Report 2018
Rethink Tomorrow
Report 2018

Environmental data

  • Estimated tons of CO2 saved from customers’ application of Novozymes’ products 88 million
  • Renewable energy share of total energy consumption 23%
  • Percentage of biomass waste repurposed to local farmers as NovoGro® 97%

We measure our performance in areas that have an impact on the environment. One of the most important measures is our estimate of the CO2 emissions avoided as a result of customers’ application of Novozymes’ products in their products or processes. We also focus on reducing our own CO2 emissions and use of resources, and mitigating the risk of potential harm to the environment.

Mitigating climate change impacts is material to Novozymes within its operations and throughout the value chain. Climate change action is integrated into our business strategy, as the transition toward a low-carbon economy offers many opportunities to support the growth of Novozymes’ biological solutions. At the same time, climate change-associated issues (regulatory action, physical or reputational damage, etc.) pose multiple risks to Novozymes’ supply chain and operations.


Our approach

Novozymes’ Sustainability Policy and climate change position paper outline the company's approach to managing climate action. Several departments (Supply Operations, Quality, Environment & Safety, Global Sustainability & Public Affairs, etc.) are responsible for driving the climate change action agenda, both inside and outside the organization.


Within its own operations, Novozymes’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are driven by its annual target to limit the increase in absolute GHG emissions to levels lower than organic sales growthSales growth from existing business, excluding sales from business acquisitions and divestments, measured in local currency.. This target is complemented by our targets to limit energy consumption and increase the share of renewable energyContinuously replenished energy generated from natural processes. Sources include solar, wind and hydropower-based electricity and energy from biogas. in our operations. The progress on these targets is reported in Note 7.2 Energy.


Novozymes’ SAVE target measures the net positive CO2 impact of Novozymes’ products on society. Novozymes’ products enable downstream users to avoid CO2 emissions in certain applications by lowering energy, water and raw material consumption compared with conventional technologies.


Since 2004, Novozymes has conducted peer-reviewed cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA)An environmental assessment tool that addresses environmental impacts from all processes in the production of products, from raw material extraction through production and product use to final disposal. studies to document the environmental impact of its biosolutions. The inferences are used to demonstrate to our commercial stakeholders ways to reduce their CO2 emissions and leverage the positive impact on climate change made possible by Novozymes’ solutions. To learn more, please see our approach to LCA on


In addition, Novozymes continues to support global climate action through transparent climate disclosures, responsible public advocacy and partnerships. Read more about these efforts in the Sustainability section.


2018 highlights

In 2018, Novozymes’ customers avoided an estimated 88 million tons of CO2 emissions through the application of our products, up from 76 million in 2017. The annual savings achieved are equivalent to taking approximately 37 million cars off the road.


Estimated annual CO2 savings
Million tons of CO2

Novozymes’ commitment to make its operations less carbon intensive is based on two levers: implementing various energy efficiency projects and increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy consumption mix; see Note 7.2 for further details.


In 2018, CO2 emissions (scope 1+2 only) increased by 7% to 437,000 tons from 408,000 tons in 2017.


Novozymes fell short of its target to limit the rise in operational CO2 emissions to levels lower than organic sales growth in 2018. This was mainly due to some shifts in our production capacity to sites with higher carbon footprints. These shifts were driven by changes in our product mix.


A breakdown of the operational emissions is provided in the table.


In 2018, Novozymes authored and launched a new vision for climate change mitigation in the transport sector. The vision presents a pathway to unite green technologies in the future energy matrix based on their complementarity. It highlights the potential role of biorefining as a flexible platform to provide low-carbon liquid fuels for transport segments that cannot easily be electrified. The biorefining side streams can also be used as storable fuels for electricity production during peak demand periods. Additionally, biorefining allows for negative greenhouse gas emissions when combined with the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. To find out more, please refer to the spotlight article Biorefining for a better future in the Sustainability section of this report.


Going forward, Novozymes will continue to purchase more energy from renewable sources whenever possible and reduce consumption of fossil-based energy through efficiency projects to reduce CO2 emissions from its operations.



