People in 2016

DSM aims to foster a high-performance culture to support delivery of our targets and aspirations. We seek to attract and retain original thinkers and doers who can further our company’s capabilities while actively developing their own credentials and careers. We achieve this by providing a healthy, diverse and above all safe working environment for employees and by supporting and encouraging them in their personal development.

DSM’s international profile means that its employees represent 98 nationalities, working at more than 200 sites and offices in 46 countries worldwide. This allows us to be close to our key markets and customers as we pursue profitable business growth around the globe. Our strategy is aimed at stimulating inclusion, diversity and inspirational leadership. It is governed by means of a regional system with clear accountability for performance at Managing Board level.

Our People Strategy 2018 in support of DSM’s Strategy 2018: Driving Profitable Growth focuses on three pillars for attaining a more performance-oriented workforce: 1) agile employees, 2) skilled employees and 3) accountable employees. This strategy is aligned with our material topics and supports DSM’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The key material topics relevant to People are:

Our People strategy also focuses DSM’s engagement on the two most relevant SDGs for the People dimension: SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being).

This chapter outlines DSM's approach toward its employees, which is embodied in the company's safety and health policies and people strategy including our Life Saving Rules. Our approach toward people affected by DSM’s operations is governed by our policies on human rights, the Brighter Living Solutions program, and our Supplier Sustainability Program.

The performance elements of our People strategy are detailed in the Sustainability statements − People. See also How DSM creates value for its stakeholders and Stakeholder engagement.

DSM's People & Organization objectives

People indicators

Aspirations 2020
Realization 2016
Frequency Index of Recordable Injuries
Employee Engagement Index
Toward 75%
Diversity - Female executives
Diversity - Executives from under-represented nationalities

Safety and health

Personal safety and process safety

Rigorous application of DSM’s Life Saving Rules has been a significant factor behind DSM remaining fatality-free for the last five years, among both our own workforce and contractor personnel. Nevertheless, with the ambition to become a completely incident- and injury-free company, the incidents that still occur, along with the severity of their consequences, are always a cause for concern and a spur to action. We consequently set targets and monitor performance regarding both personal and process safety at DSM. These are defined in the DSM Responsible Care Plan 2016-2020.

Personal safety incidents are those which affect people only. Personal safety is measured through a Frequency Index of Recordable Injuries in which Fatalities, Lost Workday Cases, Restricted Workday Cases and Medical Treatment Cases of all persons present on site are shown – employees as well as (supervised and other) contractors and visitors. In 2016, the index improved from 0.41 to 0.33. This improvement is mainly due to portfolio changes and to performance improvements in the units belonging to DSM in both years. The Frequency Index of Lost Workday Cases for DSM employees was 0.14 (2015: 0.13).

The Frequency Index of Recordable Injuries among contractors improved from 0.70 to 0.56 in 2016. This was mainly due to the portfolio changes mentioned above. The year 2016 was also the first full reporting year following the implementation of the new permit to work standard in 2015. Efforts were also made to increase awareness for the importance of a good last-minute risk assessment. Contractor safety continues to have our attention as we strive for the safest possible working environment for all.

Frequency Index

Process safety incidents are those which affect plant or storage facilities directly. They are rare but can have a major impact, with effects on people and/or the environment both within and beyond site borders. As of 2016, process safety is measured by recording incidents that comply with the definition given by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). The change in definition led to a new target for 2020 of 0.15, which is aligned with our earlier aspirations. The PSI rate moved from 0.41 under the CEFIC definition to 0.30 under the ICCA definition per the end of 2015 mainly because releases of non-hazardous substances are not considered in the newly applied ICCA definition. The PSI rate slightly improved throughout the year 2016 to 0.28.

Frequency Index of Process Safety

Of the incidents in 2016, most related to an unintentional release of certain substances (in varying quantities) from a DSM plant or storage facility that could be remediated without further consequences. There were a small number of incidents of a different type, which are listed in the chapter What still went wrong in 2016.

