Principle 1

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

Novozymes' management systems, commitments, and positions

Novozymes' approach in 2010

Reference to GRI G3 performance indicators

Touch the World

  • Vision, values, and company idea 
  • Support for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact


People policy
Social responsibility policy

Position on diversity and equal opportunities
Position on human rights

Scope and approach
Novozymes supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Convention on Labor Standards, and the principles of the UN Global Compact. Subsequently, Novozymes' seven minimum standards of human and labor rights are based on these international principles. Novozymes’ minimum standards cover:

  • Freedom of association
  • Nondiscrimination
  • Working hours
  • Wages and benefits
  • Disciplinary measures
  • Child labor
  • Forced labor

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Human rights in practice

Responsibilities and activities
Relevant principles are integrated systematically into management practices to ensure compliance with standards.  Evaluation of compliance with minimum standards at Novozymes’ sites is reported annually to the Sustainability Development Board.

Occupational health & safety, including the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases, is a line management responsibility. Responsibilities in relation to safety and health promotion are outlined in management standards within Novozymes’ quality system, an integrated management system covering environment, occupational health & safety, and social responsibility.

Impact based social responsibility
In 2010, Novozymes initiated a global project aiming at improving our social responsibility performance and outreach. The objective is to further integrate social responsibility into day-to-day activities by rethinking approaches at sites, in regions, and in business units. Specifically, we are working on defining a more simple and proactive approach to managing our minimum standards. In addition, we want to capitalize more on synergies within the different regions and to improve further our possibilities to meet the needs of our stakeholders, with a particular focus on local communities.

During 2010, we have mapped local trends and the related social responsibility activities in all regions in order to acquire an in-depth understanding of best practices that we can build on as we move forward. This exercise shows that the citizenship projects creating the most value for Novozymes and to the beneficiary are connected to using our capabilities within promoting science understanding through education, as well as sharing our experience in promoting environmental responsibility in order to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

A more simplified and proactive approach to managing our minimum standards and securing compliance has been developed. Starting in 2011, our minimum standards of human and labor rights will continue to be based on international standards and principles, but will be aligned specifically with the principles of the UN Global Compact.

In 2011, we expect to replace our current local social responsibility strategies, first implemented in 2004 and traditionally very employee focused, with regionally anchored projects and activities that are more oriented toward our communities. Such projects are expected to maximize the value of resources dedicated to corporate citizenship activities regionally and to give highest priority to projects with the largest benefits for both the beneficiary and for Novozymes.

Health promotion
Novozymes actively supports employees’ safety and promotes healthy lifestyles. Health promotion is beneficial to our employees as well as to Novozymes through the increased stability achieved as a result of fewer sick days and improved well-being. Moreover, it is part of our corporate social responsibility to offer healthy and safe working conditions that help prevent both work-related and lifestyle-related illnesses and diseases. In this way, our initiatives indirectly benefit society, which carries a large burden in relation to treatment, care, and sick leave expenses.

At Novozymes, the objective of health promotion is primarily prevention. We are continuously working to expand the range of opportunities for employees to improve their health, for instance through information campaigns and other initiatives are carried out across the company.

Health initiatives are coordinated across Novozymes together with regional/local initiatives that are designed to fit actual needs. All Novozymes sites are either tobacco free or only permit smoking within screened smoking cabins, healthy food is available in all canteens, and fresh fruit is available in the departments. Some sites have fitness centers that are open during and outside working hours. All employees are offered a health insurance. Globally, Novozymes also offers various return-to-work arrangements, where after their sick leave, employees gradually increase the number of working hours, often under the supervision of a medical doctor, nurse, or social advisor.

Behavioral Based Safety
For many years, Novozymes has conducted annual risk assessments in all departments and engaged employees to regularly report risks and hazards that may lead to diseases or accidents in daily operations – all to ensure a healthy and safe workplace.

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Maintaining a safe workplace

In 2010, Novozymes initiated the global Occupational Health & Safety initiative “Dare to Care.” Dare to Care is a Behavioral Based Safety program. The objective of Dare to Care is to improve our ever increasing focus on safe behavior by using both observation of job operations and feedback as tools for eliminating hazards and for enhancing our safety culture. In 2010, Dare to Care has been successfully launched at all Novozymes sites. 

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SO 5

PR 1




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