Novozymes continually strives to be an attractive, inspiring and high-performing workplace with a culture based on Novozymes' purpose and values. 
To meet our objectives: 

  • We will ensure that our values ‘Dare to lead’, ‘Trust and earn trust’, ‘Connect to create’ and ‘Unlock passion’ are an integral part of our everyday behavior and work life.

  • We will continuously develop the competencies of our employees and the leadership of our managers, in order to secure our innovative edge as well as our employee capability and job satisfaction. 

  • We will live up to internationally accepted standards on basic human rights and core labor standards in line with our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact. We will follow the “UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights”. Our commitments are outlined in our human rights and labor standards position paper. 

  • We will maintain a safe and healthy workplace and seek a good work–life balance.

Novozymes must be a safe and healthy workplace. 

To meet our objectives:

  • Management commits throughout the organization by driving and promoting a strong safety culture and by complying with all applicable occupational health and safety laws and regulations.
  • We ensure that everyone is accountable and responsible for safe behavior and a good physical and psychological working environment.
  • We integrate safety into work processes and decisions, including design, operation and management of facilities.
  • We provide safety training for employees, contracted personnel and third party persons – only trained personnel are permitted to work at our facilities.
  • We ensure knowledge sharing of incidents, near-misses, accidents and best practices to further improve and prevent recurrence.
  • We set proactive targets and monitor performance to achieve continuous improvement.

We will work to improve our financial performance by setting high objectives for growth and value creation. We will ensure operational continuity through a high legal standard, and thereby also prevent fraud and protect business-critical information. 

To meet our objectives:

  • We will maintain a financial perspective in all important decisions and relations, in order to achieve ambitious financial targets and support and develop our position. 

  • We will ensure that our business is open, honest and in line with the United Nations Global Compact's principles on anti-corruption. 

  • We will comply with international financial reporting standards and ensure that the financial and sustainability information of the Novozymes Group provides a true and fair view of Novozymes’ assets and activities. 

  • We will maintain IT security and governance to ensure data confidentiality, 
    integrity and accessibility. 

  • We will advance and protect our business interests in compliance with the laws and regulations governing our activities.


We will offer significant bioinnovation and want to be seen as a reliable supplier of high-performing, safe products and competitive services. 

To meet our objectives:

  • We will seek knowledge of customer and market needs through dialogue and cooperation and convert this information into competitive offerings.

  • We will fulfil agreements with customers, meet or exceed the expectations of our customers and partners, and always seek improvement to be able to increase quality in our products and services. 

  • We will continuously assess safety risk to ensure that all existing products and products under development are safe in use and handling. We will also continuously mitigate  risk of fraud and adulteration in our quality systems to ensure food and feed safety.

  • We will inform, assist and regularly update our partners in the correct and safe use of our products. 

  • We will develop and optimize, tools, systems and processes that enable all Zymers to work efficiently with a quality mindset. 

  • We will maintain and develop documented management systems that include risks and opportunities, internal and external communication and employee competencies to ensure compliance and continuously improve the quality and safety of our processes, products and services.

  • We will identify and comply with all relevant legal and authority requirements.

We want to drive the world towards sustainability together with our customers and partners, while improving our own sustainability performance. 

To meet our objectives: 

  • We will maintain robust management systems to monitor and control the social and environmental impact of our business processes. 

  • We will continuously improve our resource efficiency, prevent pollution, and minimize emissions and waste in our operations through regular assessments and maintenance. 

  • We will set ambitious sustainability goals and targets and communicate on our performance. 

  • We will actively seek dialogue with key stakeholders in order to gain insight into their expectations and promote sustainable development.

  • We will communicate expectations on sustainability to our suppliers and follow up on their performance. 

  • We will build close relations in the communities in which we operate, and act as a good citizen. 

  • We will develop biosolutions and make quantitative assessments of the impact of our products in a life-cycle perspective. 

  • We will ensure safe handling of the microorganisms we use and comply with all relevant biosafety regulations. 

  • We will live up to the commitments we have made to globally-recognized principles on the utilization of genetic resources according to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

  • We will comply with all relevant legal and authority requirements, and with our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact.

