DSM Integrated Annual Report 2020

ESG Ratings and Benchmarks

Sustainability is at the heart of our business. It is our core value: we see it as a key responsibility and an important business driver. This is reflected by our inclusion in several Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Benchmarks and Ratings many of which rate us a (sector) leader.

Given the large number of prevailing ESG benchmarks, participating in each and every one of them is not feasible for any company, so we annually review and prioritize our participation. We are in favor of further consolidation and standardization of the ESG benchmarks as we believe this will encourage more companies to participate than is currently the case.

Our annual review of the ESG benchmarks to participate in, is based on the following criteria:

  • Recognition and use by our stakeholders, including our investors
  • Transparency of methodology
  • Primary reliance on publicly accessible information
  • Avoidance of additional administrative work
  • Provision of sufficient feedback to participating companies to enable them to make meaningful year-on-year improvements

Our priorities in 2020, and the outcomes, are listed below.

In January, we were assessed by Sustainalytics as being at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors, ranking 1 out of 120 companies in the specialty chemicals industry. Sustainalytics noted our strong corporate governance performance resulting in a reduction in overall risk.

In March, EcoVadis awarded our company a Platinum CSR Rating. The Platinum rating places us in the top 1% of companies assessed in our industry.

We maintained the lowest risk rating (1 out of 10) from ISS QualityScore throughout the year. In May, ISS ESG reconfirmed DSM as ‘Prime’ according to its rating methodology. Our rating of B- puts us in the top decile relative to our industry group.

In June, MSCI’s rating of DSM was unchanged at ‘AAA’. The report noted our increased focus on nutrition and health, our focus and investment in R&D, and our strong carbon mitigation strategy, including the link with executive compensation.

In October, we were again listed in the Vigeo Eiris Benelux, Europe, Eurozone and World indices and were reconfirmed as a constituent of the Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe and the Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Global.

We continued to be a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index. We have been listed on this index since 2004.

In December, for our climate strategy, and water governance and strategy in 2020, we were assessed as A and A- respectively by CDP.

Research & Development