Environment & climate

With growing constraints on global ecosystems, Novozymes is dedicated to minimizing the environmental footprint of its supply chain, operations, and customers.


Environmental sustainability is well integrated into Novozymes’ business strategy. The company seeks to source sustainable agricultural raw materials, minimize its consumption of raw materials, water, and energy, control emissions, waste and by-products generated from its production effectively, and enable its customers to reduce their environmental impact. Novozymes’ environmental strategy consists of the following:

Operational  eco-efficiency

Novozymes strives to minimize its environmental impact by continuously decoupling business growth from resource consumption and improving production efficiency.
Since 2009, Novozymes has decoupled absolute CO2e emissions from business growth, and improved CO2 efficiency by 18 percentage points. These improvements have been driven by two key factors:
  • Improvements in energy efficiency - Between 2009 and 2014, Novozymes implemented 188 energy-saving projects across its global production sites, resulting in emission reductions of approximately 100,000 tons of CO2e.
  • Investment in renewable energy - Novozymes currently sources 23% of its energy mix from renewables. Since 2011, 100% of its electricity in Denmark from Horns Rev II, one of the world’s largest wind farms. In 2013, Novozymes established mechanisms to generate energy from biomass at three production sites.
Novozymes is also committed to improving its water efficiency. Looking at the full period from 2009-14, Novozymes has successfully managed to decouple absolute water consumption from business growth. These improvements were driven by a number of environmental initiatives to reduce water consumption and reuse water by optimizing the company’s production processes. In 2014, Novozymes implemented specific absolute targets for energy and water consumption and established local task forces to encourage local ownership of efficiency targets for its production sites.
Another aspect of operational eco-efficiency closely monitored by Novozymes is waste and by-products generated. The waste and by-products from Novozymes' production consists of nonhazardous solid waste, hazardous waste and biomass. The company seeks to reduce the amount of waste and by-products that it sends for landfill or incineration, and finds ways to recover some value either by reusing or recycling. Not only does this reduce the costs associated with waste treatment, it also minimizes Novozymes' environmental footprint.
It is important to note biomass is overwhelmingly the majority of the company’s waste and by-products, and accounts for 98% of total volume generated. The rate of recovery for biomass is very high because Novozymes is able to convert and sell its biomass to farmers as NovoGro®, an organic agricultural fertilizer.

Mitigating climate change across the value chain 

Climate change is one of Novozymes' most material issues, and it is well-integrated in its business strategy. See Novozymes' Position Paper on Global Warming. Novozymes is recognized as a global corporate leader for climate action as its biosolutions enable climate change mitigation across the value chain.
Novozymes measures how its biosolutions contribute to more sustainable business practices, and since 2004, has used lifecycle assessment (LCA) studies to assess the environmental impact of new and existing biological solutions from cradle to grave. findings are shared publically, and Novozymes works closely with customers to help them realize and demonstrate emission reductions within their own operations.

Management system & guidelines

Environmental sustainability is governed by Novozymes’ Sustainability Policy, which illustrates commitments to continuously improve its environmental performance. Additionally, the company has clear standards in place to ensure that any significant environmental impact or bioethical issue is identified and handled in compliance with legislation and Novozymes’ commitments.
Environmental strategy and performance is given a high level of importance through the Sustainability Board (SB), a cross-functional strategy group. The SB is the company’s vehicle for integrating sustainability both in high level-decisions and into day-to-day business activities.  Currently, chaired by the head of corporate sustainability, the SB consists of senior leaders, who bring insights from and outreach to the major parts of the business value chain.
Moreover, Novozymes’ Global Environmental Services department (GES) supports the company on environmental issues and ensures a common understanding of its environmental standards. Day-to-day work is coordinated via the pan-organizational Novozymes Environmental Forum (NEF). The NEF consists of representatives from GES based out of headquarters and regional sites. The Forum facilitates knowledge sharing of better environmental management practices globally.
From 2001 onwards, all of Novozymes’ significant production and research facilities have implemented robust environmental management systems that meet ISO14001 standards. Together, these 27 sites are responsible for at least 97% of total resource consumption. The company’s environmental management system is essential for maintaining environmental quality, advancing improvements systematically and efficiently, measuring outcomes and achieving environmental targets.
Furthermore, Novozymes welcomes and is in compliance with the new European regulation REACH as Novozymes strives to substitute highly dangerous chemicals with sustainable enzymatic or biological solutions, while ensuring safety of use.

Targets & KPIs

  • Save the world 100 million tonnes of CO2e emissions a year through customers applying Novozymes’ products by 2020,
  • Reduce CO2 intensity of operations by 25% by 2020, compared with a 2014 baseline,
  • Improve energy efficiency of operations by 30% by 2020, compared with a 2014 baseline,
  • Increase sourcing of renewable energy to 30% of total energy consumption,
  • Improve water efficiency of operations by 25% by 2020, compared with a 2014 baseline.
  • Ensure 100% of directly sourced agricultural raw materials do not come from locations that contribute to further deforestation

Additionally, Novozymes also sets short-term targets, which follow an annual cycle. View all Novozymes’ Environmental targets and KPIs here.


Performance disclosure

Novozymes publishes performance data on a number of environmental indicators in its Annual Report. Novozymes was the first company in the world to publish an integrated annual report in 2002. The company’s environmental reporting includes independently audited, verified and assured data on number of indicators. View the latest Environmental Performance in Novozymes Annual Report 2014. Novozymes also reports environmental performance data in its UN Global Compact Communication on Progress and its GRI Environmental Performance Indicators.
The indicators reported include raw material, energy, and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1, 2 & 3), waste and by-products generated, animal testing, environmental compliance and breaches from its operations, as well as estimates of emissions avoided by customers’ application of its products.  View the latest data and explanations of the reporting methodology in the Accounting Notes section of the Annual Report 2014.
Additionally, Novozymes has been reporting to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) since 2007. In 2014, Novozymes received the maximum possible CDP score of 100 A. The company was included in the Global Climate Performance Leadership Index for the first time, and retained its position in the Nordic Climate Disclosure Leadership Index for a sixth year. View Novozymes’ latest CDP submission here.