It is our policy to ensure employee engagement and direction, create goodwill with key stakeholders and influence the public agenda and legislation to achieve our ambition. 

To meet our objectives:  

  • We will communicate in an open and honest way, ensuring that our communication is clear, consistent, relevant and timely, and that communications is integrated into in all decisions. 

  • We will use information technology professionally to boost communication, cooperation and knowledge-sharing.

  • We will actively participate in industry associations and stakeholder organizations, as well as in broader international and global business associations. 

  • We will seek dialogue with key stakeholders and listen to peers, industry partners, academics, NGOs, governmental and civil society stakeholders. 

  • Within national and international laws and policy guidelines, we will put forward positions relevant to our business to policy makers and other interested parties. When doing so, we will communicate in a respectful and credible way, engaging stakeholders in a constructive dialogue.

  • In order to ensure transparency in our outreach, we will make our corporate positions available via our website and annual reporting. 
Our opinion

Position papers

Novozymes strives to offer a clear opinion on issues that stakeholders find most important.

  • Animal testing

    Novozymes position statement on animal testing

    Novozymes’ goal is to eliminate the use of animal testing. But at present, animal testing is required by legal authorities as a precondition to product registration.

    Novozymes uses animals for research, safety testing of products and for antibody production where no acceptable alternative methods exist. At present, legal authorities require animal testing as a precondition to product registration.

    Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the use of animals and obtain safety measures by other means. We therefore find it important to continuously address the issues around the use of laboratory animals and to challenge the justifiability of this use. The need for data from animal testing should be questioned case by case.

    In day-to-day business Novozymes:

    1. Strives to observe the principle of the three R's (replacement, reduction and refinement) and is actively investigating:
      - Replacement of animal use by alternative methods, if applicable
      - Reduction of the number of animals used where possible
      - Refinement of methods to reduce pain and distress
    2. Assures compliance with Novozymes' policies through the internal Science Ethics Committee. No study involving laboratory animals can be made unless the protocol has been reviewed and approved by this committee.
    3. Requires that our suppliers (Contract Research Organizations) constantly consider and improve the welfare and the needs of laboratory animals.
    4. Provides appropriate education to all Novozymes' employees involved in studies with animals and upholds internal standards and procedures to ensure compliance.
    5. Engages in dialogue with key stakeholders.

    Last revised October 2019

  • Biodiversity

    Novozymes position statement on biodiversity

    Novozymes’ products are based on technologies found in nature. Protecting biodiversity is important to our business, and we adhere to the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. 

    Biodiversity represents all living organisms surrounding us. It’s the diversity of animals, plants, and microbes as well as the variety of habitats and ecosystems on Earth. Nature and the natural ecosystems provide humanity with beneficial goods and services – the so-called ecosystem services. There are provisioning services like food, clean water, and raw materials. There are regulating services like climate regulation, pollination, and water regulation. There are cultural services like recreation and spiritual values. And finally, there are supporting services like photosynthesis and nutrient cycling that secure the basis for the other services. Biodiversity and the ecosystem services are essential for a healthy, sustainable and a well-functioning world. 

    Unfortunately, biodiversity and the ecosystem services are under pressure due to human activities. The loss of biodiversity in recent years is alarming, and scientists describe the current development as the sixth mass extinction and one of the most important environmental challenges. 

    The link to sustainable development and the SDGs

    Biodiversity is an essential aspect of sustainable development, as a sufficient amount of biodiversity is a prerequisite for well-functioning ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being and sustainability. The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are addressed directly in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 14 (“Life below water”) and 15 (“Life on land”), but biodiversity is also indirectly necessary to achieve several of the remaining SDGs, e.g. 2 (“Zero hunger”), 6 (“Clean water and sanitation”), 12 (“Responsible consumption and production”, and 13 (“Climate action”). 

    Novozymes has embraced the SDGs in the core of the business to increase our positive world impact, and we acknowledge this often overlooked interrelation between biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development. 

