Engaging and taking action

In this section we report on United Nations Global Compact Blueprint dimensions 2 and 3.

At Novozymes, we consider it important to listen to our stakeholders, address their concerns, and learn from them in order to continue to be successful. We engage with a wide range of stakeholders ranging from institutions to individuals, in both the public and private sectors, with an array of different needs. After following a systematic procedure to identify important stakeholders globally and respond to their concerns, we initiate new projects specific to issues that need our attention. Stakeholders also contribute to identifying developing trends and issues, both broad and narrow sustainability-specific issues. We need to be aware of what drives development and to know what leadership and best practice look like for Novozymes. With that in mind, we map and engage with our key stakeholders who have the insights, competencies, and influence. More information can be found under stakeholder engagement on our website.

Global engagements

Being a global organization with activities across the world, Novozymes is focused on understanding and responding to trends and requirements from around the globe. We engage with key global stakeholders so that we can influence and develop more sustainable solutions to many of the world’s challenges. Some of these engagements are aligned with our strategy to contribute to broader UN goals and also drive sustainable development through collective action. Some of our notable engagements in 2011 are presented below.
CleanStar Mozambique project
In 2011, Novozymes increased our investment in a joint venture in Mozambique, CleanStar Mozambique. The first investments were made in late 2009, but the venture was only made public in September 2011 as a Novozymes commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
CleanStar Mozambique is helping smallholder farmers in the Sofala province implement an environmentally restorative agroforestry system that will produce a diverse mix of farm and forestry produce. The company purchases farmers’ surplus production, thereby significantly increasing their incomes. CleanStar Mozambique will process these agricultural products into a range of food products as well as an ethanol-based cooking fuel that will be sold primarily in urban markets, such as the capital Maputo. Alongside Novozymes and CleanStar Ventures, the business brings together a range of partners, most notably the engineering group ICM Inc., which is providing the ethanol plant, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which has entered into a carbon-financing agreement with CleanStar Mozambique.
CleanStar Mozambique is a clear example of "bio-based economy," where sustainable agriculture provides the necessary biomass to meet local needs for food, feed, fuel, and materials – while restoring the environment and driving rural development. Read more about Green growth in Africa on our website and in The Novozymes Report 2011.

Contribution of CleanStar Mozambique to the Millennium Development Goals
CleanStar Mozambique contributes to the achievement of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals in a number of ways. While some impacts are already coming to bear, others will only take effect in the years ahead. The following information provides an overview of how the venture addresses the MDGs.
Goal 1:
  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: By 2014, 3,000 rural smallholders will have transitioned from subsistence to commercial agriculture, significantly increasing their incomes. Also, the venture will create a few hundred direct jobs in various parts of the business, including processing, logistics, and retail.
Goal 3:
  • Promote gender equality and empower women: The venture is designed to empower women by ensuring that as many income streams as possible going to the communities (including to the farmers) are handled by women.
Goal 4:
  • Reduce child mortality: Indoor air pollution in cities is reduced due to the use of ethanol-based cooking fuel instead of charcoal, estimated to reach 20% of Maputo’s households by 2014. WHO estimates that worldwide over 2 million deaths occur each year – mostly among women and young children – due to indoor air pollution from using fuels such as charcoal for cooking. In addition, there will be a reduction in malnutrition in the rural areas as greater crop diversity will achieve a better nutrition profile among participating rural farmers.
Goal 5:
  • Improve maternal health: The change from charcoal to ethanol for cooking will have a significant impact on household health, particularly for young mothers, who need to prepare more food more often, and are thus more exposed to hazardous fumes.
Goal 7:
  • Ensure environmental sustainability: The project delivers multiple environmental benefits. By 2014 it is expected to achieve reforestation, reduce deforestation (4,000 ha protected per year from slash-and-burn practices), land restoration through agroforestry (6,000 ha), improved biodiversity and nutrient cycle, and reduced GHG emissions due to reduced use of charcoal.
Goal 8:
  • Develop a global partnership for development: This venture directly brings together multinational corporations, international venture developers, local social enterprises, and smallholder farmers.
Future focus areas of CleanStar Mozambique:
Goal 2:
  • Achieve universal primary education: Through partnerships with various organizations (including UN organizations, government agencies, and NGOs) CleanStar Mozambique aims to support the provision of various goods and services – including education – to the communities involved in the supply base of the venture.

Goal 6: 

