DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Our approach to the Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs)

In 2016, the United Nations launched the SDGs, a roadmap to a more environmentally and socially conscious and responsible world by 2030. At DSM, we believe that companies have a key role to play in achieving the SDGs. We believe that our combination of Health, Nutrition & Bioscience contributes toward achieving the SDGs.

Logo of the Sustainable Development Goals (logo)

Working on the SDGs

With our strong combination of scientific competences and our portfolio of health and nutrition solutions, we are ideally positioned to contribute to, and capture the growth opportunities offered by the urgent societal and environmental challenges linked to the way the world produces and consumes food. Our purpose-led, performance-driven strategy is based on the global megatrends and the SDGs. In 2021, we announced our new Food System Commitments for 2030 that demonstrate how we contribute to a positive impact on Health for People, Health for the Planet, and Healthy Livelihoods. For more information on how we contribute to food systems transformation, please see the company website.

Our initiatives and actionable framework comprise three pillars:

  • Improve: we improve our own operations to do no harm to people and planet. We optimize our own operational impact by continually raising safety standards, promoting health and well-being in our own workforce, reducing our emissions and improving our resilience, increasing our use of renewable energy, improving our water consumption, and unlocking more value from limited resources
  • Enable: we enable our customers and partners to have a positive impact by delivering products and solutions that enable them to deliver sustainable and healthy solutions for the planet and society
  • Advocate: we advocate in our business ecosystem for systemic change — we advocate for the future we believe in and we fully accept our responsibilities as a corporate member of society

Our purpose and strategy align most closely with five of the SDGs, and we show here how we approach these core SDGs. Information about our engagements can be found in the Sustainability statements and throughout this Report.

SDG 2 and SDG 3

SDG 2 (graphic)
SDG 3 (graphic)

Through our commitments, initiatives, and approach, we align closest with the following SDG targets — 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.9.

The link between adequate nutrition and health has never been clearer. Diet-related non-communicable diseases (including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers) has overtaken communicable diseases as the primary cause of deaths worldwide. At the same time, malnutrition in its various forms affects more than 30% of the world’s population: more than 2.2 billion adults and children are overweight of which 770 million are obese (Global Nutrition report 2021), more than 820 million people go to bed hungry each night, and approximately two billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, or hidden hunger.

Our Commitments

  • We will help fill the micronutrient gap of 800 million people by 2030 through fortified staple foods and health supplements that deliver a proven and cost-effective method of combating malnutrition, as well as empowering consumers to achieve healthier diets
  • We will support the immunity of 500 million people by 2030 by delivering essential vitamins, minerals and other ingredients to consumers worldwide through high-performance dietary supplements
  • Together with our partners we will support the livelihoods of 500,000 smallholder farmers across value chains by 2030 – we will achieve this by scaling up our innovative social enterprise model, Africa Improved Foods

Our initiatives

  • We create awareness about the benefits of healthy diets and improved nutrition while continuing to develop new food solutions together with our partners of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Food Programme, World Vision, UNICEF, GAIN and Sun Business Network
  • It is our responsibility to obtain comprehensive information on the safe use of our products, and to make conscious choices in the substance we use and produce, taking into account the whole product life cycle.

Our approach


By reducing Occupational safety incidents and promoting Health & well-being in our own workforce, including good workforce nutrition.


By supporting customers to enable healthy and affordable food and nutrition through solutions such as the sustainable production of animal proteins, plant-based protein foods, fortified staples and public health supplements, immunity-supporting solutions, and food & beverage solutions.

Our biomedical solutions improve quality of life for surgical patients. and improve people’s health status.


For healthy diets within planetary boundaries, in partnerships to address sustainable and healthy nutrition through partners such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), and in Nutrition & Health initiatives, such as the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, World Vision International and Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

SDG 7 and SDG 13

SDG 7 (graphic)
SDG 13 (graphic)

Through our commitments, initiatives, and approach, we align closest with the following SDG targets — 7.2, 7.3, 12.2 and 12.3.

The stability of the world’s climate is under threat. We believe there is an urgent need to take action to curb climate change and its irreversibly damaging effects by dramatically limiting greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to renewable energy, and adopting low-carbon emission solutions and processes. At the same time, it is also crucial to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of societies against intensifying climate hazards impacting people and the environment.

The food, agriculture and forestry sectors cause at least one quarter of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC, 2021). Agri-food also signifitancly impacts biodiversity loss at land and in the oceans. Transforming food systems from farm to fork will therefore be key to reduce environmental impacts and mitigate climate change.

The transition to a low-carbon economy will also create business opportunities and drive growth for our innovative and sustainable solutions. We contribute to the development of a low-carbon economy not just by reducing our own emissions but also by developing solutions to help customers and consumers to cut theirs.