    Novozymes and biodiversity

    Biodiversity is a new focus area for the business sector, as companies try to understand their dependencies, impacts and responses related to biodiversity. Novozymes monitors developments in this area and regularly assesses how to incorporate best practice in our operations. Novozymes’ products, enzymes and microorganisms, are nature’s own technologies. Through so-called ‘bioprospecting’ Novozymes takes samples of fungi and bacteria in nature and use them to develop new biological solutions that help our customers improve their products and reduce their environmental footprint. 

    The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international legal instrument for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The objectives of the CBD include a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. This is addressed in the Nagoya Protocol providing specific guidance on the principles of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to avoid biopiracy of genetic resources. 

    Novozymes endorses the globally recognized principles in the CBD and ABS. As a part of our obligation towards the CBD, we only take samples in agreement with all relevant laws and regulations in the countries we operate in. In addition, we have stringent internal procedures including a database system for traceability of genetic resources to ensure that we live up to our commitments.

    Last revised November 2017
  • Biofuels

    Novozymes position statement on biofuels

    Biofuels are a renewable energy source that can reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector, create jobs in rural areas, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Novozymes sees biofuels as an important part of the energy mix in the future.

    Novozymes is the world’s leading supplier of enzymes for the production of first generation bioethanol for fuel - made from starch derived from corn and other grains.

    Novozymes is furthermore leading the way in the development of enzymes and processes for the production of second generation bioethanol made from cellulosic plant residues and materials, such as corn stover, straw, bagasse and wood chips in close cooperation with other leading players in the field.

    Biofuels constitute a small but rapidly growing part of the global energy supply. They are a renewable energy source with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Biofuels can also create economic opportunities for rural areas and developing countries. Thus, biofuels can be an important part of the energy mix of the future.

    Novozymes has a sincere concern for environmental stewardship and sustainable development. We support the careful scientific and holistic evaluation of all relevant aspects of biofuel production and use, along with other alternative and renewable fuels needed for our future global energy supply. Novozymes actively supports international multi-stakeholder initiatives to develop market access to – as well as promote the use of – sustainable biofuels.

    Potential benefits of production and use of biofuels

    With policies and practices supporting sustainable land and resource use, the negative environmental, social and economic impacts can be limited and greatly outweighed by the benefits.

    In short, the potential benefits of production and use of biofuels are as follows:

    • Biofuels are made from renewable sources and can be made perpetually
    • Biofuels replace and reduce reliance on fossil fuel
    • Biofuels can cause significantly less CO2 emissions compared with fossil fuels
    • Biofuels can stimulate development, particularly in rural areas and in developing countries

    Last revised February 2017

  • Business integrity

    Novozymes position statement on business integrity and anti-corruption

    Corruption has a wide range of corrosive effects on markets and society in general. Accordingly, Novozymes has joined the United Nations Global Compact and supports working against corruption in all its forms.

    As a global company with activities all over the world, Novozymes wants to show that it is possible to grow a healthy global business based on values such as responsibility, accountability, openness, and honesty. This way of doing business has characterized Novozymes for many years and will continue to do so.

    To contribute to the fight against corruption Novozymes has established six principles for business integrity with which all employees, including executive leadership, and the board of directors must comply:

    1. Novozymes neither accepts nor offers bribes in any form 
    2. Novozymes does not make facilitation payments 
    3. Novozymes does not contribute to money laundering. All financial transactions must be documented 
    4. Novozymes does not pay criminals for protection 
    5. The value of gifts given and received must not exceed locally defined triviality limits 
    6. Novozymes does not make financial contributions to political parties. Charitable contributions are subject to various restrictions

    Novozymes maintains a web-based business integrity training program, which is mandatory for relevant employee groups and management, and which serves as a frequent reminder of the importance of integrity. It guides the employees in making the right decisions through customized cases and business integrity dilemmas.

    A booklet, “Bribery: No thanks!”, is available in five languages, Chinese, Danish, English, Portuguese and Spanish, and distributed to employees worldwide.

    All employees are strongly encouraged to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas from their manager as well as designated colleagues in finance, legal, compliance and local People & Organization (HR). Further, employees can anonymously raise any concerns about business ethics and corruption, including possible breaches of our integrity principles, through Novozymes’ Whistleblower System, and they can refer concerns about behavior perceived to conflict with Novozymes’ values and policies to Novozymes’ Ombudsperson. All concerns raised will be handled appropriately in accordance with internal procedures.

