Human rights & labor standards

As a responsible organization, Novozymes commits to protect human rights and labor standards. Our minimum standards, based on UN Global Compact, cover aspects such as diversity, freedom of association, elimination of child labor and forced labor.


Novozymes has a long-established commitment to uphold human rights and labor standards and has for many years supported the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and since 2001 we have been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact.


Initiatives & activities

Annual self-assessment
Novozymes’ self-assessment is a template, partly based on prefilled information and partly based on questions relevant for each of the minimum standards. Annually, all personnel areas worldwide complete a self-assessment with the possibility to conduct social audits to follow up on performance when relevant. 

Supplier performance system
Human rights and labor standards are part of our supplier performance management system, where Novozymes’ purchasers evaluate suppliers on defined criteria, hereunder human rights and labor standards. Please refer to Novozymes’ position on responsible purchasing.

Quality system and training
Novozymes’ Minimum Standards are incorporated into our quality management systems and global training programs, including introduction programs for new employees and new managers.


Management principles & guidelines

As a global company with significant production activities all over the world, Novozymes has implemented an internal set of global Minimum Standards, based on UN Global Compact’s principles for human rights and labor standards, to which every employee and every business unit must adhere.

Novozymes’ Minimum Standards:

  • UNGC Principle 1: we support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights (UNGC, UNDHR, ILO)
  • UNGC Principle 2: we work against human rights abuses
  • UNGC Principle 3: we support freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
  • UNGC Principle 4: we support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor
  • UNGC Principle 5: we support the effective abolition of child labor
  • UNGC Principle 6: we support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Human rights and labor standard initiatives are anchored with our regional directors for People & Organization, who are responsible for ensuring that all business units and employees are covered by a self-assessment annually that cover all the principles above. Based on this process, initiatives are planned at three different levels: In the corporate strategies for People & Organization or the Sustainability Development department, regionally or at a local site. Regional management at site level is responsible for the implementation of such initiatives.

Targets & KPIs

Novozymes does not have public targets or KPIs for human rights but annually, we report on our performance.


We annually report on our qualitative performance within human rights and labor standards in our Communication on Progress (COP) for the UN Global Compact, which is also an integral part of our annual report.