  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases: As with education services, CleanStar Mozambique plans to establish partnerships for the provision of health goods and services.
CleanStar Mozambique has received recognition from various stakeholders, including global media. The coverage has helped show how Novozymes’ solutions can contribute to solving current global challenges in a sustainable manner. Hopefully this will provide inspiration to other companies and help create more ventures driven by sustainability interests. The list below contains a few highlights in connection with the general public’s exposure to CleanStar Mozambique. 
  • Novozymes announced our investment in this project at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in September 2011 in New York City, which convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges
  • CleanStar Mozambique has generated more than 20 original news articles, most notably stories by CNN News, Bloomberg, Reuters, and GOOD Magazine
  • The project was featured or posted in more than 100 news outlets, ranging from television, wire services, and print to trade and online media (e.g., the Guardian, Bloomberg Businessweek, Xinhua News Agency)
  • CleanStar Mozambique was reported by key biofuel trade publications, including Biofuels Digest and Ethanol Producer Magazine
  • The project was covered by influential online media, including Treehugger and TriplePundit
  • An article was published by Environment and Energy Publishing in ClimateWire, an influential publication in the field of environmental and energy policy and markets
  • The project was featured in the “Best of 2011” in Inclusive Business, a blog by an Alliance between World Business Council for Sustainable Development and SNV Netherlands Development Organization 
Novozymes is actively engaged with a number of key stakeholders and activities in the development of the Rio+20 conference. Our main focus area for this conference concerns green economy, including new climate strategies on access to energy and energy efficiency, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
"Green economy" is defined as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities (UNEP, 2010). International conventions, policy-makers, and governments are increasingly recognizing the crucial role business plays in making the transition to a green economy by delivering viable products, processes, and technology.
As a company based on bioinnovations and biosolutions, Novozymes deems it important to engage and play an important role in driving the world toward sustainable development by:
  • Participating in the development of key business and industry positions on green economy
  • Identifying opportunities, gaps, and challenges in the application of concepts of green economy
  • Participating in the development of a roadmap for policy-makers, etc.
Some of our engagements in relation to the Rio+20 conference include the following:
  • ICC Green Economy Task Force, and Energy and Environment Committee
  • UN Global Compact Task Force on Sustainable Energy for All
  • UN Global Compact Working Group on Caring for Climate
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Changing Pace
  • OECD-BIAC International Business and Green Economies Dialogues
Elaborating on one such engagement, Novozymes is contributing to the Green Economies Dialogue project, launched by the United States Council Foundation (USCF) and the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its partners and sponsors, with particular assistance from the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and members of the USCIB Environment Committee. This project will include a series of dialogues that will engage the private sector and inform international policy discussions.
Novozymes participated in the UN-sponsored COP17 climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, held toward the end of 2011. The theme for the conference, "Saving Tomorrow Today," resonated well with the ethos behind our company idea "Rethink Tomorrow." The conference presented a good opportunity to interact with key stakeholders and create greater awareness about the role of biotechnology in climate solutions and the importance of making climate/carbon financial instruments easily accessible and attractive to the private sector. The COP17 conference has helped establish Novozymes as a voice on the world stage for climate- and environment-related issues ahead of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in 2012.
Engaging with suppliers
Since 2009 Novozymes has implemented a comprehensive "Responsible Purchasing" program with integrated evaluation of sustainability parameters in addition to quality and commercial performance. The system covers all aspects of management from approval of new suppliers to ongoing performance evaluation. There have been many initiatives in 2011.
Among other things, Novozymes has:
    • Has increased coverage of suppliers; we finalized all the 168 open supplier action plans developed for noncompliant suppliers in 2010 through dialogue with suppliers on mitigating actions or, in a few cases, discontinuing further purchases from selected suppliers. Further, we continue to cover minimum 90% of spend in the supplier evaluation system
    • Has improved specification of supplier requirements by developing enhanced assessment guidance information, ready to be implemented at the beginning of 2012 along with further internal training of purchasers and auditors
    • Has completed an assessment of the raw materials with the greatest environmental impacts in order to identify areas for improvement in raw material sourcing
    • Is planning a "Supplier Innovation Day" in March 2012 to start involving suppliers more openly in innovation and finding joint sustainable solutions
Our next steps will involve drawing up activity plans for substituting selected raw materials with sustainable alternatives, and engagement with specific suppliers to reduce environmental impact. As part of this project, there are plans to develop position papers on selected raw materials and our purchasing policies related to them. Furthermore, supplier performance management will remain on the agenda of the Sustainability Development Board as a strategic project for 2012, with allocated resources for the development and implementation of the project. For more information, please refer to our policy, position, and program on responsible purchasing.

Regional engagements

In 2011, Novozymes placed increased emphasis on our regional engagements with our subsidiaries in China, India, Latin America, and North America. Novozymes has also played an active role in engaging with the UN Global Compact at regional level. Some prominent examples are described below.
Corporate citizenship                                    
In 2011, we launched a new corporate citizenship strategy, Citizymes, with regionally anchored projects. This new initiative concentrates our community efforts into broader programs that increase our reach and impact by drawing on our core competencies within science, while supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals for education and environmental sustainability. In 2011, we reached 9,800 learners worldwide through our efforts in all the regions. The ambition for 2012 is to have at least one major engagement flagship project in each region in order to create a bigger impact in our communities. More information can be found under Corporate citizenship on our website and in The Novozymes Report 2011.

UN Global Compact Local Networks
In 2011, Novozymes engaged with the UN Global Compact by becoming a member of the UN Global Compact Local Network in all regions where we have subsidiaries: China, India, Latin America, and North America. Representatives in these regions are engaging with their respective Local Networks through meetings and are in the process of leading working groups and forums involving other companies on specific initiatives. Our intention is to help drive sustainability regionally and demonstrate leadership, while helping other companies to enhance their performance.
Mentor Program – Air Greenland                      
As a Global Compact LEAD company, Novozymes has utilized the opportunity initiated and coordinated by the UNDP Nordic Office to participate in the UNDP Global Compact Mentor Program. Novozymes has been paired with Air Greenland. Being an experienced Global Compact company, Novozymes aims to utilize this platform to assist Air Greenland in its efforts to put Global Compact principles into practice and integrate sustainability in its strategy, management, and governance. Such collaboration should provide an opportunity of mutual sparring, and in the process we can gain inspiration for our own efforts. This program was initiated in 2011, and a plan for collaboration has been developed. Meetings at top management level and workshops involving sustainability teams from both sides are in the pipeline. Though this is a fairly new initiative for Novozymes, we plan to gain concrete experience during the first half of 2012.​