    Executive Leadership, the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee receive reporting on all whistleblower reports and fraud investigations on a quarterly basis. Novozymes reports on all investigations of fraud and business integrity related matters in the annual report. 

    Last revised April 2017

  • Climate change

    Novozymes position statement on climate change

    Addressing climate change is well-integrated within Novozymes’ business strategy. Novozymes believes that effective implementation of strong climate change policies and actions will help provide a clear roadmap for businesses to drive the world towards a low carbon future.

    Novozymes has been recognized as a global corporate leader for climate change action. Novozymes enables climate change mitigation across its value chain through its biosolutions, while striving to reduce its own operational carbon footprint. Furthermore, Novozymes has a strong tradition of integrated reporting and is committed to transparently disclosing its climate change impacts.

    Novozymes’ commitment to climate change action is based on the following four pillars:

    1. Lowering Novozymes’ operational carbon footprint

    Novozymes has invested heavily to improve productivity and reduce the carbon footprint of its production. Since 2009, Novozymes has decoupled absolute CO2e* emissions from business growth. These improvements have been driven by the focus on two key areas – improvements in energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy.

    Novozymes has annual targets aimed at keeping growth in energy consumption and CO2e emissions lower than organic sales growth. Novozymes also has a target to source 30% of its global energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020..

    2. Mitigating climate change impacts across the value chain

    Novozymes believes that a transition towards a biobased economy that relies on renewable biological resources can assist the planet in being more resource efficient and tackling climate change. Its biosolutions in industries such as bioenergy and agriculture typically offer customers reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to lower energy, water, raw material and chemical consumption compared with conventional technologies.

    Novozymes measures how its biosolutions contribute to more sustainable business practices, and since 2004, has used the lifecycle assessment (LCA) approach to assess the environmental impact of its biological solutions from cradle to grave. A list of published LCA studies by Novozymes can be viewed here.

    Novozymes works closely with customers to help them realize and demonstrate emission reductions within their own operations. Novozymes has a target to save 100 million tons of CO2e* annually by 2020, through customers’ application of its products. Novozymes’ supplier program on responsible sourcing seeks to ensure that its suppliers of directly sourced agricultural raw materials meet its requirements in terms of not contributing to further deforestation.

    3. Transparent climate disclosure

    Novozymes was the first company in the world to publish an integrated annual report (2002). Novozymes’ environmental reporting includes independently audited, verified and assured data on GHG emissions from its operations, as well as estimates of emissions avoided by customers’ application of its products.

    Novozymes reports its performance on climate change action to various reporting platforms such as CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). Novozymes’ performance on these platforms is available on its website under the Sustainability Recognitions section. 

    4. Enabling a low carbon future

    Novozymes actively engages in global discussions and partnerships with key stakeholders on several climate change issues. To enable a low carbon future, Novozymes supports:

    • Public-private collaborations – to boost the research, development, deployment, and diffusion of low carbon technologies

      As part of its engagement with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), Novozymes supports the Sustainable Bioenergy Accelerator. Co-chaired by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), this multi-stakeholder initiative aims to scale up the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions. Novozymes is also involved with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD’s) Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC’s) Global Climate Action Agenda. The company is participating in two key workstreams of the LCTPi - Climate Smart Agriculture and Low Carbon Fuels. The Low Carbon Fuels workstream has grown into Below50 in partnership with RSB and the UN SE4ALL, and focuses on growing the global market for low carbon transport fuels. Novozymes is a founding member of Below50.
    • Robust policy frameworks – for private investments to decarbonize the global economy

      Novozymes contributes to global positions advocating policy recommendations to UNFCCC, notably through its leadership roles within the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) and the WBCSD.
    • A clear role for business (and other stakeholders which are committed to climate change action) – on implementing NDCs, capacity building, as well as climate change mitigation, adaptation, finance, and investment

      Business has a valuable role to play within the development and deployment of low carbon solutions, as well as driving research and innovation. These inputs have been provided to UN climate negotiation processes and technical bodies, as well as via national consultations and dialogues. These activities should be continued and supported by all stakeholders working together to achieve the outcomes and ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
    • Stable pricing for carbon – to give companies a reliable and predictable framework along with policy clarity to support their investment decisions  

      Novozymes is a leading member of the UNGC Climate Action Platform, which is a strategic partner to the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition led by the World Bank Group. Novozymes supports the UNGC Business Leadership Criteria for Carbon Pricing, which entails putting an internal price on carbon and engaging in responsible policy advocacy, based on national circumstances.

