DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021


Addressing pressing global challenges

Our expertise in materials science, combined with our close connection with our customers, helps us develop engineering thermoplastics and high-performance fibers used in products that are central to our everyday lives. These are found in the automotive, construction, electronics, marine, medical equipment, packaging and sports sectors. Through our innovations, we address pressing global issues such as climate change and make a major contribution to the circular and bio-based economy and improved health and well-being, especially in the areas of combating global warming, creating a circular economy, and enhancing safety.

There is a recognized need to keep global warming below the critical threshold of 1.5˚C. This requires dramatically reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Customers and regulators alike are giving increasingly close attention to low carbon footprint regulations, including, for example, the European Green Deal. At the same time, consumer pressure for stronger action on climate is sharply on the rise.

We recognize our responsibility to help facilitate the creation of a circular economy. Across the globe, circular-economy concepts such as bio-based materials, end-of-life material recovery and closed-loop solutions are hot topics in sustainability dialogues. Pressure from consumers and regulators is stimulating the development of materials that can drive the transition to a circular economy — materials that are bio-based, recycled-based, reusable and recyclable.

Safety remains an important consideration. People are increasingly aware of the importance of product safety, including safe manufacturing and product stewardship. We offer solutions that eliminate or reduce the use of hazardous substances.

Trends in automotive, electronics, medical and healthcare

An increasing range of applications rely on advanced and high-performance materials in the fields of automotive, electronics and medical and healthcare applications:

  • In automotive, society’s urgent requirement for sustainable transportation systems calls for higher-performing materials that enable autonomous, lightweight and more energy-efficient automotive design
  • In electronics, consumers are increasingly seeking ‘smart’, connected, customizable products that require high-performance materials in order to enable device connectivity, convenience, and efficiency
  • In medical and healthcare applications, there is increased demand for medical personal protective equipment (PPE), driven by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Resilience in the face of challenging market conditions

Macro-economic conditions remained challenging in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global supply chains were very volatile, being significantly affected by supply disruptions and raw materials shortages across the industry. Nevertheless we delivered a strong performance owing to a unique security of supply where competitors were frequently confronted with force majeure situations, which resulted in DSM providing relief supplies to their customers.

Carbon footprint
The total set of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions expressed as 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).
Personal Protective Equipment; also Property, Plant and Equipment