Principle 2

Principle 2: Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses

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
Purchasing policy
Social responsibility policy

Position on diversity and equal opportunities
Position on human rights
Position on responsible purchasing

Please refer to Principle 1 for scope and general approach regarding Novozymes’ support of human and labor rights.

Novozymes’ minimum standards of social responsibility cover freedom of association, nondiscrimination, working hours, wages and benefits, disciplinary measures, child labor, and forced labor.

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Human rights in practice

Responsibilities and activities
Regional presidents at Novozymes have the overall responsibility for human rights and labor rights aspects in their particular regions, whereas a leader responsible for a particular site has the operational responsibility. Representatives from line of business in the Sustainability Development Board are responsible for the activities in their own respective parts of line of business.

New self-assessment procedure
Novozymes’ business units and sites conduct annual self-assessments, which are carried out on the basis of our global minimum standards. These self-assessments help to identify better practices and to share experiences between business units and sites, thereby improving performance locally. By anchoring adherence to the minimum standards in line of business on site level through self-assessments, reports sent to the Sustainability Development Board enable careful reviews and decisions on further action in collaboration with the Sustainability Development Department. Starting in 2011, regional representatives will be responsible for conducting annual self-assessments to ensure simplicity and synergies with other reporting processes within the regions.

Audits of business units' compliance with internationally recognized human rights and labor standards are an integrated part of the internal auditing program. Audit findings are reported to Executive Management, and follow-up on corrective actions is integrated into our audit procedures, which are verified by third-party auditors. In 2010, social audits were made in India and Canada. Novozymes does not report audit findings externally.

Human rights and action plans for noncompliant suppliers
To further expand the scope of sustainability and managing human rights in our supply chain, Novozymes completed the implementation of a comprehensive supplier performance management system in 2009. The system covers all aspects of our supplier performance management from initial approval of new suppliers to ongoing performance evaluation. The approach is based on an integrated set of evaluation criteria, including employee health & safety, human rights, business ethics, and environmental aspects. The system allows us to provide performance profiles on all significant suppliers to Novozymes based on criteria such as spend, country of production, and purchasing category, and helps the purchasing function focus its efforts on the suppliers who typically pose the biggest risks.

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Responsible purchasing

In 2010, 90% of total purchase spend was covered by the approach, and significant suppliers have been screened on human rights issues, including freedom of association, nondiscrimination, working hours, wages and benefits, disciplinary measures, child labor, and forced labor. The target was to develop action plans for noncompliant suppliers in order to improve performance. This has led to 168 action plans with the majority resulting in dialogue with suppliers to resolve commercial, quality, and sustainability issues.

As part of an internal initiative to further increase awareness of responsible purchasing and the need for the organization to use approved suppliers, employees from various parts of the business attended a post-workday event. The event was held by the Sourcing department and featured Mads Øvlisen, a UN Global Compact board member. Further sustainability assessment training of purchasers and auditors is planned in 2011.

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