    For more information on Novozymes’ progress on its targets and climate change action engagements, please see Novozymes annual report and its section on UNGC Communication on Progress.

    *CO2e: Carbon dioxide equivalents; the standard unit in carbon accounting to quantify GHG emissions

    Last revised April 2018

  • Diversity and equal opportunities

    Novozymes position statement on diversity and equal opportunities

    Novozymes is committed to developing a diverse workforce. Ensuring equal rights and promoting diversity furthers an international mindset, helps attract and retain talent, fosters innovation and encourages Novozymes’ willingness and ability to adapt.

    Novozymes wants to make a positive impact in our growing world. To reach this ambition, we have to realize the full potential of our employees – not only of each individual, but also as a diverse group sharing the same purpose and values. Throughout the company, we need to deliver innovation of the highest level to grow and stay ahead. As innovation is about new ways of combining ideas, this is most likely to happen in a forum of highly qualified people with different backgrounds, cultures, generations, genders and competences. Therefore, diversity constitutes a potential competitive advantage to Novozymes.

    Our position

    In accordance with our values, we want to build on our heritage as a socially responsible company that recruits, promotes and develops people based on merit and in a way that supports diversity. Recruitment, terms of employment, promotion, and termination of employment are practiced without any distinction on the basis of race, color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political opinion, sexual orientation, or family responsibilities.

    Novozymes’ commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and avoiding discrimination in the workplace extends to all global operations. To ensure local relevance it is addressed in a variety of ways at our sites to reflect local or national conditions.

    Our first priority to increase diversity is to increase the number of women in our senior management measurably over the coming years. 

    Secondly, we want to strengthen our talent pipeline outside Denmark, as more non-Danes in management positions will catalyze a more global mind-set in Novozymes. It will also allow us to tap into a larger global pool of talent.

    To promote diversity among leaders in the company, we have introduced specific requirements in our succession management systems to monitor diversity among the potential successors for leadership positions. Novozymes’ diversity initiatives are reviewed by the Board of Directors as part of the annual organizational performance process. Every year, we report the company’s diversity data in our annual report in line with applicable law and recognized international standards.

    Diversity targets

    Novozymes has set as its target that at least 25 percent of senior management (Directors and higher) should be women in 2017. In 2020, the number should be 30 percent.

    Novozymes’ Board of Directors has set the following targets for diversity on the Board:

    • At least half of the shareholder-elected board members shall be independent in accordance with the recommendations of the Danish Committee on Corporate Governance. To ensure that Novozymes and its controlling shareholder share a common vision and common goals, it is desirable to have a number of board members representing the majority shareholder. In order to get an outside perspective on Novozymes’ business, it is also desirable to have a number of members who do not represent the majority shareholder.
    • 40% or more of the shareholder-elected board members shall have substantial international experience from management in and of large corporations or institutions headquartered outside Denmark.
    • One third or more of the shareholder-elected board members should be women.

    All shareholder-elected board members are elected for one year at a time. Novozymes aims to meet the targets for diversity on the Board every year.

    Grievance procedures

    Employees can file complaints about discrimination to the Novozymes Ombudsperson. Non-employees, including job applicants, should bring discrimination grievances to the attention of the Head of Novozymes’ People & Organization department. Novozymes' Whistleblower Hotline may also be used. 

    Last revised June 2017

  • Human rights and labor standards

    Novozymes position statement on human rights and labor standards

    Novozymes respects human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights

    Novozymes respects 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 (UNGC). Novozymes is also a UN Global Compact LEAD company.