For a full description of the personal safety and process safety frequency indexes, see Explanation of some concepts and ratios.

DSM’s safety planning focuses on risks, to ensure that the company’s efforts are primarily directed at the potential incidents and situations that would pose the highest risk, and that steps can be taken to avoid their occurrence. Adherence to DSM’s Life Saving Rules is also an important element in the internal auditing system, which is applied at all levels of the organization – corporate, business group and site.

Based on the incidents that have occurred in recent years, it is clear that improving risk awareness and alertness among the workforce is a crucial success factor. DSM will consequently prioritize improvements to its behavioral systems in support of this, with a key role for management in leading by example.

Further improvement will also be driven by continuing to rigorously instill and enhance SHE competences at all levels. The changes in DSM’s business portfolio in recent years have inevitably led to differences in SHE maturity across the company. Furthermore, our current operating network consists of more smaller sites around the world than in the past, and these need to be self-supporting in terms of SHE. We will deploy dedicated classroom-based and on-the-job training to close these competency gaps.

Ocean Nutrition Canada rises to DSM’s SHE standards

In the past four years, DSM has acquired some 30 new sites, all of which have had to adopt DSM’s strict SHE standards. Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC), a producer of fish oil-based omega-3 with manufacturing sites in Peru, the US and Canada, is an example.

DSM acquired ONC in 2012 and immediately communicated the importance of full adoption of its SHE standards. A dedicated SHE integration manager with DSM experience was appointed to help the new organization manage this process. DSM’s SHE requirements were more demanding than those they replaced, so fulfilling these while managing all the other integration activities and strategic projects, plus keeping ONC’s business running at the same time, was a tough challenge for the ONC team.

DSM has a clear SHE integration process. We start by training management in DSM’s expectations and standards, and conducting zero assessments of all the plants. The findings of these assessments form the basis for a three-year SHE integration plan that focuses on controlling process safety risks, implementing DSM’s Life Saving Rules, and introducing DSM’s SHE management system. The new DSM employees approached the required changes with a positive attitude, quickly achieving good results. DSM’s attention to employee well-being and emphasis on training were highly appreciated, and cooperation with existing DSM sites in the Americas speeded the adoption of the new standards.

The positive impact of the SHE integration process was confirmed by audits of the three ONC manufacturing sites conducted by DSM’s Corporate Operational Audit department. The process provides a template for the SHE integration of any future acquisitions.

Dave Elder, Senior Director of Manufacturing at ONC, comments: “It’s been a very interesting transition. We’ve moved from wanting to avoid accidents on site to actively managing our SHE performance so as to prevent potential incidents.”

Employee health management

DSM recognizes that healthy working conditions make a significant contribution to employee health and well-being. They also have an important positive impact on employee engagement and productivity. Employees and company alike benefit from healthy working conditions in today's increasingly fast-paced and competitive world. In response, we have implemented policies and initiatives to safeguard employee health by mitigating workplace risks, and to promote and support employee health and well-being.

With a view to prevention, a training program on industrial hygiene was launched in 2015 and continued in 2016. This aims to ensure that DSM has adequate competences regarding industrial hygiene at all sites, with an emphasis on ensuring that appropriate control measures are in place.

DSM fosters a culture of health among its employees through the Vitality@DSM program. This global health management program provides employees with insights into their own lifestyles and explains the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles.

It also encourages them to take responsibility for changing any unhealthy habits. To maximize engagement, cultural and regional differences are taken into account. The Vitality@DSM program has been running at DSM for almost 10 years, and in 2016 more than 1,500 employees participated in it.

Employees participating in Vitality@DSM receive a general health check-up and fill in a self-assessment questionnaire to evaluate their profile across the dimensions of nutrition, recovery, exercise and mental health. A personal risk score and action plan is provided to make employees aware of their own specific health-related risks. According to the group report, compared to 2015, the cost saving from productivity gains attributable to this program reached approximately €200,000. Results from the self-assessments employees have completed since the start of the program show that 52% have moderate to very high stress risk; 37% have moderate to very high risk of poor eating habits; 26% seldom or never exercise; and 28% are overweight or obese.

