Novozymes position statement on human rights and labor standards

Novozymes is committed to meeting its responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Novozymes supports the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization's (ILO’s) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and, since 2001, we have been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. To demonstrate our respect for human rights, we have since 2012 integrated the UN guiding principles on Business and Human Rights into our operations by: addressing human rights in operational policies and procedures, by carrying out impact assessments and due diligence in countries where we operate, and by offering grievance mechanisms to internal and external stakeholders. 

As a UN Global Compact signatory and UN Global Compact LEAD company, Novozymes is committed to integrating sustainability into business practices and to continuously improve its sustainability performance. Accordingly, we report on our performance within human rights and labor standards annually in our Communication on Progress (COP) for the UN Global Compact, which is also an integral part of our Annual Report.

The 6 UNGC principles related to human rights and labor standards, which we support and report on are as follows:

  • UNGC Principle 1: we support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights 
  • UNGC Principle 2:  we work to ensure that we are not complicit in 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

The UN principles are integrated in operational policies and procedures. For example, our “People Policy” and “People Standard” that relate to the management of employees and the “Novozymes Standard on Occupational Health and Safety” ensure that the UN principles are upheld in our organization.  

Although human rights and labor standards are universal, the relevance of the various issues differs across geographies and business activity. We seek to take appropriate measures to avoid and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.

Addressing human rights in operational policies and procedures

Human rights and labor standards are included in our supplier performance management system, where Novozymes’ purchasers evaluate suppliers on criteria such as, quality, employee health and safety, human and labor rights and business integrity. In addition, we require all our suppliers to comply with our responsible purchasing standards. Our supplier guidelines cover various social and environment aspects including human and labor rights such as the prevention of human trafficking. 

Impact assessments and due diligence

We carry out regular human rights impact assessments by involving stakeholders from relevant functional areas, including Sourcing, Quality, Environment & Safety and People & Organization across regions. Based on the outcome of the assessments, corrective actions are planned and carried out. Our impact assessments are inspired by the UNGPs’ Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework. We work continuously on awareness building and improving due diligence processes, and communicate internally on human rights and labor standards via our Intranet and reporting. 

Grievance mechanisms

Grievance mechanism are in place for both internal (employees) as well as external stakeholders. Novozymes has a global ombudsperson as well as regional ombudspersons in each region. We also have a global whistleblower hotline, Novozymes' Whistleblower Hotline, which is anonymous and managed by an independent third party.

Last revised July 2017