    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

    To demonstrate our respect for human rights, we have since 2012 integratedthe UN guiding principles on Business and Human Rights into our operations by: addressing human rights in operational policies and procedures, by carrying out due diligence and impact assessments in countries where we operate, and by offering grievance mechanisms to internal and external stakeholders.

    We report on our performance on human and labor rights annually in our Communication on Progress (COP) to the UN Global Compact, which is also an integral part of our Annual Report.

    Embedding human rights in operational policies and procedures

    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. We require all our people managers to respect the human and labor rights and we take appropriate measures to avoid and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.

    Human rights and labor rights are also 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 contracted suppliers to comply with our responsible purchasing standard which covers human and labor rights aspects as defined by the UN guiding principles. In case of a supplier non-conformity, an action plan needs to be established to either correct the supplier non-conformity or to shift supplier.

    Due diligence and impact assessments

    Our impact assessments are inspired by the UNGPs’ Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework. We carry out regular human rights impact assessments by involving stakeholders from relevant functional areas across the regions. Based on the outcome of the assessments, the necessary corrective actions are determined and implemented. We work continuously on awareness building and improving due diligence processes, and communicate internally on human and labor rights via and reporting.

    Grievance redressal mechanisms

    Grievance mechanism are in place for both employees as well as external stakeholders. Novozymes has a global ombudsperson as well as regional ombudspersons in each region. We also have a Whistleblower hotline for employees and suppliers to report suspicions of violations of law, including violations of human and labor rights.

    Approved by Peder Holk Nielsen, President and CEO Novozymes 

    Last revised January 2019

  • Industrial biotechnology

    Novozymes position statement on industrial biotechnology

    Industrial biotechnology can improve the efficiency of processes both in industry and in everyday life, by saving energy, water and other raw materials while reducing waste. It is an important tool to create better lives in a growing world.

    Biotechnology is the use of living cells to make useful products. For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the benefits of using bacteria, yeasts, molds and the enzymes these produce, to make bread, cheese, beer and wine.

    Nowadays, enzymes and microorganisms are used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products. From low-temperature laundry detergents and margarine without trans fats, to renewable fuels and antibiotic-free chicken feed. Mankind’s knowledge of fermentation and other biological processes has increased tremendously. Since the 1980s, gene technology has made industrial biotechnology even more efficient and made it possible to produce enzymes with new and better capabilities. 

    Novozymes finds that industrial biotechnology and gene technology can contribute to the sustainable development of society by offering:

    • Lower environmental impact through better, more efficient and cleaner industrial processes 
    • More food, feed and fiber from the same resources and land use
    • Renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels and chemicals
    • New and better products for human and animal health

    Novozymes is committed to sharing its knowledge about the potential of biology and industrial biotechnology with the public and other stakeholders outside of Novozymes. 

    Novozymes’ use of industrial biotechnology

    Novozymes produces a wide range of enzymes and microorganisms. Gene technology is used to make some of these products.


    Enzymes are proteins, and in nature they initiate biochemical reactions in all living organisms. It is enzymes that convert the food in our stomachs to energy and turn fallen leaves in the forest to compost.

    Novozymes finds enzymes in nature and optimizes them for use in industry. In industrial use, enzymes replace chemicals and accelerate production processes. They help our customers make more from less, while saving energy and generating less waste.

    Novozymes produces enzymes by fermenting microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. The microorganisms grow in closed steel tanks containing oxygen and nutrients like corn starch, sugar and soy. As the microorganisms grow, they produce the enzymes. 

    The microorganisms can be genetically modified to more efficiently produce the enzymes. Novozymes uses well tested and safe microorganisms only, and at the end of the production process the microorganisms are separated from the enzymes and inactivated. The waste biomass is rich in nutrients and can be recycled as a fertilizer on local farms.

    Novozymes also uses gene technology to make the enzymes perform better, e.g. at low temperatures for use in a laundry detergent. This is known as protein engineering and involves changing the structure of the enzyme, so it better fits its purpose. Like a key that fits a lock. 

    As enzymes are proteins, not living organisms, they contain no genetically modified organisms.  


