DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

People at a glance


Frequency Index of Recordable Injuries,

compared to 0.24
in 2020


Employee Engagement Index,

compared to 76%
in 2020


female executives,

compared to 21%
in 2020


female:male ratio


Inclusion Index,

compared to 75%
in 2020


of our employees were offered immunity-optimizing supplements

A year of continuous care for our people

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect many parts of the world, we made every effort to support the mental and physical well-being of our people worldwide. Above all, we encouraged all our employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In many regions, we also provided our employees with health screening and flu vaccinations. In addition, we extended our #optimizeyourimmunity campaign which provided all our employees and their family members with a free selection of immunity-optimizing micronutrient supplements.

In March 2021, we launched our ‘It’s OK’ campaign, which encouraged our employees to prioritize their mental and physical well-being. The campaign platform provided supporting materials developed by people throughout the company to improve mental and physical well-being, such as exercises, team activities and learnings, as well as resources providing professional help. In addition, with much of our office-based workforce operating at least partly from home during the year, we continued to put in place effective and inclusive hybrid working practices.

Delivering on our P&O strategy

Besides helping our people and organization to adapt to the effects of the pandemic, we also applied our efforts to realizing our updated People & Organization (P&O) strategy, which had been launched at the end of 2020. This strategy is composed of four pillars:

  • Creating a flotilla-style organization
  • Empowering our people
  • Resetting the context for leadership
  • Creating a contemporary workplace

Human rights, employee engagement and Inclusion & Diversity

We continued our strong commitment to human rights, employee engagement and Inclusion & Diversity. We took steps to strengthen our human rights approach, including an analysis of our own operations. Furthermore, we strive to provide our employees a working environment in which they can feel safe, valued, included and cared for. An engaged workforce, and an inclusive and diverse workforce are key to enable us to achieve our company purpose.

Aligning our People approach with the Materiality matrix

Our approach to People aligns with several material topics:

Aligning our organization to focus on Health, Nutrition & Bioscience

With our accelerated strategy we have been reshaping our company into three new Business Groups, Food & Beverage, Health, Nutrition & Care and Animal Nutrition & Health, which will bring us closer to our respective end-markets. This also required adjusting our innovation structure to bringing scientific research and development closer to our customers, enabling us to develop innovative solutions at speed. In view of these changes, we are also adjusting the set-up of global support functions and our top leadership structure to reflect our future organization. As a result, the business-aligned activities of the DSM Innovation Center were assigned to their respective Business Groups. In their new homes, these R&D functions are fully equipped to deliver impactful innovations to the markets they serve.

We took important steps to redesign how our corporate functions – including Finance, Legal, People & Organization, Group Communications & Branding, and Group Digital Services — are structured and how they operate. Our primary aim was to strengthen and streamline functional excellence by creating a support model that more actively underpins our business ambitions and enables us to add greater value for our customers, and for their customers in turn.

By late 2021, all our corporate functions had defined roadmaps for their transformation, drawing on the input of a range of stakeholders, including employees. The new operating model and structures came into effect at the start of 2022. They will be further embedded and implemented throughout the year. Employee representation bodies and the relevant works councils were consulted as part of the redesign process.

In line with the set-up of our new organizational blueprint as a company focused on Health, Nutrition & Bioscience, the P&O function also streamlined its set-up to reflect the business set-up. The design of the new target operating model for P&O mirrors the set-up of the Business Groups and Innovation as well as the support functions. At the same time, the new organizational design aims to enable a more fluid way of working, a better employee experience, and improved development opportunities for employees in the function.

Research & Development