DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Climate adaptation

The warming climate is already severely impacting people and the environment — from health hazards to disruptions in water, food, and energy supplies, to damage and loss caused by floods, droughts, and other extreme and erratic weather events. The consequences of climate change will only intensify over the next few decades due to the current and near-term emissions, even if the world achieves the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C.

As a complement to our efforts on climate change mitigation — reducing and stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions to fight the cause of the problem — we also deploy an integrated strategy of climate adaptation measures. These measures reduce the vulnerability of our assets and value chains to emerging climate-related physical risks and prepare us for a changing business environment.

Following a similar approach to our activities contributing to climate mitigation, our climate adaptation agenda is organized to:

  • improve our resilience and future-proof our business
  • enable societies to adapt better to the adverse effects of climate change, particularly in the context of food systems
  • advocate for adaptation action, and better collaboration and sharing of information on climate risk between actors in society

As an example of our recent actions, we conducted physical climate risk assessments in 2020–2021. This involved mapping our top 30 sites for five emerging hazards and long-term impacts, using three climate scenarios and three-time horizons. In 2021, we also established and piloted a process in two Business Groups to identify and assess the potential impacts of the different speeds of transition to a net-zero world using the three scenarios used in the physical risk assessment. This work will expand to further Business Groups and continue iteratively in the coming years. More information on our climate risk assessments is provided in Risk management.

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).