In 2016, DSM participated in the Global Corporate Challenge, a 100-day worldwide program to improve personal health and well-being. In small teams, employees went on a virtual journey around the world, keeping track of their daily walking, cycling and swimming activities. Across DSM, a total of 83 teams took part in the program. On this journey, 78% of participants met the recommended daily levels for physical effort (10,000 steps per day). The program not only raises awareness of the need to be active but also provides participants with information on good nutrition and how to obtain better sleep. In addition, advice is provided on mental health issues. The intention is to further implement this program throughout DSM in the coming years.

A total of six occupational health cases were reported in 2016 (2015: 5). This number represents reported cases, and the real figure may be higher. Cases may develop over a prolonged period of time, and causes may be present in both working and private life, with the work-related portion going unacknowledged. Privacy concerns or cultural factors also influence employees’ willingness to report and discuss personal health issues. DSM continued to increase employee awareness of occupational health issues and to increase transparency in the reporting of all occupational health cases the company encounters; for this, the Occupational Health network was revitalized in 2016.

New organizational and operating model

In 2016, DSM continued to implement its new organizational and operating model as part of its Strategy 2018. This focuses on creating a more agile and cost-effective organization. It allows DSM’s businesses to focus on growth and leverages the support functions on a global level, and aims to achieve structural cost savings of €125-150 million against the baseline of 2014. The program aspires to deliver these savings in full by the end of 2017.

Strong progress was made on the design and implementation of new operating models for various support functions (Finance, HR, ICT, Indirect Sourcing and Communication), enabling them to deliver better service at lower cost. The creation of a common Shared Service Organization for a number of these support functions underpins this initiative. DSM also looked deeper into the shared R&D units, aiming to increase their effectiveness and obtain more yield from the same investment.

Additional efforts were made in internal communication concerning organizational change and company culture. These are aimed at creating a better understanding of the new operating model among employees. Encouraging the mindset and behavior necessary to make the new organizational set-up a success will help DSM to achieve its long-term goals.

The organizational changes will result in a headcount reduction of 900-1,100 FTEs. Close to 50% of these will be in the Netherlands, and the remaining approximately 50% will be in the other regions in which DSM operates.

DSM provides fair severance compensation and supports redundant employees in their search for new employment. We apply a clear, objective and transparent process in determining which positions and employees are, regrettably, impacted. We align with employee representation bodies where applicable concerning this process, and we actively interact with works councils.

I am very proud of DSM’s employees. We remain focused on delivering business results while the new operating models come into effect. With their dedication and hard work, our employees have shown that it’s possible to carry out a significant reorganization and still deliver on our business growth and performance goals.

Peter Vrijsen, DSM Executive Committee

ONE DSM Culture Agenda

The ONE DSM Culture Agenda aims to support the company’s strategic objectives and to equip employees to respond to the needs of an ever-changing world. The Culture Agenda focuses on four themes, and is aimed at supporting employees in: aligning with the realities of their operating environment; setting ambitious targets and delivering on these; encouraging active (co-)creation; and fostering an inclusive culture that embraces differences. These themes create a common language across the organization, and enhance a ONE DSM culture for all our businesses and regions.

culture icons

In 2016, particular emphasis was placed on the way the four themes and their related behaviors support the implementation of the new DSM organizational and operating model. The ONE DSM Culture Agenda underpinned the roll-out and communication of new operating models for DSM’s support functions (e.g. Finance and IT in 2016) as well as driving adoption of the supportive mindset and behaviors needed to help achieve DSM’s ambitious organic growth and cost-saving targets.