Our Commitments

  • We commit to reaching net-zero emissions across our value chains by 2050 and to set us on this path, we work with our Science Based Targets (SBT), comprising a scope 1 + 2 absolute reduction of 50% and a scope 3 intensity reduction of 28% by 2030 versus baseline 2016
  • We will enable double-digit on-farm livestock emission reductions by 2030
  • We will reach 150 million people with nutritious, delicious, sustainable plant-based protein foods by 2030
  • Our SBT are supported by targets of an average annual energy efficiency improvement of >1% and 75% purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2030

Our initiatives

  • We apply an internal carbon price of €100/t CO2eq on our key investments, acquisitions and in our management reporting

Our approach


Our long-term goal is net-zero emissions by 2050. To put us on track to achieve this, by 2030 we will reduce our own carbon footprint and improve the resilience of our assets and supply chains. Our approach to resilience and adaptation, including physical and transition risk assessments, is summarized in Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).


By enabling the low-carbon economy through solutions that help customers cut emissions and improve society’s ability to adapt to climate change. These include products with significantly lower carbon footprints (such as Akulon®), improving the sustainability of animal farming (such as Bovaer®, which reduces methane emissions from cows by 30% or more) and advancing plant-based protein options (such as CanolaPRO®).


For accelerated climate action and building the movement for a low-carbon, resilient economy by showcasing solutions and best practices in key climate platforms such as COP26 and through collaboration with cross domain initiatives such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and We Mean Business, and leading climate platforms such as the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), RE100 and GCA.

SDG 12

SDG 12 (graphic)

Through our commitments, initiatives, and approach, we align closest with the following SDG targets — 12.2, 12.3, 12.4 and 12.5.

As the world’s population grows, the demand for Earth’s resources will only continue to rise, and with a population projected to grow to 9.7 billion people by 2050, some estimates suggest we will need the equivalent of three Planet Earths by then to sustain our current lifestyles. In addition, over 30% of all food produced is either lost or wasted, representing a huge drain on natural resources. Considering our global economy is only 8.6% circular and planetary boundaries are crossed, we must move away from linear production and consumption systems and work together to build sustainable food and production systems. We are making important contributions to the development of a circular, bio-based economy founded on closed-loop solutions.

Our Commitments

  • We will improve water withdrawal efficiency in water-stressed areas by 10% by 2030 versus 2020
  • We will offer a full portfolio of alternatives that contain at least 25% recycled- and/or bio-based content by 2030 in our Engineering Materials business
  • By 2030, at least 60% of Dyneema® fiber feedstock will be sourced from bio-based raw materials
  • We will improve our volatile organic carbon (VOC) emission efficiency by 50% by 2021 (vs. 2015)

Our initiatives

  • ‘Safe and sustainable by design’ is the leading principle in the development of new and better products and processes
  • We advocate for SDG 12.3 ‘Halving food loss and waste’ and we actively support our customers with reducing food loss and waste reduction from farm to fork, for instance in the dairy, juice, meat and eggs value chains

Our approach


By unlocking more value from the limited available resources. Water security and our impact on biodiversity are important aspects of our continuous improvement mindset. We minimize the use of substances of concern where possible.


By enabling our customers to design safer and more circular end-products, and minimize the use of finite resources. These include our solutions Veramaris® and CanolaPRO®, as well as bio-based and recycled-based solutions such as Akulon® RePurposed and bio-based Dyneema®.


For the transition from a linear to a circular and bio-based economy through global platforms such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and circular economy platforms such as Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), Circle Economy and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Our contribution across the SDGs

Our purpose-led, performance-driven strategy is based on global megatrends and the SDGs. We align our approach with five ‘core’ SDGs: SDG 2 and SDG 3, SDG 7 and SDG 13 and SDG 12. In addition to these ‘core’ SDGs, we believe that we can also apply our Improve, Enable and Advocate approach to a varying extent across all the SDGs. Below we indicate our estimated contribution in respect of all the SDGs.

Our contribution across the SDGs (graphic)
Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition
Carbon price
The price that is paid to emit one ton CO2eq into the atmosphere. DSM implements an internal carbon price of €100/t CO2eq.
Circular economy
Circular economy refers to an economy that is restorative and in which materials flows are of two types: biological nutrients, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere throughout their entire lifecycle.
Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
DSM applies the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which defines GHG as “atmospheric gases that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range and that contribute to the greenhouse effect and global climate change.” We report GHGs based on their global warming potential over 100 years in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq).
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Net-zero emissions
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states: “Net-zero emissions are achieved when anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. Where multiple greenhouse gases are involved, the quantification of net-zero emissions depends on the climate metric chosen to compare emissions of different gases (such as global warming potential, global temperature change potential, and others, as well as the chosen time horizon)”.
Sustainable Development Goal
Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
Volatile organic compounds. The term covers a wide range of chemical compounds, such as organic solvents, some of which can be harmful.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
World Economic Forum
United Nations World Food Programme
Water use and water consumption
Water use includes water used for ‘once-through cooling’ that is returned to the original water source after use. Water consumption is the portion of water used that is not returned to the original water source after being withdrawn.