DSM Integrated Annual Report 2020

Human rights

Our responsibilities around people extend beyond the health and safety of our employees. It is also our duty to protect human rights, which are integral to our purpose-led and performance-driven strategy. As such, we respect internationally recognized human rights in all our operations and throughout our value chain. We believe that the basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled should be understood, respected and promoted by all companies as the cornerstone of socially responsible business.











Gender pay gap1, 2





Employees below a living wage


< 2%




Gender pay gap percentages are in favor of women.


All data presented in People are subject to the non-financial reporting policy.

We apply the International Labour Standards of the International Labour Organisation and we have been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2007. We respect the role of works councils and collective bargaining, and we work with these groups in the countries and regions where they are present. We promote employee empowerment and human rights protection, and we maintain dialogs with employees and representative bodies to enable this.

Our Human rights position paper, available on our company website, sets out our governance structure, and our due diligence processes for identifying and mitigating risks. Grievances relating to human rights are addressed according to the Code of Business Conduct and our whistleblower procedure, DSM Alert.

To embed an integrated approach on human rights, we have established a Human Rights Steering Committee: a representation and joint effort of People & Organization, Sustainability, Legal, Procurement and Operations. Each of these departments is further represented in the human rights working group.

Human rights in our own operations

Our approach to due diligence

In 2020, we further rolled out our new due diligence approach, launched in 2019, which we use to assess to what extent our actual practice is consistent with our internal policies. This Human Rights Impact Assessment allows us to define our salient human rights areas and how we can further identify business opportunities. This due diligence process contains four elements: country risk profiles, interviews with internal and external stakeholders, workforce data analyses and an employee survey.

Fair remuneration

DSM is committed to the principle of equal opportunities for all employees, which includes providing our employees with a living wage. We align our calculations with the Anker methodology (Anker and Anker 2017b). We also aim to reward our employees for their overall contributions to the company, setting equal pay for men and women doing similar work that requires equivalent qualifications and skills. Our Fair Remuneration Statement, available on our website, further elaborates our position on equal pay.

Gender pay gap and equal pay

We use the GRI 405-2 reporting requirements as guidance for calculating our gender pay gap. In 2020, we extended the scope of our analysis with the addition of India. The 2020 results showed a gender pay gap of 8% in favor of women, (female:male pay ratio of 108:100), a change of one percentage point compared to 2019, which is mainly due to scope change. This ratio is based on validated employee base pay data for locations where we have significant operations (defined as Brazil, China, India, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US, excluding Pentapharm [Switzerland and Brazil] and Jiangshan [Jiangsu Province, China]) and covers approximately 66% of our global employee base. The pay gap can primarily be attributed to a higher proportion of male employees in lower-level positions.

We aim to make further progress in the area of equal pay. In 2020, we partnered with AnalitiQs to develop an advanced analytical model that will allow us to investigate background variables in much greater depth and obtain useful insights. Analysis and validation on gender pay gap and equal pay will continue in 2021.

Living wage

We are committed to paying a living wage to all our employees based on WageIndicator’s benchmark methodology. We will use a phased approach, beginning with locations where we have significant operations (defined above) and over the next few years we aim to broaden the scope with more countries. In 2020, we assessed wage levels against WageIndicator’s typical family with higher bound living wage figures. Based on this assessment, less than 2% of employees in scope (approximately 200 people) are paid below the higher bound living wage figures; we will make the necessary changes in 2021 to ensure fair remuneration. In parallel, we will conduct an in-depth analysis to further investigate the root-cause.

Addressing human rights in our supply chain

Our Sustainable Procurement Program (SPP) handles potential labor and human rights issues that reside beyond our own operations. We assess suppliers for possible human rights violations through sustainability assessments and audits from ‘Together for Sustainability’ and EcoVadis. Details about SPP and our management of human rights issues can be found in Suppliers, and in our Modern Slavery Statement, which is updated annually, is available online. In 2021, we will focus on identifying specific risk areas throughout the whole supply chain.

Equal pay and gender pay gap
Equal pay is a legal requirement for men and women to be paid the same for performing the same or similar work or work that has been rated as being of equal value (by job evaluation). The gender pay gap zooms in on the difference between what men typically earn overall in an organization compared to women, irrespective of their role or seniority.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed Sustainability Reporting Guidelines that strive to increase the transparency and accountability of economic, environmental, and social performance. The GRI was established in 1997 in partnership with the UN Environment Programme. It is an international, multi-stakeholder and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. These Guidelines are for voluntary use by organizations for reporting on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of their activities, products and services.
Living wage
The remuneration received for a standard working time by an employee in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the employee and his/her family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing, and other essential needs, including provision for unexpected events.
Sustainable Procurement Program
United Nations