Sustainability is our business

Our long-standing commitment to people, profit and the planet has put sustainability right at the heart of our business. With our biosolutions contributing to several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), you could say that sustainability is our business.

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A sustainability leader

As the first company to publish a fully integrated triple bottom line report just two years after our foundation in 2000, we’ve been a leader in the sustainability field for decades. We also actively engaged in the development of the UN SDGs by giving input to an open working group.

Sustainability factbox

Our sustainability milestones

  • 2002 - Recognized by  Oxford research as the world’s first company to deliver a triple bottom line integrated annual report.

  • 2004 - Introduced life cycle assessments to document the sustainability benefits of our biosolutions. Sustainability performance became part of the Executive Leadership remuneration program.  

  • 2014 - Became the first Nordic company to make the CDP A List. 

  • 2015 - Aligned our purpose, strategy and targets with the UN SDGs – one of the first companies to do so.

  • 2019 - Set a climate target in line with 1.5º pathway – again one of the first to do so.  

  • 2020 - Partnered with WWF to pioneer a new approach to water stewardship.

  • 2021 - Received a Platinum medal from EcoVadis, a leading ranking agency used by many of our key customers. We made the top one percentile out of 75,000 businesses.

  • 2022 - The world’s first ever industrial symbiosis partnership – of which we’re a founding member - celebrated 50 years of circular production.  We also became one of the first companies to commit to the Corporate Net-Zero Standard. This involves having a net-zero by 2050, science-based target verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Woman looking at sunrise

Sustainability governance

Implementing sustainability across our business means anchoring and executing on activities and targets across all our functions and operations.

SDGs

A first mover towards the UN SDGs

In January 2015 - a full nine months before the UN SDGs were formally adopted - we launched a purpose, strategy, and targets influenced by their draft text. That purpose still guides us today, ensuring that we continue to make significant contributions to the goals.

Advocating for transformational change

The transformational changes our world needs won’t happen without bold actions. Read on to find out what we believe those actions should be, and how we’re advocating for them.

“A defining moment for our world”

Ester Baiget
CEO of Novozymes

As climate, energy and food crises converge, we urgently need sustainable growth that protects the health of people and our planet. There are already solutions out there, but they can’t reach their full potential without a willingness to invest in the future.

Our CEO and President Ester Baiget explains the three key actions we need to take at this defining moment for our world.

Fund our future

Fund our future, not the past

In 2020, fossil energy received 70% of global energy subsidies, while renewables received just 20%. While we need to mitigate the short-term energy crisis, we also need to mitigate the climate crisis. By ending the fossil fuel subsidies that fund the past, we can level the playing field. This will foster innovation and enable sustainable solutions.

hidden costs of co2

Reveal the hidden cost of CO₂

Understanding the real cost of the choices we make today helps us make the right choices for tomorrow. Clear greenhouse gas pricing mechanisms would make the environmental cost of production transparent. That would incentivize fossil-based industries to shift toward more sustainable practices. These include carbon capture and reuse and plastic recycling.

green transition

Drive the green transition through policies

Governments across the world need to get more ambitious. We urgently need policy frameworks that incentivize the green transition. Though imperfect, the European Green Deal and Inflation Reduction Act can inspire other countries and regions. Policies like these will promote the uptake of green solutions and put us on course for a healthier planet.

Why and how we advocate

The policy frameworks we need for the green transition won’t happen without advocacy through collective action. We foster partnerships and global discussions to support this kind of action.

We actively engage with key stakeholders including governments in the regions where we operate. We engage mostly through policy advocacy, complemented by work with industry and trade associations. However we don’t support political parties or politicians. And as required by law, we’re registered in dedicated lobbyist registers such as The Transparency Register in Brussels.

Ester Baiget

We partner for impact

We foster a broad range of partnerships across both public and private sectors. With our partners, we strive to meet our shared responsibility to leave a healthy, viable planet for generations to come.

You can see our key partnerships below or explore the full range here.

B Team

B-TEAM

B-Team is working to redefine the culture of accountability in business, for companies, communities and future generations, by creating and cascading new norms of corporate leadership that can build a better world.

Business Fights Poverty

Business Fights Poverty

A global community of people, companies and organizations focused on building an equitable and resilient future where businesses help to improve the lives, livelihoods and learning opportunities of the most vulnerable people and communities, by curating purposeful collaboration to help companies and their partners access the insights and relationships they need to unlock new opportunities for business and social impact.

Global Compact

UN Global Compact (UNGC)

UNGC is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, and acts a call to companies to take action to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

USCIB

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB)

USCIB represents around one third of Fortune 500 companies and advocates for an open system of world trade, finance and investment, where business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and environmental protection.

Science-based Targets

Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organizations to set science-based emissions reduction targets. The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi call to action is one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

ICC

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

International Chamber of Commerce is the voice of world business championing the global economy as a force for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. ICC is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. Its mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere.

World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum (WEF)

The World Economic Forum is a trusted platform aimed at improving the state of the world, bringing together stakeholders across government, businesses and civil society.

UN Foundation

The Business Council for the UN (BCUN)

A membership organization that nurtures cross-sector collaboration and facilitates corporate engagement at the UN and on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An initiative of the United Nations Foundation, BCUN connects forward-thinking companies with the UN to advance action on the SDGs and our shared goals around global health, climate action, gender equality and other critical issues.

How we engage with our stakeholders

Suppliers, industry associations, governments, investors and customers. These are just some of the stakeholders who play a key role in extending the reach of our sustainable solutions.

Sustainability priorities

Our rigorous assessment is aligned with the principles of double materiality. It allows us to evaluate both our impact on the environment and society and how ESG issues impact long-term value creation.

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