Human Rights, Fair remuneration

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Reporting period

The Sustainability section includes information from the combined entity for 12 months (DSM and Firmenich are reported as of 1 January 2023). The sustainability data in this Report cover all entities that belong to the scope of the Consolidated financial statements. If this is not the case this is mentioned specifically. As this is the first year of reporting for dsm-firmenich, no comparative data is available for 2022. For more information, see Sustainability statements.

Social impact

We want to move through the world in a way that leaves a positive impact on everyone dsm-firmenich touches, allowing a more equitable and just society. By doing so we positively contribute to creating a world where everyone has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life, where communities thrive, and where the planet is sustained for future generations.

We act with intent and create opportunities to make the world more equitable wherever possible, starting with the workplace. We commit to workplaces where business goals are achieved with respect for people’s dignity and their human rights.

Human rights

Across our activities, and the activities of our broader value chain, we always remain committed to the highest international standards in human rights. These standards include the International Bill of Human Rights (consisting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In addition, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises help us implement our commitment to our ongoing due diligence practices within Responsible Sourcing practices. As a signatory of UN Global Compact, dsm-firmenich promotes decent work in global supply chains and works toward this goal with our suppliers.

The above is further stipulated in our Global Human Rights Policy. In our policy annex, we have highlighted the salient issues to which we will pay heightened attention in our ongoing due diligence process practices. We have structurally identified human rights risks for our own operations, our supply chain and within our markets. We did this by looking at severity (scale, scope, irremediability) and likelihood, following the framework set by the United Nations Guiding Principles. This has resulted in the following list of salient issues, in no particular order:

  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Child Labor
  • Forced Labor
  • Living Wage
  • Working Time
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Discrimination & Harassment
  • Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
  • Community Impacts

Human rights in our operations

With respect to internal human rights due diligence, our Code of Business Ethics serves as an overarching guidance for all our employees acting on minimum behavioral and ethical principles. With the Human Rights policy as a core foundation, including the separate internal procedures on labor rights working conditions, we will focus on holding internal entities accountable for meeting legal and regulatory requirements, adhering to established standards, and being responsive to the needs and concerns raised by customers. This will be assessed by our internal control framework and our operational audits. Furthermore, behavior that is at odds with our values can be reported via our ‘speak up’ tools.

For more information, see Business Ethics.

Human rights in our supply chain

Within our Responsible Sourcing practices, we have adopted a human rights due diligence approach. We believe it is critical to stimulate transformation and positive change through field-based collaborations at source to learn what can be further improved, but moreover to align on where further embedding on social topics is required in our existing supplier screening and monitoring.

This includes the following steps:

  • Identify actual and potential human rights impacts, including emerging risks
  • Address our findings by implementing respective policies and processes
  • Track the effectiveness of our actions and disclose the progress made
  • Communicate regularly to our stakeholders on our progress

We recognize that human rights due diligence is a continuous process, and we are eager to continuously evolve our efforts to further improve our responsible business practices.

For more information on our Responsible Sourcing and our due diligence approach, see Supplier engagement and Mint with Purpose.

Equitable living standards

We care for our employees and their families by securing a decent standard of living. That is why we commit to pay a living wage to all our employees in our own operations.

A living wage is the wage required to purchase the goods and services needed to meet a minimum acceptable living standard for workers and their families. This includes proper access to health, food and nutrition, housing, and education.

Ensuring that people earn a living wage is a critical step toward building a more equitable and inclusive society. In 2023, we started designing and incorporating a Living Wage approach that would be applicable for dsm-firmenich. In 2024 we will further incorporate the Living Wage approach as part of our integration. And as a next step, we want to secure the same for more people beyond our workforce, specifically focusing on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture. We will work with our suppliers, other businesses, governments, and NGOs to create change and encourage the global adoption of living wage practices.


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