CO2-equivalent emissions
1,000 tons 2018 2017
Natural gas 34 38
Gas oil, light fuel oil and diesel oil 3 -
HCFCs 1 1
Scope 1 38 39
District heat 9 10
Electricity 307 283
Steam 83 76
Scope 2 (market-based) 399 369
Ship 5 7
Truck 15 17
Air freight 15 15
Scope 3 35 39
Emissions, total


472 447
Market-based vs. location-based scope 2 emissions
1,000 tons 2018 2017
Scope 2 CO2 emissions (market-based) 399 369
Scope 2 CO2 emissions (location-based) 452 442
5­-year operational emissions (CO2-eqv.)
1,000 tons
  • Scope 2
  • Scope 1

Novozymes uses LCAs to estimate the CO2 emissions that customers avoid by using Novozymes’ products in their processes or products. A calculation methodology to consolidate the LCAs has been defined and consistently applied. However, the individual LCAs depend on assumptions and estimates, which means that the result of the calculation will be an approximation. 


The estimated reduction in CO2 emissions resulting from customers’ application of Novozymes’ products is based on annually updated life cycle assessments (LCAs) of Novozymes’ products. The LCAs are prepared and updated by Novozymes and subject to assumptions and estimates.


Reported CO2 emissions comprises scope 1, scope 2 and emissions from outbound transport of products.


CO2 from internally generated energy (scope 1) is calculated based on the amount of fuel consumed, using local emission factors.


CO2 from externally generated energy (scope 2) is reported in accordance with both the market-based and the location-based methods, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. The location-based method uses annually determined local emission factors from power plants or their organizations. If emission factors are not available, annually determined emission factors from Danish authorities and suppliers are used.


Transport-related CO2 emissions (scope 3) are calculated based on principles described in the GHG Protocol. Reported quantities comprise CO2 emissions related to transport from all primary enzyme production sites to the customer where Novozymes pays for the freight. Transport between production sites is also included. Transport of raw materials to a production site is not included. COemissions generated at external warehouses are not included. Emissions data are calculated based on distance and emission factors from the GHG Protocol.


The environmental impact potentials for global warming and ozone layer depletion are calculated on the basis of data published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Montreal Protocol published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


Energy is material to Novozymes across the value chain, as its operations depend on steam and electricity, while many of its biosolutions enable downstream users to save energy in certain applications (e.g. in laundry and dishwashing detergents and textile applications) compared with conventional methods.


Our approach

Novozymes manages energy in its operations through a two-pronged approach: reducing energy use in production by implementing energy-saving projects, and increasing the sourcing of energy from renewables. Relevant targets drive our performance in these areas. Novozymes’ Supply Operations and Sourcing departments manage and monitor all energy efficiency and Renewable energyContinuously replenished energy generated from natural processes. Sources include solar, wind and hydropower-based electricity and energy from biogas-sourcing efforts.


2018 highlights

In 2018, Novozymes achieved its annual target of maintaining the increase in energy consumption at a level lower than organic sales growthSales growth from existing business, excluding sales from business acquisitions and divestments, measured in local currency..


Projects driving process optimization and energy efficiency undertaken at our sites throughout the year resulted in energy savings of 29,000 GJ. Furthermore, 23,000 GJ of energy savings were realized through the installation of a second anaerobic digester at our largest production site in Kalundborg, Denmark.


The table provides details of energy consumed by primary source.


Energy consumption by primary source
 1,000 GJ 2018 2017
Natural gas 645 696
Biogas 65 69
Gas oil, light fuel oil and diesel oil 24 7
Internally generated energy, total 734 772
Electricity – conventional 1,825 1,780
Electricity – renewable 1,062 1,080
District heat – conventional 175 181
District heat – renewable 4 2
Steam 1,031 945
Externally purchased energy, total 4,097 3,988
Energy consumption, total


4,831 4,760
Energy production from waste 72 36

Novozymes continued to use 100% renewable electricity from the Horns Rev II wind farm at its Danish facilities. In 2018, Novozymes focused on exploring and maturing opportunities in the renewable energy procurement space in all its operating regions. Energy from renewable sources accounted for 23% of the total energy consumed in 2018, down from 24% in 2017.


Going forward, Novozymes plans to replicate the best energy-saving projects at other sites. In regions with fewer opportunities for renewable energy procurement, Novozymes will continue to prioritize investment in energy efficiency projects.



5-year energy consumption
1,000 GJ

Net energy consumption includes quantities consumed both in the production process and in other areas, less energy production from Novozymes' waste.


Internally generated energy is measured as fuel consumption converted to energy based on the lower combustion value and weight by volume, except in the US, where legal requirements for reporting of CO2 state that the higher combustion value is to be applied. Fuel consumption comprises all types of fuels used to produce electricity, heat and steam on site and is converted to energy using factors supplied by utility providers or local authorities. Fuel for transportation is not included.


