DSM lays groundwork for human and planetary health improvements for 2022
02 Mar 2022 --- In its integrated annual report (IAR) 2021, DSM is highlighting how last year “set the foundation” for changes across its business, with positive impacts on its financial, environmental and personnel-related results. Looking ahead, 2022 is being positioned as the year to “anchor” these developments.
“Our strategy served us very well in 2021. It helped us to set our priorities in order to drive organic growth, especially in view of the rapidly changing circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” say co-CEOs Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze.
Notably, its 2021 results – released last month – saw sales from continuing operations rise 14% to €9.204 billion (US$10.208 billion).
Capturing opportunities with tech
Last September, DSM made the strategic decision to focus its resources and capabilities to address the urgent societal and environmental challenges linked to the way the world produces and consumes food.
Advances in digital technology and bioscience offer realistic, scalable solutions to tackle these challenges, creating new markets and innovation opportunities, note the co-CEOs.
“With our strong combination of scientific competencies and a growing portfolio of nutrition and health solutions, we are ideally positioned to capture these opportunities,” they state.
One aspect of these is personalized nutrition, which allows people to make dietary choices tailored to their specific needs. DSM says this reduces their exposure to a wide range of non-communicable diseases and helps to lower healthcare costs.
In this space, 2021 saw DSM roll out Hologram Sciences, its new consumer-facing company. Hologram Sciences recently launched its second brand, Phenology, which provides personalized care for women.
Reducing environmental footprint
Planetary health is a significant theme in DSM’s IAR, with the company noting around 23% greenhouse gas reduction for scope 1 and 2 (direct emissions and indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organization). This is in terms of structural improvement since the 2016 baseline. In 2020, this figure was 18%.
Additionally, energy efficiency has been improved by 6.0% year-on-year, in comparison to 5.7% in 2020. Furthermore, 72% of purchased electricity came from renewable resources, compared to 60% in 2020.
“We take our global environmental responsibilities very seriously. These extend beyond our own operations to include those of our suppliers, customers and end-users,” states DSM.
Besides mitigating climate change, DSM is also working on climate adaptation. In 2020-2021, it conducted physical risk assessments of its top 30 sites to improve the resilience of its assets against potential physical impacts of climate change.
In 2021, it also established and piloted a process in two business groups to identify and assess the potential impacts of the different speeds of transition to a net-zero world.
In addition to helping future-proof the company, environmental considerations are also key for consumer appeal, with Innova Market Insights crowning “Shared Planet” as the Top Trend for 2022.
Reflecting on incidents
The IAR also delves into DSM’s progress as an employer. For example, 23% of executives are now female, compared to 21% in 2020.
While the employee engagement index has stayed steady at 76%, the frequency index of recordable injuries fell from 0.24 in 2020 to 0.22.
Examples of injuries that happened include a fall in Switzerland that resulted in a dislocated shoulder and a fall in China that caused multiple rib fractures. There are also multiple reports of fingertip losses, as well as various burns.
DSM also reports a few incidents throughout 2021 that may have had some impacts on profits. For example, at DSM Food Specialties in the Netherlands, the mechanical breakdown of a centrifuge led to a loss of production of more than a week.
At another point, this facility also had parts of equipment incorrectly replaced during a maintenance stop, leading to a delay in restarting the production.
Edited by Katherine Durrell
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