Continuous improvement

One of the ways in which we drive organizational performance is by fostering a culture of continuous improvement across our sites and operational environments. Our employees are involved in managing processes on a day-to-day basis; they experience bottlenecks and inefficiencies as they occur in practice, often before these are noticed through the application of formal improvement methodologies. The DSM Integral Continuous Improvement (DICI) journey is currently running across approximately 40% of DSM’s manufacturing operations. With DICI, we are empowering employees to be able to make continuous process improvements themselves. Sometimes these improvements can be local or relate to specific process steps, but since they can be repeated many times, small changes can add up to have a big impact.

  • In Shunde (China), a productivity improvement initiative was started that links employee benefits with both business demand (high quality & low cost) and individual competency development. This resulted in more flexibility and productivity from the operators, increased production, and positively impacted their income, leading to a higher engagement with strong reduction in the turnover rate among operators.
  • A group of production operators and engineers at our Kingstree site (South Carolina, USA) uncovered a hidden design flaw that allowed oil and end-product to enter the clean hexane stream (the final wash in the system). This has resulted in an annual saving of approximately USD 1,000,000 for an investment of less than USD 1,000.

Inclusion & Diversity

DSM has a focused Inclusion & Diversity strategy, which is aimed at better reflecting and leveraging our global profile in our workforce.

For Diversity, our immediate priority is to increase the number of women and under-represented nationalities in executive positions. Our aim for 2020 is for 25% of executives to be female and for at least 60% of executives to be from under-represented nationalities.

Over recent years, the number of female executives had increased steadily to reach 15% in 2015. In 2016, this number remained stable at 15%.

Given the relatively small number of Managing Board members, the composition of the Managing Board in 2016, with one female and three male members, came very close to the 30% prescribed by Dutch legislation in terms of gender balance. The current composition of the Supervisory Board is well balanced, in terms of both gender and nationalities, and is in line with Dutch legislation in this regard. More than one third of the members are women (of the seven Supervisory Board members, three are female and four are male). Furthermore, in the Supervisory Board of DSM Nederland B.V., a subsidiary of Royal DSM, one of the three members is female.

Gender balance will continue to require attention, and DSM’s Executive Committee has devoted considerable energy to this topic in order to further move the needle. DSM’s CEO and Chairman, Feike Sijbesma, has signed the CEO Statement of Support for the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles, signaling the company's support for gender equality and for the guidance provided by these principles. DSM is taking concrete steps to implement these principles through its Inclusion & Diversity strategy. In addition to recruiting female executives, DSM also focuses on developing female executives from its internal talent pool, and engages in various activities that foster new ways of working and changes in behavior.

In terms of a representative balance of nationalities, DSM still has a considerable number of Dutch nationals among its executives. We aim to further diversify our executive population and aspire to have 60% of executives from under-represented nationalities in 2020. In 2016, this improved to 53% (2015: 49%). See also Sustainability statements − People.

Going forward, DSM continues to address the geographical distribution of executives and other key functions, keeping a keen eye on gender and nationality balance, as these remain the essential diversity aspects to foster at this stage. We have set new short-term targets to speed our progress in this regard, and aspire to achieve annual incremental growth of 2% for both gender and under-represented nationalities for the executive population in 2017 and 2018. As of 2017, similar targets will also apply to positions immediately below executive level, to ensure a diverse talent pipeline.

DSM's inclusion efforts are reflected in an improving Inclusion Index, which has continued to increase year on year, reaching 73% in 2016 (2015: 72%). The consistent improvement of this index suggests that sustained progress is being made in creating and maintaining inclusive environments across the company.

The DSM Inclusion & Diversity Council, chaired since 2015 by Managing Board member Stephan Tanda, plays a leading role in driving the achievement of the Inclusion & Diversity targets, and in supporting all DSM businesses in creating an inclusive environment in which diversity is embraced.

Workforce engagement

An engaged workforce is essential for DSM to achieve its ambitions. The DSM Employee Engagement Survey, which has been run annually since 2007, is a tool for understanding the level of engagement employees feel for DSM and their work, and the improvements required for DSM to become a high-performing company. The goal is to ensure that DSM is a place where employees feel proud to work, and where they feel they can excel.