Externally generated energy is the input to Novozymes of externally generated electricity, heat and steam.


Energy produced from waste or wastewater is renewable and corresponds to the total energy (heat, electricity or steam) produced by an internal or external utility provider. An example is energy produced from biomass, waste or biogas.


Reported quantities are based on meter readings, with the exception of steam, which may be subject to calculation.


The renewable energy percentage is calculated by dividing renewable energy consumed by total energy consumption. Renewable energy used at Novozymes sites comprises energy that is generated from natural processes and continuously replenished. Sources include solar-, wind- and hydropower-based electricity and energy from biogas.

The production of Novozymes’ biological solutions is a water-intensive process and generates a considerable amount of wastewater. Many of the raw materials required in our operations are agriculture based and water intensive to produce. In certain product applications such as laundry detergents and textile processing, Novozymes’ solutions can enable consumers and customers to achieve water savings compared with conventional methods.


In addition, our wastewater treatment solutions can improve processes and the quality of treated water. Therefore, water is material for Novozymes across the whole value chain.


Our approach

Novozymes’ approach to water management is anchored in its Sustainability Policy. We constantly strive to manage water-related risks within our operations by improving water efficiency and ensuring compliance with wastewater discharge regulations at all our sites.


This is exemplified by our annual target, which aims to keep growth in water consumption lower than organic sales growthSales growth from existing business, excluding sales from business acquisitions and divestments, measured in local currency..


Sustainable wastewater and biomass treatment at our production sites is given high priority. The wastewater is treated internally or externally in biological wastewater treatment systems before being discharged to a final destination point or used in agriculture for irrigation. All water efficiency and wastewater management efforts are managed by Novozymes’ Supply Operations and Quality, Environment & Safety departments.


2018 highlights

In 2018, Novozymes spent a total of DKK 37 million on various water projects at its production sites. These projects included the installation of a new treatment technology at our site in Araucária, Brazil, which reduces chemical use and generates less wastewater. Overall, Novozymes achieved water savings of almost 158,000 m3 in 2018. Thanks to these efforts, Novozymes met its annual target of restricting the growth in water consumption to a level lower than the organic sales growth in 2018.


The table provides a breakdown of total water consumed. In the last quarter of 2018, we also commissioned a water reuse system in Franklinton, US. When operational, it is projected to save 80,000 m3 of water per year.


Water by primary source
1,000 m3 2018 2017
Drinking water 5,578 5,427
Industrial water 2,256 2,339
Steam 371 340
Water, total


8,205 8,106
5-year water consumption
1,000 m3

Novozymes established a wastewater treatment plant at its new production site in Patalganga, India, designed to reuse 100% of the treated process water in production.


Novozymes strives to utilize the biomass in wastewater streams coming from its enzymeProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. production processes. A new facility for treatment of all the biomass from our Danish production sites, including biomass present in wastewater, has been commissioned near Kalundborg. This facility has the capacity to convert 200,000 tons of biomass per year to bionatural gas and fertilizers, supporting the circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the region.


Optimization of renewable energyContinuously replenished energy generated from natural processes. Sources include solar, wind and hydropower-based electricity and energy from biogas. production (biogas) from wastewater also improved significantly in 2018 thanks to a successful partnering project with the technology supplier. The table provides details of wastewater generated in 2018.


In 2019, our focus will be on improving our understanding of site-specific water-related risks and technology facilitation to increase reuse of the treated wastewater.

Wastewater treatment
1,000 m3 2018 2017
Wastewater used for irrigation 866 673
Wastewater discharged 5,440 5,509
Wastewater volume, total


6,306 6,182
Wastewater by treatment method
1,000 m3
  • Novozymes-treated to external water recipient
  • Novozymes-treated to irrigation
  • Novozymes-treated to external treatment
  • Untreated to external treatment
  • Untreated to water recipient

Water includes drinking water, industrial water and externally supplied steam. Drinking water is water of drinking-water quality. Industrial water is not of drinking-water quality, but is suitable for certain industrial processes, for example for use in cooling towers. Industrial water can come from lakes or wells.

The reported quantities are stated based on the metered intake of water to Novozymes and include quantities consumed both in the production process and in other areas. The reported quantities of steam are converted to volume of running water and are therefore subject to calculation.

Wastewater is measured as the volume discharged by Novozymes or calculated based on water consumption. 

