Report 2018
Rethink Tomorrow
Report 2018

Social and governance data

  • Women in senior management 30%
  • Accidents per million working hours 2.4
  • Completion of business integrity training for employees 99%

We measure our social performance using a number of indicators in the areas of labor practices & human rights, occupational health & safety, business ethics, customer engagement and community engagement. These indicators enable us to track our progress and respond to risks and opportunities related to both talent attraction and retention, and business development.

Employees are vital for Novozymes’ growth and the successful execution of its strategies. It is therefore important for Novozymes to focus on employee development and diversity in all its operations. Novozymes is also responsible for ensuring that human rights are respected throughout its value chain.


Our approach

We have adopted a common management approach and reporting structure for labor practices and human rights. Our People and Organization (P&O) function together with leaders across Novozymes are responsible for ensuring equal rights for all employees and promoting diversity. We are committed to ensuring equal opportunities and avoiding discrimination based on race, religion, sex or age in our global organization. For instance, we have a target to ensure that women hold at least 30% of senior management positions by 2020. 


Novozymes is committed to providing a work environment where all individuals can work together comfortably and productively, free of all forms of harassment and discrimination. Furthermore, Novozymes recognizes and respects the right to form and join associations and to bargain collectively. Our P&O function works together with local leadership to facilitate the fulfillment of these fundamental rights in countries with limited labor legislation. 


Read more in our position papers on diversity and equal opportunities and human rights on


2018 highlights

Labor practices 

We believe in promoting gender diversity at work and have continuous focus on increasing the number of women in leadership roles in the organization. In 2018, 30% of the senior management team were women, exceeding our target for the year of at least 27%.


This year, Science Magazine ranked Novozymes third-best global science employer. We have been among the top 10 employers in the world for the last four years.


In 2018, the rate of employee turnover decreased from 11.9% to 8.8%. In 2018, we recorded a 2.1% rate of absence, which is above our target of ≤ 2.0%. The rate of absence has been broken down into grouped job categories, based on whether the work carried out is primarily office based.


Employee statistics
2018 2017
Rate of employee turnover – retirement % 1.0 0.8
Rate of employee turnover – dismissal % 2.0 4.9
Rate of employee turnover – voluntary % 5.8 6.2
Rate of employee turnover, total % 8.8 11.9
Rate of absence
Senior management, management, professional and administrative % 1.2 1.3
Skilled workers, laboratory technicians, other technicians and process operators % 3.0 2.9
All employees


% 2.1 2.1
Other employee statistics
Average age Years 41.4 41.5
Average seniority Years 9.6 9.6
Number of expatriates No. 23 23
Average training cost spent per employee DKK 3,637 3,159
Costs as percentage of total employee costs % 0.6 0.5

In 2018, we launched a leadership development program, Lead the Way, to help all leaders at Novozymes to develop the core leadership skills needed to drive employee engagement and performance, and mobilize employees around our purpose and values. The participants are guided through the program via a mobile app with a "learning path" that combines multiple types of activities such as watching videos, meeting with peers, on-the-job exercises, e-learning, sparring with managers and face-to-face training. To date ~30% of leaders have enrolled in the program.


In October, we introduced our new employee survey, TunedIn. The new survey and process were designed together with employees across Novozymes, who contributed to the development of the questionnaire, process, name, etc. With TunedIn, we not only track organizational mood but also make room for more relevant team talks about how we work together at Novozymes. These talks are key to ensuring our success as a business and sustaining our reputation as a great place to work. The survey helps us to track our long-term and annual target for "Satisfaction and Motivation." In 2018, we achieved a result of 81, surpassing our annual target of ≥ 75.


Human rights

Novozymes revamped its human rights monitoring approach in 2016 to carry out a global human rights impact assessment every two years. However, the applicability of human rights varies from region to region, and we therefore believe that a region-specific assessment will provide a better overview of relevant human rights, our positioning and associated gaps in the individual region. This exercise involves assessing all 48 human rights as per the International Bill of Human Rights. This year, we started with India and held individual meetings with relevant functions to identify material human rights and existing procedures to mitigate any risks. We identified potential human rights themes and are taking the following actions:

  • Nondiscrimination − we continue to implement robust processes and procedures to avoid any discrimination in our supply chain
  • Safe and healthy working conditions for our suppliers' employees − we continue to assess working conditions at our suppliers’ premises
  • Modern slavery in our supply chain − we continue to improve our supplier evaluation framework
  • Land grabbing − we continue to respect land rights of local communities, including indigenous people


We plan to cover the remaining geographies − China, Europe, North America and Latin America − by 2021.




Absence is stated as time lost due to the employee’s illness, including sick leave, and occupational accidents and diseases. The rate of absence is calculated as the number of registered days of absence as a percentage of the total number of normal working days in one year, less vacation and public holidays.