In 2016, a total of 15,333 employees (including 264 contractors) completed the questionnaire, which was distributed to all DSM employees (online in 22 languages and on paper in 7). This represents a very high response rate of 79%. This high participation level gives us a more complete picture of what is working well, and where we need to improve further.

The prime focus of the survey is the measurement of DSM’s Employee Engagement Index, which is the percentage of employees scoring favorably on a combination of four attributes: commitment, pride, advocacy and satisfaction. The Employee Engagement Index measured in 2016 was 71% (2015: 69%). This is slightly ahead of the overall global norm of 70%. For the highest-performing companies around the world, the benchmark number is 81%. This is the league to which DSM aspires, and we have set an intermediate target for 2020 of toward 75%.

The engagement survey also provides essential information about our employees’ views on topics such as DSM’s new strategy, working conditions, open communication, career development, sustainability, inclusion, and diversity. These insights have led to real and measurable improvements. For example, the score for “I believe DSM has a promising future” moved from 65% in 2015 to 78% in 2016. This increase clearly indicates the belief that our employees have in the overall DSM strategy going forward. This conviction is also an important engagement driver at DSM. The overall score on improving career development is a point for attention; although the percentage increased (from 58% to 61%), we aim higher. Our people managers play a pivotal role in this effort, investing time with employees to regularly review their career aspirations and identify opportunities for learning and development.

Leadership & people management programs

DSM Leadership Model

The DSM Leadership Model specifies the behavior DSM expects from its leaders and people managers. The model provides a common vision and language for leadership at DSM.

Leadership model overview expectations

In 2016, we continued to embed the Leadership Model in our key processes for hiring, developing, evaluating and managing talent across the organization and for building high-performing teams. The further roll-out of the model to all senior managers continued throughout 2016 with an upgrade of program content, and with 95% of this population being trained by the end of 2016.

To encourage self-learning beyond the training program, DSM created multiple e-learning modules on each component of the Leadership Model in a digital learning platform called Bright Learning, and simplified the process and tooling for providing 360-degree feedback on the model. In addition, the range of employees evaluated in respect of the Leadership Model in their Annual Performance Review has been expanded beyond executives to cover all employees in senior management positions in 2016.

People Manager 2018

DSM recognizes that its people managers (i.e. line managers) play a critical role in achieving Strategy 2018:Driving Profitable Growth. To support them, DSM launched a development program called DSM People Manager 2018. The program offers a monthly virtual development campaign that contains learning resources on a selected topic relevant for people managers at that time of the year. For example, the topic for January was ‘Goal Setting’, and the May campaign helped them prepare for career development conversations with their employees. People managers can make use of the digital learning resources (e.g. videos, articles and e-learnings) whenever they want. A survey among people managers showed that 66% of respondents visited the campaign sites multiple times. Of the respondents, 54% felt the campaigns were very relevant for their role as a people manager, with 41% neutral and only 5% who did not feel the campaigns were very relevant. The program will run until 2018.

DSM Lead & Grow program

Lead, Grow

With the many challenges that the global economy poses, DSM's Strategy 2018 requires our leadership to think and act differently – to fully understand macro-economic trends, use creative and dilemma-solving techniques, and engage and develop the best talent to help the company on its chosen path.

To facilitate strategy execution company-wide, DSM has collaborated with a leading corporate education company to create the DSM Lead & Grow program. Key elements include: external orientation, creative thinking and organization & people.

Lead & Grow was run as a pilot with a group of DSM senior leaders in May 2016, and received excellent feedback regarding both effectiveness and relevance. Based on this successful pilot, Lead & Grow will be rolled out to all DSM executives by mid-2017.

Developing and managing our talent

DSM talent management approach

In 2016, DSM rolled out a new global talent management approach across the company. An analysis of the company’s talent pipeline and its fit with the new strategic growth plans was carried out. It found that DSM requires a good balance between the profound expertise which delivers value for our customers, and the broad agility which is needed to operate in an increasingly complex and volatile environment.