Novozymes supports the transition to a circular economy through sustainable consumption and production practices. Reduction, reuse and recycling of the planet’s limited natural resources are vital for a sustainable future. Responsible waste management is a key enabler in this and the reason why waste is a material issue for Novozymes.


Our approach

Novozymes’ waste and by-products fall into three general categories: biomassOrganic material, predominantly plants or plant residues. (by-product), nonhazardous waste and hazardous waste. Each production site reports on the three categories and disposal methods. Production of enzymesProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. and microorganismsMicroscopic, living, single-celled organisms such as bacteria and fungi. generates large amounts of biomass and a relatively low percentage of waste. Our approach to waste management is driven by our Sustainability Policy, and we continuously strive to improve our resource efficiency, minimize waste and increase recyclability.


As waste handling is a complex issue subject to local regulations and involving several external service providers, we have adopted a site-specific management approach. Monitoring and reporting of waste data are anchored in our Quality, Environment & Safety function.


2018 highlights

Novozymes generated 523,000 tons of waste in 2018 compared with 616,000 tons in 2017. The vast majority of the waste is recovered, as only 4% is sent for landfill.

Waste and by­-products recovered 2018 (2017)
  • Recovered biomass
  • Recovered (recycled) solid waste
  • Biomass sent for landfill
  • Solid waste sent for landfill/incineration


The biomass generated accounts for the majority of total waste and by-products generated by Novozymes’ production sites. Biomass is a by-product rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. In 2018, 97% of the biomass was recovered and sold to local farmers as our organic agricultural fertilizer product NovoGro® or composted. The remaining 3% was sent for landfill.  A breakdown of total biomass generated is provided in the table. Novozymes is investigating options for recycling biomass currently being sent for landfill.


In 2018, Novozymes, along with the Danish energy companies Ørsted and Bigadan, inaugurated a new biogas plant at its production site in Kalundborg, Denmark. The plant utilizes Novozymes’ biomass to produce biogas for use in other industries and private households. After being processed at the biogas plant, the biomass will continue to be used as fertilizer on fields. The new plant shows how Novozymes’ biomass by-product can be beneficially reused twice, and exemplifies Novozymes’ commitment to the circular economy. When running at full capacity, the plant can process 300,000 tons of biomass per year, generating 8 million m3 of biogas. This corresponds to approximately 5,000 Danish households and results in annual CO2 savings of around 17,000 tons.

1,000 tons 2018 2017
NovoGro® 347 399
NovoGro® 30 138 171
Compost 9 19
Landfill 15 13
Biomass, total


509 602

Solid waste

Nonhazardous waste and hazardous waste account for 3% of the total waste and by-products generated and include materials such as paper, food waste, laboratory waste and chemicals. In 2018, the rate of recycling of solid waste was 44% compared with 43% in 2017. The remaining 56% of the waste, which corresponds to 8,000 tons, was sent for landfill or for incineration without energy recovery. A breakdown of total solid waste generated is provided in the table.


Novozymes strives to increase its recycling rate and the amount of waste diverted from landfill. In collaboration with local experts and vendors, we are currently exploring opportunities to increase waste diversion at three of our largest production sites, in Denmark, the US and China. We will use the learnings from these assessments to improve our waste management practices globally.

1,000 tons 2018 2017
Nonhazardous waste
Incineration 2.1 1.7
Landfill 3.6 3.9
Recycling (external) 4.4 4.3
Recycling (internal)  0.1 0.1
Nonhazardous waste, total 10.2 10.0
Hazardous waste
Incineration 2.3 2.5
Recycling (external) 0.2 0.2
Recycling (internal) 1.6 1.6
Hazardous waste, total 4.1 4.3
Waste, total


14.3 14.3

Biomass is measured or calculated on the basis of volume or weight produced and transported from Novozymes as liquid fertilizer (NovoGro®), converted to a fertilizer product with a higher dry matter content (NovoGro® 30 or compost) or dried and used as fuel for energy production. Biomass from a newly built plant is sent for landfill with energy production (biogas) as a temporary disposal method.


Solid waste is the registered volume of waste broken down into hazardous and nonhazardous waste, and by disposal method. The amount recycled is the quantity recycled internally or sent to an external service provider for recycling. Biomass is not included in the reported amounts of solid waste.

Compliance with environmental norms and regulations is a high priority for Novozymes so as to maintain business continuity and day-to-day running of operations. Novozymes is committed to complying with all environmental regulations and maintaining high standards of environmental management on various aspects, including pollution prevention, resource conservation and waste reduction.


