Labor rights

In this section we report on United Nations Global Compact principles 3 - 6

Approach 

 
Novozymes seeks to take appropriate measures to support freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining as well as to uphold the elimination of discrimination and forced and child labor, both from an internal and an external perspective. Our dedication to addressing and advancing labor practices is embedded in our Vision, values, and company idea, Touch the World.
 
In support of international labor rights standards such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work, and the principles of the UN Global Compact, relevant principles are integrated systematically in Novozymes’ management practices and aligned with our minimum standards of human and labor rights to ensure that global and local initiatives are mutually supportive. Our minimum standards comprise: freedom of association, nondiscrimination, working hours, wages and benefits, disciplinary measures, child labor, and forced labor. Subsequently, we have developed specific policies addressing people, social responsibility, and purchasing as well as positions on diversity and equal opportunities, human rights, REACH, and responsible purchasing.
 
Based on the above practices, standards, policies, and positions, the relevant boards and departments systematically monitor, report, and follow up on labor rights at Novozymes on an ongoing basis.

labour_rights.jpg

 
Internal collective bargaining committees
Novozymes recognizes the right to organize and negotiate. This has led to various arrangements in countries where this right is not recognized in local legislation. One example is that Novozymes has set up an internal committee in China to negotiate our Chinese colleagues’ right to organize and bargain collectively. This provides a forum for employee representatives to discuss various issues with management.
 
In support of labor rights management, development, and transparency, Novozymes reports on the following GRI indicators: LA 1, LA 2, LA 5, LA 13, HR 1, HR2, HR 3, HR 4, and HR 5, providing a quantitative counterpart to labor rights reporting.
 

Today

 
In 2011, Novozymes met all our social targets for employee satisfaction and development opportunities, employee turnover, rate of absence, and frequency of occupational accidents. Also, we launched a new corporate citizenship initiative Citizymes, started preparing for new guiding principles on labor rights, and developed action plans for all noncompliant suppliers. 
   
Novozymes’ implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights
In 2011 Novozymes decided to align our social minimum standards with the two human rights principles and four labor standards principles of the UN Global Compact. At the same time, organizational responsibility for human and labor rights was assigned to our regional directors for People & Organization, and a new self-assessment process was implemented, inspired by the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The outcome of the 2011 process did not lead to any corrective actions, but most regions have defined focus areas to be addressed in regional or corporate strategies and plans.   
 
Labor rights and supplier performance management
Human and labor rights are incorporated in Novozymes’ screening of suppliers. In 2011, we increased coverage of suppliers and finalized all the 168 open supplier action plans developed for noncompliant suppliers in 2010. We also improved specification of supplier requirements to be implemented at the beginning of 2012. Additionally, we increased internal training of purchasers and auditors and improved the rating system.
 
Employee satisfaction and development opportunities
Employee satisfaction and employee perception of development opportunities are the most important indicators of our employees’ well-being. Every year, Novozymes’ employees have the opportunity to express their opinions in our annual People’s Opinion survey. Employees’ satisfaction and motivation measured by the survey scored 77 in 2011, exceeding both our target of 75 and our 2010 score of 76. When it came to opportunities for professional and personal development, we scored 74 in 2011, again exceeding both our target of 70 and our 2010 score of 73. The survey showed that our employees identify with the new set of values launched last year, and this seems to have had a positive impact on employee satisfaction.
 
five year employee satisfaction

Diversity management
Employment at Novozymes is based on merit and is offered without any distinction, exclusion, or preference. We are committed to developing a diverse workforce, fostering innovation and a diverse working culture, which are vital ingredients for a successful global company. In 2011, we focused on our recruitment and appointment processes aiming to increase the diversity in the pool of candidates and successors to senior managerial positions. We track our performance and the effect of our initiatives annually. The status and progress of Novozymes’ diversity initiatives are reviewed by the Board of Directors as part of the annual organizational performance process.  
 
Health and safety
Another of Novozymes’ key focus areas is reducing the frequency of occupational accidents. Accordingly, Novozymes has implemented the behavior-based safety program “Dare to Care,” which is a line responsibility that started in 2010 and has continued into 2011 with positive effects. We await the results of future implementation at newly acquired sites, where the frequency of occupational accidents is currently higher and explains the slight increase in the frequency from 4.1 in 2010. The frequency of occupational accidents in 2011 was 4.3 accidents per million working hours, so the target of a frequency below 4.5 was met. 
 
Accidents and days absent.JPG 
 

Tomorrow

 
Engaging with suppliers 
In continuation of efforts to optimize and expand the scope of Novozymes’ Responsible Purchasing program in 2011, we plan to further improve specification of supplier requirements by developing enhanced assessment guidance information for implementation in 2012.
 
To involve suppliers more openly in innovation and in identifying joint sustainable solutions, we have planned a Supplier Innovation Day in March 2012.
 
Furthermore, supplier performance management will remain on the agenda of the SDB as a strategic project for 2012, with allocated resources for the development and implementation of the project. We will also continue further training of purchasers and auditors. 
 
For more information, please refer to our policy and position on Responsible Purchasing. 
 
Novozymes welcomes the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights
Novozymes has for several years been following the progress made by John Ruggie on implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we believe that we are well prepared to meet the requirements.
 
As a strategic project for 2012 anchored in the Sustainability Development Board, Novozymes has allocated resources to identify how to further integrate the new guidelines in our own activities and in our collaboration with suppliers going forward.
 
Together with four other companies in the Danish Business Network on Human Rights network, Novozymes is currently testing a practical tool developed by a German UN Global Compact group to identify areas for improvement and focus in the coming years.
 
The main component of Novozymes’ due diligence process is the annual self-assessments of minimum standards that document the main issues in different regional contexts, to what extent we comply with our minimum standards internally, and any shortfalls, including potential adverse impacts. Perspectives for including human rights and labor practices in our due diligence process will be explored in further detail during 2012.