NEW YORK – June 23, 2016 – The United Nations Global Compact has recognized Novozymes’ Head of Corporate Sustainability, Claus Stig Pedersen, as a Local SDG Pioneer for his work to align business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Stig Pedersen is the only European business representative to be honored.

The SDGs, a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, have guided Novozymes’ long-term targets and purpose of finding biological answers for better lives in a growing world. Among those targets is an ambition to reach six billion people with the company’s biological solutions, deliver ten transformative innovations, catalyze five global partnerships for change, and save 100 million tons of CO2 through use of the company’s products – all by 2020.

Claus Stig Pedersen

“We are entering an era where responsible business is the new normal, and the private sector is identifying business opportunities from the global sustainability agenda. Business is no longer the problem; it is part of the solution,” says Claus Stig Pedersen.

“The Global Compact’s recognition is a powerful acknowledgement of Novozymes’ work over the years to make business a key solution to meet global needs.”

Novozymes’ enzyme and microbial technologies enable higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, renewable fuel and more. For example, the textile industry can save 70,000 liters of water and one ton of CO2 per ton knitted fabric by using enzymes instead of traditional chemicals. That equals savings of 20–30 liters of water and a reduction of 0.3 kg CO2 for each t-shirt produced. In 2015, the worldwide application of the company’s products helped customers reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 60 million tons – equivalent to taking some 25 million cars off the road. 

Novozymes is also developing methods to assess its innovation pipeline and partnership opportunities based on their contributions to the SDGs. By understanding the societal impact of its technologies, the company has developed a new lens through which to view business development activities.

Business as a force for good

UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, launched the Local SDG Pioneers program in 2016 to seek out individuals who demonstrate how the SDGs can enable business to unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world. Over 600 nominations were received from 100 countries between February and April 2016.'

“Each of the 2016 Local SDG Pioneers exemplifies how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society,” says Lise Kingo, UN Global Compact Executive Director. “In his role within Novozymes, Mr. Pedersen has put the SDG agenda into the heart of the company’s core business. He brings vision and insights to help identify, develop and deploy business opportunities to build a better future – making him a pioneer for sustainable business strategies.”

“When we work with our commercial partners, the products we develop together can save up to 100 times the amount of C02 that went into producing them,” says Stig Pedersen. “At Novozymes, the SDGs inspire us, help prioritize our activities, help open doors at high political levels and attract the right partners. I would like to thank the Global Compact for this recognition, and look forward to continuing to drive opportunities for everyone through sustainability.”

Media contact: Frederik Bjørndal (

Quick facts

  • The Local SDG Pioneers were announced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 in New York, on June 22.

  • The Global Compact Local SDG Pioneers include entrepreneurs who champion sustainability through their business models and change-makers who mobilize the business community broadly to take action in support of the SDGs.

  • The summit is a two-day gathering of the private sector, UN, Government and civil society to jump-start action to achieve the UN SDGs by 2030.

  • Read more about the summit and Pioneers here; and read Claus Stig Pedersen’s bio here.