Our approach

Novozymes’ commitment to environmental compliance is outlined in its Sustainability Policy. All activities to ensure environmental compliance are anchored in the Quality, Environment & Safety function. Our Environmental Management System is based on ISO 14001 certification, and we strive to minimize the number of noncompliances and neighbor complaints.


2018 highlights

In 2018, 27 environmental incidents were registered across our facilities, compared with 24 in 2017. Most of these were related to wastewater treatment. Plans for preventive action have been agreed with the relevant authorities for these incidents.


Novozymes received 11 neighbor complaints in 2018, down from 12 complaints in 2017.




Breaches of environmental regulatory limits is measured as the number of incidents in the reporting year considered not to be in conformity with environmental permits or requirements under environmental law.


Breaches related to annual control measurements of spills reported in previous years are not included, as they are not indicative of performance during the reporting year.


Neighbor complaints refers to the number of registered environmental complaints, primarily odor and noise related.

Novozymes’ research and business are based on bioinnovation. To develop sustainable solutions and applications for our customers, we explore nature and take samples of fungi, bacteria and enzymesProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. among the available biodiversityThe variety of all living things: the different plants, animals and the genetic information they contain, and the ecosystems they form., then assess the samples and optimize applications by means of biotechnological research. That is why “bioethics & biodiversity” is a material issue for Novozymes’ operations and its relationships with external stakeholders.


Our approach

Novozymes uses industrial biotechnology to produce a wide range of enzymes and microorganismsMicroscopic, living, single-celled organisms such as bacteria and fungi.. Novozymes’ position paper on industrial biotechnology articulates our approach to managing and supporting safe and sustainable use, and the adoption of robust, science-based regulations for processes and products involving gene technology, including the latest gene-editing technologies. We acknowledge the need to engage with stakeholders to improve the general level of knowledge about the opportunities presented by biology, industrial biotechnology and gene technology, and their role in society.


When we take samples in nature, it is important that we comply with globally recognized principles on the utilization of genetic resources. Novozymes’ position paper on biodiversity articulates how Novozymes endorses, acknowledges and respects the principles in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the complementary Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing. Novozymes has internal procedures to ensure that the company lives up to its commitments.


Novozymes understands the importance of a healthy and thriving biodiversity, resulting in well-functioning ecosystems and ultimately enabling sustainable development and achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an intergovernmental set of 17 aspirational goals with 169 targets. The goals were officially implemented on September 25, 2015.. The private sector has enhanced its engagement with and responsibility toward biodiversity-related issues and is now a new, global focus area. Novozymes regularly monitors the trends and developments in this area and assesses how to incorporate best practices into its operations.

Novozymes is committed to ensuring product stewardship and safety in its operations and customer relationships. This is material to us, as many of our biological solutions serve as ingredients in consumer goods (e.g. in laundry detergents) or are used as industrial processing aids (e.g. in the production of baked goods).


Our approach

Novozymes’ approach to product stewardshipThe practice of designing and managing products to minimize adverse environmental, health and safety impacts across the product life cycle. is outlined in its Quality and Product Safety Policy, which is an important element of Novozymes’ Quality Management System. Novozymes constantly strives to reduce the risk of potential harm to both human health and the environment during the manufacture, handling and use of its products. This approach is implemented by means of many cross-functional teams, and the primary responsibility rests with Regulatory Affairs & Product Safety. Procedures ensuring product stewardship are enforced globally and audited by the independent external body Bureau Veritas.


Novozymes has also developed its position on and approach to related topics such as product information and labeling, traceability, industrial biotechnology, animal testing, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and FIAP (Food Improvement Agents Package).


2018 highlights

Novozymes is a full member of the EnzymeProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. REACH Consortium and successfully met the May 2018 REACH deadline to register technical enzymes sold in low volumes. As a Lead Registrant in many Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEF) for enzymes, Novozymes remains firmly committed to maintaining high-quality substance dossiers, which are endorsed by the external authorities.


Novozymes strives to reduce the risk of enzyme allergies among employees and downstream users by promoting adherence to enzyme safety standards. In 2018, the Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme Products (AMFEP) published Industry Guidelines on the Safe Handling of Enzymes in the Bakery Supply Chain, which was jointly developed with the Federation of European Union Manufacturers and Suppliers of Ingredients to the Bakery, Confectionery and Patisserie Industries.


Novozymes chairs the Enzyme Safety Working Group, which has a coordinating role within AMFEP to develop advanced safety standards for enzyme use through industry associations. 


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