    Novozymes produces microorganisms for use in several industries. In animal health, microorganisms can help stabilize the gut flora of animals and thereby improve health, growth rate and feed utilization.In  agriculture, microorganisms can increase crop yields and help the farmer save on fertilizer and pesticides. In biodegradable cleaning products, microorganisms reduce the environmental impact of cleaning. In wastewater treatment, microorganisms lower effluent and remove pollutants. 

    These products are based on naturally occurring microorganisms, which are not genetically modified. 

    Novozymes also makes yeast that is used in the fuel ethanol industry to get more fuel from the same raw materials. The yeast is used by our partners in closed production systems. The yeast can be naturally occurring or genetically modified.

    New technologies

    Novozymes embraces new genome editing tools such as CRISPR that make genetic modification more precise and efficient. We only use tools that are demonstrated safe for humans and the environment. Novozymes does not engage in the creation of “artificial life”, i.e. the design of cells or organisms that are not derived from existing natural sources, or the construction of totally new species. 

    Last revised June 2019

  • Responsible purchasing

    Novozymes position statement on responsible purchasing

    Novozymes considers sustainability, commercial, and quality aspects when choosing suppliers.

    Novozymes is committed to doing business with high ethical standards. Novozymes has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since its establishment in 2001 and a LEAD member since 2011. Novozymes follows the Global Compact’s Ten Principles to meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The Ten Principles guide Novozymes’ approach to doing responsible business across our value chain, including our selection of, and engagement with, our more than 10,000 suppliers. 

    Novozymes’ process for screening and evaluating the company’s suppliers ensures a sustainable and systematic sourcing practice. It has four steps:

    1. Inform: Novozymes has developed guidelines to inform new and existing suppliers of the company’s requirements to suppliers’ conduct and performance. The guidelines can be downloaded here: English, Portuguese, Chinese.
    2. Approve: Novozymes evaluates key suppliers according to assessment criteria such as:
      Sustainability performance
      Environmental stewardship, employee health and safety, human and labor rights, business ethics, and supply chain management 
      Commercial performance
      Pricing, on-time delivery, service, complaints, innovation, and credit rating
      Quality performance
      Product specifications, legal compliance, quality management systems, and audit acceptance 
    3. Monitor
      Novozymes monitors the performance of key suppliers through an ongoing evaluation process. In the long term the company believes that collaboration and engagement with suppliers will have a greater impact than control alone. 
    4. Engage
      Even with the most effective risk management tools and systems, Novozymes can never guarantee that violations will not occur in its supply chain. If an incident occurs that violates relevant laws, regulations, or international conventions, Novozymes will contact the supplier to develop actions to help the supplier improve its performance. If suppliers are unwilling to improve, Novozymes will maintain the right to end the collaboration with immediate notice.

    Last revised May 2017

  • Tax

    Novozymes position statement on tax

    We continuously work to fulfill our tax obligations in the countries where we operate. We seek to obtain a competitive tax level in a fair and responsible way and with full regard to national and international laws and regulations.

    We appreciate the need for maintaining a stakeholder dialogue on tax matters.

    To meet our objectives:

    • We follow national and international tax laws as well as the OECD guidelines on transfer pricing
    • We work with tax risk management to handle financial and reputational risk
    • We work to obtain a competitive tax level given the scope of our commercial operations and governmental tax incentives
    • We seek good relationships with tax authorities to ensure compliance and to minimize risk of disagreements and double taxation
    • We proactively engage in bilateral tax agreements to increase predictability
    • We seek dialogue and openly and honestly communicate on tax with the aim of giving our stakeholders relevant insight to understand our financial results. As for other business information, communication needs to be balanced with respect to confidentiality.

    It is important for Novozymes to make a positive contribution in the countries where we operate. Besides taxes, our economic contributions consist of duties, VAT, employee taxes, employee pension and benefit programs, procurement from local vendors and development of workforce, among others.

    U.K. Tax Strategy in compliance with paragraph 16(2) Schedule 19, UK Finance Act 2016

    Novozymes supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs guide the development of our targets and purpose of finding biological answers for better lives in a growing world. Our position statement on tax and the tax payments we make support most of the SDGs directly or indirectly.

    Last revised November 2019