The rate of employee turnover is calculated as employee turnover divided by the average number of permanent employees. Employee turnover is measured as the number of permanent employees who left the Group during the last four quarters (excluding employees at divested entities transferred to the acquiring company).


Average age and seniority are calculated as the sum of employees’ total age/seniority in whole years at the reporting date, divided by the number of employees.


Expatriation refers to Novozymes employees temporarily reassigned within Novozymes from the country of original employment for a period of more than six months.


Training costs is the costs of external training courses and seminars, translated into Danish kroner at average exchange rates. Training costs is also shown as a percentage of total employee costs.


Women in senior management measures the percentage of women in director positions or higher (i.e. senior director, vice president or executive vice president).

The health and safety of all employees is of paramount importance to Novozymes. This is why health and safety is a fundamental part of our business strategy. The aim is to ensure that robust safety processes, hardware, standards, tools and training are fully integrated into our way of working. We take appropriate measures to ensure focus on occupational health and safety across the organization, by means of initiatives driven locally as part of a global framework.


Our approach

Novozymes’ Quality, Environment & Safety function is responsible for ensuring a safer and healthier working environment. To reinforce safety culture, we have a global Health and Safety Policy along with internal standards and procedures. We monitor our performance and ensure continuous improvement through our long-term target of an occupational accident frequency of 1.0 accident per million working hours or below by 2020. To help us achieve this target, we also define annual targets.


2018 highlights

In 2018, our target was to limit the frequency of occupational accidents per million working hours to 1.5 or below. However, we experienced an increase in the frequency of occupational accidents to 2.4 from 1.6 in 2017, therefore not meeting our target for 2018. Our analysis showed a higher number of accidents in production areas, many involving strains and sprains, whereas falling and tripping accidents were down compared with previous years. For more information on occupational accidents and diseases, please refer to the tables provided.


To sharpen focus on safety behavior, we introduced four desired behaviors: Help, Act, Rethink and Talk. These behaviors guide us in how to act to stay safe, and what we can expect from one another when it comes to safety issues. We believe that having an aligned approach to safety and an aligned set of safety behaviors across the entire organization is essential. To support this, all employees have been asked to complete an e-learning course, and tools have also been provided for local dialogue.

Consequences of occupational accidents
No. 2018 2017
Return to original job 22 18
Return to a different job in the same department 1 -
Out of work or early retirement 1 -
Case pending 3 -
Occupational accidents with absence, total 27 18
Total days of absence related to accidents registered in the same year 346 235
Injury severity rate 13 13
Consequences of occupational diseases
No. 2018 2017
Return to original job 3 2
Return to a different job in the same department - -
Out of work or early retirement - -
Case pending 1 -
Occupational diseases, total 4 2
Total days of absence related to diseases registered in the same year - -
Types of occupational diseases
No. 2018 2017
Skin disease - 2
Enzyme allergy 3 -
Other 1 -
Occupational diseases, total 4 2

We also implemented a new company-wide system, CAPTURE, to record improvements, corrective actions and incidents. This digital platform is available in Danish, English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. The system enables global trendspotting and sharing of learnings, provides better data security, and ensures we comply with all current legislation, such as the new EU rules on protection of personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


We want our employees to prioritize self-care, learn more about the power of the brain and discover what their brains can achieve when they work together. This is why we launched a global initiative, Brain Space, aimed at inspiring employees and equipping them with tools for how to nurture their brains to help them thrive in a digital, fast-paced work environment. Employees are provided with tips on digital detox, and tips for encouraging more brain-friendly meetings and coping with shiftwork, and with tools to spark important dialogue among colleagues.


The Global Medical Center and Global OH&S have managed our allergy performance for years using a series of procedures known as the ZEAL (Zero Enzyme Allergy) standards. These procedures have led to a decrease in allergy cases over the years. However, in 2018 we experienced three enzyme allergy cases where the root cause has been identified and corrected.


In 2019, we will continue to work toward improving our safety culture with special focus on Management’s role. Furthermore, we plan to enhance the use of our new data system and build on CAPTURE to prevent the recurrence of accidents by understanding the current trends and increasing the quality of our root cause analysis.



Occupational accidents is defined as the reported number of occurrences arising out of or in the course of work that result in fatal or nonfatal injury with at least one day’s absence from work apart from the day of injury.


Occupational diseases is defined as the number of diseases contracted as a result of exposure to risk factors arising from work activity and notified as work related in accordance with local legislation.


The consequences of occupational accidents with absence and occupational diseases are measured by recording the work situation once the outcome of the incidents has stabilized, for example whether the employees have returned to their original jobs, and the total number of calendar days of absence.


Frequencies of occupational accidents with absence and occupational diseases are stated per million working hours.