During the year, almost 8,000 of our employees were assessed in terms of their long-term performance and their learning agility. This helped identify individual employees’ current strengths, as well as to craft targeted development plans. Multiple reviews were carried out throughout the year within business groups, regions and global functions, to ensure maximum objectivity and consistency of assessment (the same individual would be assessed more than once from different viewpoints). New talent designations were introduced to identify employees at different organizational levels whose development could be accelerated so as to prepare them for some of the company’s future challenges.

During a three-day DSM Talent Review, the Executive Committee reviewed a global analysis of DSM’s talent pipeline, as well as a full assessment of succession strength for DSM’s key global positions. A best-in-class talent management application, Talent Suite, was introduced to support an efficient and consistent process globally.

The new talent management approach has received very good feedback from DSM’s management. In a year with changing operating models, the investments made in talent management were perceived as both necessary and effective. The global talent pipeline analysis allowed the Executive Committee to identify some clear actions for the future, including new programs that will be rolled out in 2017 and 2018, to further strengthen DSM’s long-term talent pipeline in order to meet the future challenges of the customers and markets we serve.

Accountability for performance

Accountability for performance plays an important role in achieving DSM’s Strategy 2018. To prepare for this, in 2015 DSM adjusted the goal setting and performance evaluations for its employees, and globally launched an online performance and goal evaluation tool. This tool is globally managed and is available to 13,000 employees. All other employees participate in performance evaluations on paper, or using other local systems. At the beginning of 2016, employees were invited to set 'Fewer, Bigger, Better Goals', to create focus on measurable, relevant and challenging targets.

To make employees’ performance reviews more powerful, DSM also introduced a self-evaluation component to the global tool so that employees can review their own achievements as well as reflect on important experiences and key learnings over the past year.

Talent acquisition

During 2016, much progress was made on DSM’s approach to talent acquisition. All operational recruitment at the managerial level and below has been outsourced through a partnership with an external provider in order to enhance process efficiency and flexibility. A total of 1,256 employees were hired via our newly implemented recruitment process in 2016. The global talent acquisition team also focused on building and delivering functional expertise, designing new recruitment processes, policies and guidelines, and developing a supporting system that is integrated with talent management. In an effort to increase the diversity of the candidates we attract and hire, various initiatives were piloted, including targeted online recruitment campaigns and the design of an in-depth interview training course on bias-free assessment.

Learning and development

Learning and development contributes to the implementation of DSM’s strategy by building the core capabilities for driving profitable growth.

DSM is creating a learning culture in which employees see learning as an opportunity to grow. We work in close cooperation with leading international business schools and global training providers such as the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Rotterdam School of Management (Netherlands) to design high-quality training courses.

Fast facts

  • In 2016, DSM offered over 150 training programs, attracting 3,000 enrolments.
  • DSM employees (as registered in DSM's global HR and training systems) received an average of 25 hours training each in 2016.
  • 166 employees participated in the Bright Talent Program.
  • Ninety-five percent of DSM’s leadership population has so far been trained in the DSM Leadership Model.
  • In 2016, a comprehensive online learning platform was launched. Called Bright Learning, it consists of more than 2,150 learning modules.
  • A new global mentoring approach is being developed, comprising an online platform to self-initiate mentoring relationships plus a supporting toolkit.

DSM aims to make learning more accessible so that employees can benefit from development opportunities anytime, anywhere. In addition to formal learning (such as classroom training) we are putting more emphasis on the role of learning through others (such as peer group learning) and learning through experiences (such as guided on-the-job experiences).

The DSM Training Portfolio is available to all employees. It offers a wide selection of programs to build leadership along with functional and professional skills. We are in the process of evaluating the business impact of our learning and development programs.

New Bright Learning platform

In 2016, DSM introduced a comprehensive online learning platform comprising more than 2,150 learning modules. This platform has unlimited use for the target audience and offers the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and develop skills anytime, anywhere.

