the byproduct to reduce waste,” Lindblad said.

He emphasized his confidence in the economy of Shanghai and China, and said Wacker will continue to expand the R&D center in Shanghai and employ more development people.

“We will make it clear to the world that we believe in China. We will continue to invest in China. Most of the business people realize that free trade is good for the consumer. Sure, it will make more competition, which sounds bad. But competition leads to innovation, and innovation leads to better products. I think the majority of American business people support free trade,” he said.

Talking about his expectations for Shanghai, Paul said he had high hopes of the city's sense of environmental improvement, air quality improvement, and the greening of the city.

Lindblad attended the 2017 International Business Leaders' Advisory Council and was impressed that the mayor mentioned the making of parks as a priority. He also hoped that Shanghai will continue to focus on improving logistics.

Paul Lindblad shares Wacker’s experience on the safe and environmental management of chemicals.

Source: SHINE

Editor: Shen Ke