The injury severity rate is calculated by dividing total days of absence related to accidents registered in the same year by the number of occupational accidents.  

Business ethics is at the core of our business and therefore a key issue for the company. We are committed to conducting business in an ethical and transparent way, and to meeting stakeholders’ expectations of high business integrity standards across our operations.


Our approach

Novozymes has adopted six business integrity principles that lay the ground rules for engaging with third parties and apply to all employees across the world. These principles, which include zero tolerance for bribery and rules for gifts and donations, form the basis of our efforts to eliminate all forms of corruption. For more details, please see our position paper on business integrity on


Novozymes’ management approach to addressing anti-corruption and business integrity is embedded in our corporate values and policies. A dedicated compliance function handles business integrity-related matters, including training of our employees. All employees have access to guidance and may anonymously raise concerns about business ethics and corruption via a multichannel grievance mechanism.


Read more about our grievance channels on


Novozymes also works proactively to prevent, detect and respond to fraud, and has continuously increased its internal awareness and proactive initiatives in this area. An internal control system enables identification of fraud cases and concerns raised, either through Novozymes’ whistleblower system or other reporting channels. These cases are reported to the Audit Committee on a quarterly basis, and all allegations of fraud are appropriately investigated in accordance with internal policies and procedures. Substantiated fraud will lead to proportionate disciplinary sanctions for the parties involved. Reporting to the police is assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Novozymes recognizes its responsibility not just for ensuring ethical business practices within its own operations, but also that our business partners and stakeholders are equally committed to preventing corruption and upholding business integrity principles. Our third-party due diligence processes include monitoring and ensuring that our commercial partners conduct business with integrity and share our values regarding legal compliance.


Novozymes conducts an annual business integrity training program to ensure that employees are well equipped to uphold business integrity principles and handle ethical dilemmas that they may encounter in their everyday work. The global e-learning program has been designed and rolled out by Novozymes’ Chief Legal Compliance Officer, based on input from regions' lines of business and questions raised during the year to ensure relevance and applicability. The training includes a reinforcement of employees’ commitment to business integrity as well as case studies mimicking real cases at Novozymes or from the media noted during the year.


Novozymes also has recurring anti-trust e-learning in place providing general guidance on anti-trust law. This program is completed by relevant employees in commercial roles across the globe.


2018 highlights

The number of fraud cases investigated by Novozymes decreased to 34 in 2018 from 49 in 2017. However, we continue to see a threat from external fraud attempts by unknown perpetrators, such as CxO fraud and fraudulent invoices. During 2018, 12 cases were reported to the police. The investigated fraud cases in 2018 did not have a material financial impact. 


The charts below provide further details of the reporting channels and consequences of fraud cases.


There were no violations of competition law in 2018. The anti-trust training in 2018 focused on competition law concerns relating to different forms of exclusivity in connection with customer agreements.


The business integrity training in 2018 was completed by 99% of our employees. Moving forward, we will continue to raise awareness of fraud and train employees in relevant policies and procedures.

Investigated fraud cases
No. of cases
  • Substantiated
  • Open
  • Unsubstantiated
Reporting channels 2018 (2017)
  • Whistleblower/tip-off
  • Internal controls and proactive detection
Consequences of substantiated fraud cases 2018 (2017)
  • Dismissal
  • Other disciplinary sanctions
  • Unknown perpetrator

Completion of business integrity training refers to the percentage of selected employees who have undergone business integrity training in the last training period. New entities are included within six months of acquisition. Business integrity training is conducted for employees who can potentially influence third-party interactions or decisions as part of their job role. This comprises employees in professional, managerial or administrative positions.


The reporting criteria for competition law violations are whether it has been established by an authority member of the International Competition Network or by a competent court anywhere in the world that a company in the Novozymes Group has violated applicable anti-trust regulations.


All allegations of fraud are investigated until it can be determined whether they can be substantiated. The number of fraud cases represents substantiated and unsubstantiated matters reported to the Audit Committee in the reporting year.


Novozymes defines fraud as an offence where an employee or third party either:


  • takes or removes the company’s property without its consent with the intent of depriving the company of it, or
  • intentionally deceives the company by providing false documentation or by suppressing the truth in order to obtain a personal gain.

As a responsible company, we believe that it is important to engage with the communities in which we operate and to create significant value in society. We focus our community engagement and social investment activities on education, which we believe is crucial for global sustainable development. Our programs are designed specifically around biology, sustainability and the environment.


Our approach

Our community engagement initiatives are driven by our long-term target of educating 1 million people about the potential of biology. The EDUCATE target is anchored in our Corporate Sustainability department, and the various educational programs are driven and implemented regionally by our sustainability managers. In total, we have educated more than 612,000 learners reachedA learner is a person who has been engaged in a Novozymes Educate activity, for example a workshop or an educational activity that requires active participation from the learner. globally since 2015.


