Principle 8

Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility  

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 Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Global Compact


Environment and bioethics policy
Purchasing policy

Position on biofuels
Position on global warming Position on labeling of enzymes 
Position on responsible purchasing

Scope and approach
Novozymes operates in the business-to-business market. Companies are being increasingly pushed by requirements and expectations regarding their contribution to sustainable development, and this is increasingly seen as an opportunity for Novozymes. Promoting environmental responsibility is becoming enlightened self-interest. Using product life cycle assessments (LCAs), we evaluate the impact on the environment at every stage of a product’s life cycle and find that enzyme technology is generally an environmentally friendly alternative to other technologies. Please refer to Novozymes’ LCA studies

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Proven environmental benefits

Responsibilities and activities 
Sustainability is anchored within the Executive Management of Novozymes via the Sustainability Development Board (SDB). SDB develops and implements the overall strategy for environmental performance. Moreover, Novozymes has a central Environmental Services unit and a number of decentralized units linked to production sites. Efforts on environmental performance are coordinated in the Novozymes Environmental Forum (NEF), a global network consisting of environment representatives.

Promoting environmental responsibility
Managing stakeholder relations and promoting environmental responsibility are increasingly integrated into our day-to-day business. Examples include:

Pipeline LCAs
Results of LCAs are used in our dialogue with Novozymes' customers concerning both enzyme technology and product quality. All pipeline discovery and development projects in R&D are passed through a "mini life cycle assessment," known as a pipeline LCA. All pipeline LCAs are based on assumptions concerning the production of the enzyme together with its impacts and effectiveness during use.

Transport CO 2 efficiency
Novozymes purchases transport services from providers in different countries around the world. These services involve transport of Novozymes' raw materials, products, etc. by train, ship, truck, and plane. Calculating the environmental impact of transport is extremely complex and requires close collaboration with the transport companies. Novozymes discloses data on CO 2  emissions derived from transport broken down by land, sea, and air. Transport data for 2010 include export of products from all primary enzyme production sites to first delivery place, covering more than 90% of Novozymes’ sales, as well as transport between production sites. The data are divided into (a) freight paid for by Novozymes and (b) estimates for the transport of products paid by customers. We plan to incorporate specific initiatives regarding transport in our climate strategy in 2011.

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Transport and the environment

Green company car policy
To support Novozymes’ actions to contribute to environmental improvements in transport and to meet our corporate CO 2 efficiency target we launched a new Danish company car policy in 2010. In short, employees entitled to lease a company car are given an economic incentive to choose an environmentally friendly car class according to the EU Green Car classification (A, B or C), such as alternative-fuel vehicles or hybrid electric vehicles.  

Global water project
A comprehensive project has been exploring Novozymes’ role, risks, and opportunities with regard to water and striving to make water a manageable issue. Current use of water and handling of both wastewater and biomass have been mapped in greater detail than ever before, and a 10-year risk assessment has been carried out for selected production sites. Manageability of both risks and mitigation actions has been evaluated and initiated. Further, an important outcome of the project was to define our long-term water efficiency target. The long-term target for water efficiency is a 40% increase in 2015 compared to 2005. In 2010, we have increased our water efficiency by approximately 29% compared to 2005.

Collaboration with the municipality of Copenhagen on wastewater
For several years, Novozymes has transported 4,000 truck loads of wastewater from Fuglebakken to Kalundborg in Denmark for wastewater treatment due to lack of capacity in Copenhagen. When the Danish brewery Carlsberg moved part of its operations away from Copenhagen in 2010, there was excess capacity again in Copenhagen, and Novozymes and the local authorities agreed that this was a win-win situation.

The outcome of the collaboration leads to significant CO 2 savings in terms of avoided transport for Novozymes. In addition, it creates an advantage for the residents of Copenhagen because treatment of wastewater is cheaper if all capacity is utilized and to some extent paid for by a company such as Novozymes. Furthermore, the project contributes to the aim of the municipality of Copenhagen to reduce traffic noise and air pollution in the Copenhagen area.

Promoting biotechnology as a part of the solution to environmental challenges
With the aim to promote sustainable technology, the “Biotechnology for sustainability goes to school” project was launched as a collaborative effort between Novozymes, the Municipal Department of Education of Araucária in Brazil, and the NGO Arayara Institute for Education and Sustainability. From 2010 to 2013, seven schools from the local municipality have biotechnology as a part of the curriculum, with classes being taught by Novozymes employees on how enzyme-based technological processes work without harming the environment.

Environmental safety and supplier performance
Novozymes’ suppliers are asked to provide information on environmental management and performance as part of our evaluation of their environmental performance. Environmental audits are also carried out for selected suppliers as an integrated part of Novozymes' quality audits.

In 2010, 90% of total purchase spend was covered by the approach, and significant suppliers have been screened on sustainability issues. 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. We will initiate an assessment of the raw materials with greatest environmental impacts in order to identify areas of improvement on raw material sourcing. Furthermore, the system will be utilized to progress with specific supply chain engagement initiatives.

Please refer to Principle 2 for scope and general approach regarding Novozymes’ supplier performance management system.

Energy efficiency

EN 1
EN 3 - 8
EN 11 - 26
EN 28
EN 29

SO 5

PR 3
PR 4




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