DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Health & well-being

Occupational health

In line with our caring culture, we continuously strive to minimize exposure to potential health risks. The number of occupational health incidents reported increased from 19 in 2020 to 23 in 2021. The increase is mainly related to 3 reported mental health cases in 2021 versus 0 in 2020. The real number of mental health cases may be higher. Cases may develop over a prolonged period of time, and causes may be present in both working and private life, with the work-related portion going unacknowledged. Privacy concerns or cultural factors also influence employees’ willingness to report and discuss personal health issues. We launched various mental health awareness campaigns in 2021 to increase employee awareness and mental resilience and to increase transparency in the reporting of all these cases. The number of physical occupational health incidents slightly increased from 19 in 2020 to 20 in 2021.

Industrial hygiene

Reconfirming the trend of the recent years, the majority of industrial hygiene-related incidents in 2021 concerned ergonomic risk factors. We also recorded three cases of allergic reactions from contact with chemicals. In 2022, we will launch improvement programs addressing both issues, with a focus on standardization, sharing of best practices, workplace improvement initiatives, and enhancing industrial hygiene capabilities. In addition, these programs will have a stronger focus on detailing the follow-up improvements.

Preventative measures for occupational illness

Beyond our dedicated health and safety awareness and behavior initiatives, we aim to prevent occupational illness through the design of our products and processes, and by providing high-quality protective equipment. In addition, on-site medical professionals offer primary care, as well as emergency preparedness and first aid.

“I am very proud of our people who were so resilient and stayed so committed during the numerous organizational changes we initiated while having to manage all the implications of COVID-19 and often having to work from home.”

Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO and Executive Vice President People & Organization a.i.

Responding to the pandemic’s changing circumstances

Building on their work in 2020, our Global Response Team continued to help protect the health and safety of our people, in close collaboration with DSM representatives from each country, while ensuring business continuity as much as possible. These efforts involved coordinating an effective response to the pandemic, including establishing safe working practices. During the year, we evolved our standardized global approach to pro-actively address the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic, taking into account the different dynamics in the countries in which we are active.

Prioritizing physical and mental health

Our COVID-19 Pulse Checks provided us with ongoing, up-to-date insights into how people felt during the pandemic. As a result, we launched a global health and well-being campaign called ‘It’s OK’. The ‘It’s OK’ campaign encouraged people to further prioritize their own health and well-being and brought together many already available regional resources to enhance individual health and well-being into a single platform. The campaign platform — which was visited more than 23,000 times in the first seven months — contains many resources, including personal development courses, podcasts and tips on how to work more healthily. It also links up all local employee-driven initiatives.

For example, a topic in the focus area of Workplace Well-being was on working off-screen. This module provided tips to encourage employees to build off-screen time into their agendas, whether through off-screen (walking) meetings or ensuring sufficient time between computer-based activities for walks, breaks and re-energizing. In the podcast series titled LearnFM, guest speakers shared personal stories and practical information on health and well-being.

In 2022, we plan to regularly update the campaign platform and strengthen the link with existing local initiatives.

Continuing #optimizeyourimmunity

In 2021, we extended our #optimizeyourimmunity campaign. This campaign provides all our employees and their families with a free selection of immunity-optimizing micronutrient supplements and education to overcome the challenging pandemic period. In APAC and Latin America, ampli-D®, a ready-to-launch product which is three times faster and more effective than traditional vitamin D, was distributed to employees working on site and from home. In the US and Switzerland, all DSM employees working on site and in home offices were provided with d.velop™, the recently launched product of Hologram Sciences. d.velop™ is a holistic immunity solution with an advanced vitamin D formula, diagnostic kit, and digital support. For other European, Middle East and African workers, ampli-D® will be made available in 2022.

Ensuring COVID-19-safe work

Throughout 2021, we continued efforts to provide, often at regional level, solutions that help our employees manage the impact of the pandemic on themselves and their families. In our operating facilities, measures were taken to reduce COVID-19 risks. Additional costs that employees faced because of a lockdown or associated restrictions related to their work were also addressed.

For employees whose roles allow working from home on a regular basis, support was provided to facilitate this. Efforts were made to enhance awareness of occupational safety and healthcare aspects of the home office environment, for example via a new e-learning for all Dutch colleagues, while support was provided in setting up a home workplace, for instance by providing office furniture and equipment or local subsidies, led by the Total Rewards teams.