DSM Integrated Annual Report 2022


In order to assess Material topics that are both of interest to society and have impact on our businesses, we annually update our Materiality analysis. In 2022, we conducted a full Materiality analysis due to the divestment of our Protective Materials business and the announcement of the divestment of our Engineering Materials business. We also took this opportunity to focus on the business perspectives of Materiality. The matrix is based on the ‘double materiality’ concept, addressing both the impact of the company on the topic and the impact of the topic on the company. The outcome of the analysis informs us which topics should be reported on in this report and is in accordance with the GRI Standards.

Our update in 2022 used the Materiality matrix 2021, Corporate Risk Assessment 2021 and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) consultation drafts as its point of departure. A long list of material topics was defined using desk research into third-party publications, peer analysis, interviews with DSM senior managers, and internal documentation. Further interviews with internal and external (investor, policy maker and business council) stakeholders were conducted to generate a short list. Workshops were held at Business Group level, resulting in Business Group Materiality Matrices. These matrices were combined with company-level information to create a draft Materiality matrix. This was reviewed and validated jointly with the Corporate Risk Assessment by the Executive Committee, and finally approved by the Managing Board.

Changes in 2022

In 2022, the DSM Materiality matrix was developed from business-led perspectives. This resulted in a redistribution of sub-topics and changes to topic names to reflect the perspectives of our individual businesses. Two topics were deleted (‘Responsible Sourcing’ and ‘Sustainable Innovation’) as these were considered to be solutions or approaches that help us manage many of the material topics, rather than separate material topics. Three topics were added: ‘Community relations’, ‘Food loss & waste’, and ‘Resilience to economic & political volatility’.

For more information on materiality, see Management approach for material topics.

Materiality matrix 2022



Business and governance

Business impact
  • Moderate
  • Significant
  • Major
Societal interest
  • Moderate
  • High
Climate change mitigation

This topic addresses the reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations, increasing the share of energy coming from renewable sources and developing solutions to support our customers in reducing carbon footprint across their value chains to enable the transition to a low carbon economy.

Climate adaptation

This topic addresses preparing for the physical and transition risks and opportunities associated with changing climate by ensuring operational procedures are flexible and resilient, and developing solutions to support our customers in their strategy for climate adaptation.

Nature & biodiversity

Nature & biodiversity refers to the protection of natural capital and ecosystems, including the variety and variability of life on earth and addressing issues such as biosecurity, land degradation, nature loss and ocean pollution.

Raw materials & circularity

This topic covers securing our supply of raw materials and making use of raw materials in a circular manner (for instance using raw materials coming from regenerative agriculture) and supporting our value chain in their use of sustainable raw materials.

Water stewardship

Water is essential to life and all ecosystems. As water is becoming a scarcer resource, both the quality and quantity of available water constitute a global issue that has local consequences that may extend from water scarcity to floods and storms.

Pollution & waste management

This topic covers reducing air, land and marine pollution, minimizing waste, and using sustainable packaging in our operations and across our value chain partners.

Healthy & nutritious diets

This topic is part of the transition to sustainable food systems within planetary boundaries that is needed to secure the future availability of food. It addresses providing solutions that contribute to good nutrition and healthy diets for all. This includes enabling affordable nutrition and ensuring tasty and delicious food is available and low in ingredients that are linked to non-communicable diseases.

Food security

This topic is part of the transition to sustainable food systems within planetary boundaries that is needed to secure the future availability of food. It includes developing sustainable solutions that will contribute to enabling to feed and nurture the growing global population. This includes creating more resource-efficient food production, for instance by improving Food Conversion Ratio.

Human rights

This topic encompasses decent working conditions for DSM employees, suppliers and other partners across the value chain. It addresses subjects including freedom of association, non-discrimination, the prohibition of child labor and forced labor, and fair compensation. This is done by having a strong due diligence and risk assessment in place, and implementing mitigation and remediation measures where needed.

Occupational health, safety & well-being

Occupational health, safety & well-being addresses the company’s ability to create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace environment that is free of injuries, fatalities, and illness (both chronic and acute), and to take care of our employees’ well-being at work.

Talent attraction development & retention

This topic refers to the continuous development of employees’ skills through training and development programs, and the company’s ability to attract and retain talent in order to execute the business strategy. This includes having a strong employer branding, ensuring employees’ engagement, supporting people’s growth and promotion within the company.

Employee diversity & inclusion

This topic revolves around equal opportunities, in particular ensuring that our company culture and hiring and promotion practices embrace the building of an inclusive and diverse workforce that reflects the makeup of local talent pools and its customer base.

Food loss &  waste

This topic is part of the transition to sustainable food systems within planetary boundaries that is needed to secure the future availability of food. It covers helping to prevent food loss and waste generated throughout food systems by creating better animal nutrition, more resource-efficient food production, innovative packaging, and antioxidants that keep food nutritious and safe.

Product quality &  safety

Product quality & safety ensures the highest product quality standards for our solutions, as well as controlling and minimizing all possible safety risks and adverse effects on human or animal health and on the environment, that could be caused by (the substances present in) our products throughout the value chain. It is about knowing the substances we use and produce, being able to explain why we use them, taking the appropriate risk control measures, and sharing this information with relevant and interested stakeholders.

Business ethics &  transparency

This topic addresses the company’s approach to and public disclosure on ethical and fair business conduct, corporate governance and compliance. This includes taxation, privacy, bioethics, fraud, bribery & corruption, and fiduciary responsibilities.

Sustainable agriculture

This topic is part of the transition to sustainable food systems within planetary boundaries that is needed to secure the future availability of food. It covers developing solutions for resource-efficient and sustainable food production systems (for instance, that protect animal welfare and health, reduce carbon emissions and increase yield) and supporting the livelihoods of smallholder farmers across value chains together with partners.

Resilience to economic &  political volatility

Resilience requires a strong, sustainable and agile business model and supply chain, that reduces exposure to economic and political volatility, brought about by emerging risks such as geopolitical developments and global health crises.


Preventing fraud and the unauthorized access to our networks, IT systems and data, while ensuring company and employee data protection.

Consumer behavior

Addressing changes in consumer behavior and awareness by manufacturing products that consider future needs of society and the environment.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation refers to the application of digital technologies to all aspects of business and society.

Community relations

Minimizing a company’s impact on communities, engaging with the communities toward common understanding and value creation, and giving back to society through corporate citizenship activities.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed Sustainability Reporting Guidelines that strive to increase the transparency and accountability of economic, environmental, and social performance. The GRI was established in 1997 in partnership with the UN Environment Programme. It is an international, multi-stakeholder and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. These Guidelines are for voluntary use by organizations for reporting on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of their activities, products and services.