Principle 3

Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining

Novozymes' management systems, commitments, and positions

Novozymes' approach in 2009

Reference to GRI G3 performance indicators

The Novozymes Touch

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

People policy
Purchasing policy
Social responsibility policy

Position on human rights 
Position on responsible purchasing 

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

Novozymes recognizes the right to form and join associations, and to bargain collectively. In countries where labor rights may be restricted, Novozymes takes action to establish internal committees and unions, which can discuss various work-related issues with management.

Responsibilities and activities
Regional presidents within Novozymes have overall responsibility for human rights and labor rights aspects in their particular regions, whereas the person responsible for a particular site has operational responsibility. Evaluation of compliance with local minimum standards is reported annually to the Sustainability Development Board, which is made up of line of business representatives. Please refer to Novozymes’ overall approach to sustainability.

Novozymes’ business units conduct annual self-assessments, which are carried out on the basis of our global minimum standards. The minimum standards make it possible to identify better practices and share experiences between business units, thereby improving performance locally. The anchoring of the minimum standards in line of business through self-assessments is reported to the Sustainability Development Board, which reviews and decides on further action in collaboration with the Sustainability Development Department on an annual basis. In 2009, training in and communication of the minimum standards have been conducted at local sites to allow for emphasis on the most relevant standards locally.

Audits of business units' compliance with internationally recognized human rights and labor standards are an integrated part of the internal auditing program. Each year, Novozymes’ internal audit panel selects business units to be audited with regard to their compliance with human rights and labor standards. Audit findings are reported internally to Executive Management, and follow-up on corrective actions is integrated into our audit procedures/system, which are verified by third-party auditors. Novozymes does not report audit findings externally.

Local social responsibility strategies 
Beyond ensuring compliance with global minimum standards, Novozymes’ sites develop local social responsibility strategies. In 2010, Novozymes will launch a comprehensive global initiative targeting social performance. The initiative will further integrate social responsibility into day-to-day activities by rethinking approaches at sites, in regions, and in business units, as well as toward individual employees. 

Internal committees
Novozymes recognizes the right to organize and negotiate, which has led to various setups according to local working environments. One example is that Novozymes has set up an internal committee in China to negotiate our Chinese colleagues’ right to organize and bargain collectively. This setup provides a forum for employee representatives to discuss various issues with management, including benefits, working environment, and feedback to employees. Various actions have also been initiated regarding cooperation with the local union, focusing on employee welfare, work/life balance, and corporate culture.


See also:

For related information on Novozymes’ approach to human and labor rights, please refer to Financial and sustainability discussion and Environmental, social, and knowledge data.

Learn more about Novozymes’ approach to Responsible purchasing at

See the list of institutions that are Novozymes' key stakeholders regarding Global Compact.

LA 5

HR 1
HR 2
HR 3
HR 4
HR 5

SO 5



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