Sustainability Governance Framework
Sustainability falls under the responsibility of the Managing Board. Specific actions in our climate action agenda are owned by members of the Managing Board and Executive Committee. In 2020, our Co-CEOs oversaw Sustainability as a key responsibility and company value as well as a driver of business growth. They jointly oversaw our strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum.
In 2020, our Co-CEO Dimitri de Vreeze was responsible for Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) and supervised our Sustainable Procurement Program and the sourcing of electricity from renewable sources in his responsibility for the Sourcing function. He managed our engagement with organizations with a primary focus relating to climate. Within the climate action agenda, he was responsible for our product portfolio impact measurement upgrade and climate advocacy efforts, and for reviewing our emissions reduction targets. He was also responsible for overall supervision of the full climate action agenda.
Our Co-CEO Geraldine Matchett oversaw our engagement with organizations with a primary focus relating to (mal)nutrition. She was responsible for integrating Sustainability into financial decision-making. She also oversaw our efforts and commitment toward the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and chaired the Inclusion & Diversity Council. Within the climate action agenda, she was responsible for integrating climate risks into our risk management process, TCFD, carbon pricing and developing our engagement with climate-focused investors.
Our Supervisory Board has its own Sustainability Committee to over see progress against targets and to report on the embedding of sustainability across the organization. For more details, see Supervisory Board Report.
External Sustainability Advisory Board
Comprising a diverse international group of thought leaders, DSM’s Sustainability Advisory Board acts as a sparring partner for the Managing Board and senior executives, to help sharpen their focus on strategic issues, deepen their understanding of external stakeholder needs, conduct advocacy and handle dilemmas. In 2020, Feike Sijbesma, Honorary Chairman and former CEO of Royal DSM, joined this board.
The Sustainability Advisory Board met once in 2020 together with the Managing Board and a number of senior executives. Subjects addressed included business updates and the impact of COVID-19, Building Back Better, strengthening our long-term purpose-led, performance-driven strategy, and Nature & biodiversity. Due to the virtual nature of this meeting, this board was unable to include a site visit as part of the meeting. This board maintains a good balance of knowledge across our three Focus Domains and a diverse composition in terms of gender and nationality.
Sustainability Advisory Board
Robin Chase (f)
Co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, co-founder of Veniam and the New Urban Mobility Alliance, Board member of the World Resources Institute and Tucows, and serves as an informal advisor to many cities, national governments, and transport agencies on the transition to shared automated vehicles. Nationality: American.
Ertharin Cousin (f)
Distinguished Fellow with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, visiting scholar at Stanford University and Board Member of both Bayer S.A. and Heifer International as well as Trustee on the Rwanda based AKADEMIYA2063 Board of Directors. She served as the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme from 2012 to 2017 and the US Ambassador for Food and Agriculture. Nationality: American.
Paul Gilding (m)
Social entrepreneur, author and corporate strategy advisor. Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (UK). Author of The Great Disruption (Bloomsbury, London, 2011). Executive director of Greenpeace International during the 1990s. Nationality: Australian.
David King (m)
Professor Sir David King is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge; Founder and Chair of the Centre for Climate Repair in the University; an Affiliate Partner of SYSTEMIQ Limited; and Senior Strategy Adviser to the President of Rwanda; the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change 2013–2017. Nationality: British.
Ndidi Nwuneli (f)
Social entrepreneur and Founder of LEAP Africa and Nourishing Africa, and co-founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution Ltd. (AACE Foods), an indigenous agro-processing company in Nigeria. She is also the managing partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, which works across Africa, transforming the nutrition and agriculture landscapes, via innovative ecosystem solutions. Nationality: Nigerian.
Ye Qi (m)
Director of the Institute for Public Policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Cheung Kong Professor of Environmental Policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing (China). Before joining Tsinghua, he taught at Beijing Normal University, and the University of California at Berkeley (California, USA). Nationality: American.
Feike Sijbesma (m)
Honorary Chairman of Royal DSM since March 2020, and former CEO between 2007 and 2020. In 2020, he acted as the Special Corona Envoy for the Netherlands. He is Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board Royal Philips, a non-executive Board member of Unilever and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). He co-chairs the Global Centre for Adaptation together with Ban Ki Moon and acts as an advocate and leader for business tackling climate change as Chair of the WEF Climate Leaders and his membership of the Board of Trustees of the WEF. Feike also contributes to the expansion of Africa Improved Foods. Nationality: Dutch
Sustainability Leadership Team
At corporate level, sustainability is steered by our Sustainability Leadership Team, a group of senior executives representing the business groups and contributing corporate functions, which is chaired by the Vice President Sustainability. He leads the Corporate Sustainability department and reports directly to the Co-CEOs. The Corporate Sustainability staff functions as a business-oriented center of excellence and partner on sustainability, internally and externally.
The Sustainability Leadership Team meets quarterly to monitor the progress of sustainability across the company, with particular emphasis on steering our business and innovation portfolio in relation to key drivers. Regional operational sustainability networks are in place in China, India, Latin America and North America.
Operations & Responsible Care
DSM Operations & Responsible Care has responsibility for all corporate issues related to Safety, Health and Environment (SHE). This also includes (cyber)security. The Senior Vice President DSM Operations & Responsible Care reports directly to the Managing Board. SHE managers provide support at business group level. Our SHE Council, which includes all business group SHE managers, is instrumental in sharing experiences and developing best practices and communications on SHE issues.
Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
In her capacity as CFO, Ms. Matchett has appointed a finance executive to lead a team addressing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This team, comprising representatives from Finance, Risk Management, Sustainability, and Investor Relations, works with functions such as Strategy, Operations and Procurement, to define what is needed to meet our TCFD commitments. The team convened in 2020 to work on physical risk assessments, and design and pilot an approach for transition risk assessments, as well as continuing to integrate climate-related risks into the risk management process. For more information, see Sustainability statements – TCFD.