Key user Vijendra Desai, Global Service Line Manager at the Global Delivery Center in Hyderabad (India), describes his experience with the platform.

“The Bright Learning platform has really helped my learning and development at DSM. I try to do a course whenever my schedule allows. The best thing about the platform is that I can explore topics closely related to the department that I work in, as well as other subjects that have a bearing on my job. The platform has helped expand my own professional knowledge. I use it to prepare for workshops and training sessions, and as a manager, I make sure to share some of my own experiences with my team. I also encourage staff to use the platform themselves.”

Alexander Schellekens, Vice President Finance, DSM Food Specialties, likewise finds the platform very useful for his job.

“I use the Bright Learning platform to select training topics based on my personal leadership development plan or the current situation of my business or department. I use the app to watch short videos about topics that seem of interest. Also when I need to generate some energy, a short learning session is great, offering new insights and ideas. Bright Learning also provides me with very practical tools and tips for dealing with our rapidly changing environment. It keeps me up to date with the latest insights. It also forces me to engage more actively in my personal development as a leader: you’re never too old or too experienced to learn.”

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

DSM applies the International Labour Standards of the ILO. DSM respects the role of works councils and collective bargaining, and in countries or business where they represent employees we work constructively with these groups. As is the case in the implementation of our new organizational and operating model, DSM develops and implements a social or severance program in the event of significant reorganizations. DSM promotes employee empowerment and human rights protection and maintains dialogues with its employees and representative bodies to enable this. See ‘New organizational and operating model’ in this chapter.

Human rights

Respecting human rights is essential in all DSM’s activities. The basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled should be understood, respected and promoted by companies as a cornerstone of being a socially responsible business.

DSM has a longstanding commitment to international declarations and instruments that safeguard human rights, including:

  • the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Ruggie Framework);
  • the ILO International Labour Standards; and
  • the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

We have been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2007.

Respecting and recognizing human rights is an integral part of existing DSM policies and programs. In addition, DSM has published a human rights position paper to further underscore our commitment. A Human Rights Policy forms the basis to further embed the responsibility to respect human rights in all business functions and regions. DSM’s global whistleblower policy (DSM Alert) is in place for both employees and external stakeholders to report any perceived violations of human rights as well as violations of laws and regulations.

DSM has mapped the potential human rights impacts of the company’s business activities through a global risk assessment. The assessment has shown that the categories of human rights most relevant and applicable to DSM relates to employees' working conditions and our supply chain. This is why we review and update the company’s HR policies and procedures on an ongoing basis. DSM has developed and implemented a global rewards/compensation strategy with the intention of ensuring consistency and fairness (fair pay) in our reward programs across business groups, employee segments and geographies. Regular reviews of policies and guidelines are carried out to make sure they are up to date and meet the standards of our global rewards/compensation strategy.

Beyond our own operations, potential labor and human rights impacts are taken care of through our Supplier Sustainability Program (SSP). The compliance part of our SSP means that we screen suppliers on potential human rights impacts via sustainability assessments and audits. Read more about our SSP and how we manage potential human rights impacts within our supply chain on DSM Supplier Sustainability Program.

DSM statement on modern slavery

DSM values international business standards and we are committed to ensuring that there is no slavery, forced labor or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC) reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in our business relationships and the commitment we expect from our suppliers to do the same. As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risks of slavery, forced labor and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains, each of our suppliers is required to sign up to our SCoC in order to work with us and in 2016, our SCoC coverage was 96%. Our suppliers are contractually obliged to comply with its terms and DSM’s business and ethical standards. Our SCoC expressly prohibits involvement in human trafficking and the use of slavery, forced labor or child labor.

Besides monitoring compliance with the above, we are working to identify where the greatest risks of slavery, forced labor and human trafficking arise within our business and supply chains, and are reviewing our procedures and policies for combatting slavery and human trafficking, including assessing the need to revise our internal processes and enhance the due diligence we conduct on our suppliers.