2018 highlights

In 2018, we engaged approximately 302,000 learners, with Asia PacificAustralia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam. and Latin America being major contributors. An overview of the distribution of learners reachedA learner is a person who has been engaged in a Novozymes Educate activity, for example a workshop or an educational activity that requires active participation from the learner by the different regions is provided in the chart.


Read more about EDUCATE in the Targets section and in the Sustainability section.

Learners reached by geography 2018 (2017)
  • Asia Pacific
  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe, Middle East & Africa

Methodologies to count and consolidate learners reached have been defined and are applied, but the reported numbers are still subject to assumptions and estimates, for example when recording the number of participants at a conference. This means that the result of the calculation will be an approximation.


Learners reached comprises the total number of persons Novozymes reaches via its EDUCATE activities. An EDUCATE activity is an activity that engages the learner to a degree sufficient to confirm that awareness has been created.

Novozymes believes that the opinion of its customers serves as a powerful indicator in determining the success and performance of its solutions in the market. We therefore treat customer engagement and partnership as a key material issue for our business.


Our approach

We monitor customer satisfaction and collect feedback on a regular basis. Responsibility for measuring, analyzing and addressing customer satisfaction is anchored across the commercial divisions.


Novozymes has an annual target for Customer Satisfaction Measurement. To measure customer satisfaction, Novozymes conducts an annual survey based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology. The NPS reflects customers’ answers to the question: “How likely are you to recommend Novozymes to others?” and ranges from -100 to +100.


2018 highlights

In 2018, Novozymes invited 933 customers, twice the number from last year, to participate in the survey, and we saw a response rate of 63%. We achieved an NPS of +50, surpassing our 2018 target of +40. The results hold for our large and smaller customers, new and old, across regions.


This score is high compared with the NPS of +39 in 2017 and confirms our solid relationships with our customers. Among the key factors impacting the NPS, customers appreciate our commercial and technical services and our products. Particularly with regard to account management, our customers note that our sales force is proactive, and engaged and adept at driving discussions about new and upcoming opportunities. We also see that our products match our customers’ needs, but there is a hunger for more co-innovation and regional products across industries.


Going forward, we will continue to translate the learnings from the survey and incorporate the findings into our engagement strategies for all our customers.


The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is derived from an annual questionnaire measuring how likely the customer is to recommend Novozymes to others. The NPS is calculated as the share of promoters (on a scale of 0-100) less the share of detractors (also on a scale of 0-100). The resulting score is a number between -100 and +100.

It is crucial for Novozymes to have a secure supply of raw materials for its production. Agricultural raw materials are a major constituent of our production processes, and this is one of the reasons for our continuous sharp focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.


Our approach

Novozymes’ supplier management and responsible sourcing approach is anchored in the Sourcing department. Novozymes screens suppliers and classifies their risk based on country and category. Suppliers are assessed by the Sourcing department by means of Supplier Performance Management (SPM). An initial evaluation of suppliers is carried out in the form of an SPM questionnaire. Once the form is completed, the system assigns a score, potentially "flags" issues and recommends suppliers are “approved,” “conditionally approved” or “rejected.” Conditionally approved suppliers require an action plan. If suppliers are unwilling to improve, Novozymes reserves the right to end the collaboration with immediate effect. Approved suppliers need to be regularly re-evaluated. The system has an integrated set of assessment criteria covering commercial, quality, employee health and safety, human and labor rights, environment and business integrity.


We require all our contracted suppliers to comply with our Responsible Purchasing Standard. This covers various aspects, including business ethics, labor standards and human rights, health and safety, and environment. For example, we require all our suppliers of directly sourced agricultural raw materials to adhere to our deforestation requirements by not contributing to further deforestation, and exercise zero tolerance of land grabbing. See our position paper on responsible purchasing on for more details.


2018 highlights

Our segmentation approach for evaluation of suppliers was strengthened back in 2017 by including country risk as a key parameter. The impact of this during 2018 has led to an annual increase of approximately 50% in the number of direct suppliers subject to evaluation/re-evaluation by the Sourcing department.


Another significant move to increase the level of transparency in our supplier base and to continuously improve our responsible sourcing practices is that Novozymes has now become an AB member of the Sedex sustainability collaboration platform. Read more about our engagement with Sedex in the Sustainability section.


During 2018, we also conducted an internal training program on modern slavery and human trafficking for sourcing teams. The objective of the training was to educate our colleagues about issues relating to modern slavery, and how to identify and react in case of violations. To strengthen our systems for monitoring human rights risks in our operations and in our supplier base, we have initiated regional human rights impact assessments. Read more about our assessments in Note 8.1 Labor practices & human rights.

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