DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Nature & biodiversity

The complex web of life which makes up nature and biodiversity is vital for our Earth’s survival. Healthy ecosystems supply us with oxygen, food, clean air and water, and a host of other ecosystem services that help mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon. Like every business in the world, we depend on nature and ecosystem services. We acknowledge our role to protect biodiversity, and fully support the ambitions of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.















Protected Areas1







Sites in or adjacent to protected areas







Sites in registered protected areas














VOC efficiency improvement versus 2015


50% by 2021





Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC, x 1,000 tons)








All data presented in Planet are subject to the Non-financial reporting policy.


The 2020 VOC efficiency improvement and VOC amount have been restated due to a correction in the calculations at multiple locations.


The increase in VOC due to acquisitions was ~1.3 kt.


Biodiversity loss is accelerating, and its key drivers are all connected with human activity. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment, one million of the eight million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. We address our impacts on biodiversity and natural ecosystems through our DSM Responsible Care Plan, especially with our GHG emissions reduction, water stewardship and waste management programs. In 2022, we will launch our new Responsible Care Plan, in which we will also put more emphasis on deforestation-free supply chains for our primary raw materials.

Monitoring biodiversity across our value chain

To manage our own environmental footprint, we monitor areas of high biodiversity around our sites. In 2021, 28% of all our production sites in scope were in or adjacent to protected areas or areas of high biodiversity. The increase is due to acquisitions that were added to the reporting scope.

As we are exposed to biodiversity risks in our supply chain, we strive to responsibly source high-risk raw materials through recognized certification schemes if available. These raw materials include palm oil derivatives, wood-based materials, fish oils and sugar. We have committed to a deforestation-free primary supply chain by latest 2030 (Tier 1 supply chain for deforestation-risk crops: sugarcane, direct soy & corn-based products, palm-oil derivatives). More information on how we work with the sourcing of these raw materials can be found in Sustainable Biomass position paper and in our statement on the responsible management of forest resources on the company website. Moving forward, we will continually evaluate our impacts on biodiversity along our value chain, and have joined the Science-based Targets Network’s Corporate Engagement Program, to co-develop and pilot test their guidance.

Supporting our customers on biodiversity

We enable our customers to develop more sustainable products through our Brighter Living Solutions. For example, just one ton of our Veramaris® natural algal oil saves 60 tons of wild fish from having to be caught to produce salmon feed, protecting marine biodiversity in our oceans.

Taking a position on biodiversity

Lastly, we advocate for biodiversity-promoting values worldwide. We are a member of One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) which aims to scale up regenerative agriculture and restore ecosystems to prevent further biodiversity loss through collective member actions. In 2021, OP2B launched the Regenerative Agriculture Framework. The framework focusses on protecting and improving biodiversity around farms with a focus on crops, improving and preserving carbon and water retention in soil, as well as leveraging the power of plants, livestock, and agricultural practices, while supporting farmer livelihoods.

For more information, see our position paper on Biodiversity on the company website.

Other emissions to air

Our reporting on ‘Other emissions to air’ focuses on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as these are the most significant emissions in this area. We continue to report our nitrous oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in the five-year summary — sustainability tables and via the company website. However, these emissions are not material due to improvement actions executed in the past.

We continue to work on our VOC emissions

Our objective is to continuously reduce our VOC emissions, aiming at a more than 50% efficiency improvement by 2021 versus 2015. In 2021, our VOC efficiency improved compared to 2020. This is mainly due to better understanding of VOC generation, resulting in targeted process optimization. An example is the improvement program at our location in Mairinque (Brazil), where studies were initiated in 2021 to better quantify and understand the mechanism of ethanol creation during fermentation. Understanding this process will allow us to optimize the fermentation process parameters to reduce ethanol creation and enable us to test more breakthrough solutions.

Our absolute VOC emissions increased compared to 2020. The inclusion of acquired sites in the reporting scope was not compensated by the VOC improvements mentioned above. As this is the first year of reporting for acquisitions, they are not included in the VOC efficiency improvement calculation.

Brighter Living Solutions

Brighter Living Solutions (BLS) is DSM’s program for the development of sustainable, innovative solutions with environmental and/or social benefits, creating shared value for our stakeholders. Brighter Living Solutions are products, services and technologies that, considered over their life cycle, offer a superior environmental impact (ECO+) and/or a superior social impact (People+) when compared to the mainstream alternative for the same application. The impact of Brighter Living Solutions can be realized at any stage of the product life cycle, from raw materials through the manufacturing process to potential re-use and end-of-life disposal.

More information and definitions can be found on the company website.

Greenhouse gas
Nitrogen oxides. These gases are released mainly during combustion.
Sulfur dioxide. This gas is formed during the combustion of fossil fuels.
Volatile organic compounds. The term covers a wide range of chemical compounds, such as organic solvents, some of which can be harmful.