Principle 8

Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

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 Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Support for the United Nations Global Compact

Environment and bioethics policy
Purchasing policy

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

Scope and approach
Novozymes operates in the business-to-business market. Companies are increasingly encountering requirements and expectations that they should contribute 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 look at 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

Responsibilities and activities 
Novozymes has a central environmental unit and a number of decentral units linked to production sites. Environmental performance efforts at our own sites are coordinated in a network of management representatives from production sites. Developing Novozymes’ overall approach to sustainability, providing internal guidelines and tools, and carrying out LCAs are responsibilities of corporate headquarters and the Sustainability Development Board.

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

  • Results of LCAs are used in the dialog with Novozymes' customers on enzyme technology and product quality
  • All pipeline discovery and development projects in R&D must pass through a "mini life cycle assessment," known as pipeline LCA. Pipeline LCAs are based on assumptions concerning the production of the enzyme together with its impacts and effectiveness during use
  • Novozymes’ suppliers are asked to provide information on environmental management and performance through a questionnaire. Accordingly, evaluating suppliers' environmental performance is an integrated part of Novozymes' purchasing management system
  • Environmental audits are carried out for selected suppliers as an integrated part of Novozymes' quality audits.

Environmental safety and supplier performance 
To Novozymes it is important to promote environmental responsibility among partners in our supply chain. In order to further expand the scope of sustainability and responsible sourcing in our supply chain, Novozymes has completed 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 environmental, employee health and safety, human rights, and business ethics aspects. The system allows us to provide performance profiles on all significant suppliers to Novozymes, and to focus on the suppliers who pose the biggest risk. In 2009, 88% of total purchase spend was covered by the system. In 2010, action plans for noncompliant suppliers will be developed in order to improve performance.   

Transport and the environment
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 air. Calculating the environmental impact of transport is extremely complex and requires close collaboration with the transport companies. Transport data for 2009 include export of sales products from all primary enzyme production sites to first delivery place, covering more than 90% of Novozymes’ sales, and transport between production sites. The data are divided into (a) freight paid for by Novozymes and (b) estimates for the transport of product paid by customers. For more information, please refer to Transport and the environment at

Global water project
A comprehensive project in 2009 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 waste water and biomass have been mapped in greater detail than before, and a 10-year risk assessment carried out for selected production sites. Manageability of risks and mitigation actions have been evaluated and initiated. Further, an important outcome of the project was to define our long-term water target. The long-term target for water efficiency is a 40% increase in 2015 compared to 2005.

At our Hongda plant in China, for example, water consumption in 2008 was reduced by 15% compared to 2007 thanks to investments in new equipment and integration of operations. In 2009, the Hongda plant carried out water consumption mapping and a water efficiency analysis. In addition, an internal forum meeting was held for consumers on how to save more water and increase efficiency in the use of water. Subsequently, five activities were implemented in 2009, resulting in an additional increase in water efficiency of 15% compared to 2008.


See also:

Environmental risk factors are a part of Novozymes' internal controls and risk management systems. Please refer to Risk factors for more information.

See more about Novozymes' approach to Minimizing environmental impact, and the Proven environmental benefits of using enzymes in various production processes at

Learn more about Novozymes’ approach to Responsible purchasing at

For related information please refer to Financial and sustainability discussion and Environmental, social, and knowledge data.

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

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

SO 5

PR 3
PR 4




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