Report 2017

Taking action


Progress on the Ten Principles

Novozymes discloses its progress on the Ten Principles in the Accounts and performance section. Each note is based on the guidance from the UNGC and the GRI Standards for Sustainability Reporting. The notes include details on materiality & scope, management & reporting, progress in 2017, challenges & dilemmas and next steps.

Theme Disclosure Commitments and memberships
Human rights See Note 8.1 Labor practices & human rights in The Novozymes Report 2017
  • UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • UNGPs Professionals Network
  • Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)
  • Ordinary member of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
Labor rights See Note 8.1 Labor practices & human rights in The Novozymes Report 2017
  • UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
  • UNGPs Professionals Network
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX)
Environment See Notes 7.1 to 7.7 on environmental parameters in The Novozymes Report 2017
  • UN Caring for Climate
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • Sustainable Energy For All: Sustainable Bioenergy High Impact Opportunity
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Below50
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Danish Footprint Network
Anti-corruption See Note 8.3 Business ethics in The Novozymes Report 2017
  • UN Convention against Corruption
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery


Core contributions to UN goals

Novozymes has aligned its strategy with the SDGs. The section below highlights our initiatives and actions toward five goals where we have the potential to deliver material impacts.

Novozymes is committed to enabling a more sustainable society in the coming decades by contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)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, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, US..


Novozymes was one of the pioneers in embracing and aligning with the SDGs. Our purpose, “Together we find biological answers for better lives in a growing world,” our strategy “Partnering for Impact” and our long-term targets and commitments demonstrate our focus on achieving the SDGs. Furthermore, we are currently developing a methodology to conduct SDG impact assessments. This assessment methodology tool will enable us to systematically evaluate our innovation opportunities and business solutions in terms of their potential positive contributions to the SDGs.


See “Novozymes and the Global Goals” on for more details on how we contribute to the broader list of SDGs.

We support ZERO HUNGER






Strategic social investment

Novozymes invests in a wide variety of educational programs to help young people around the world understand the potential of biology and sustainability.

SDG 4 describes how education is crucial for global sustainable development. We believe that by helping young people understand the potential of biology, sustainability and the environment, we can prepare the next generation to create the sustainable solutions of the future.


To better reach people around the world, the EDUCATE target is anchored in all the regions where Novozymes operates. Our employees have a wealth of knowledge about science and sustainability, and regularly engage with schools, universities and communities through various outreach programs.


Each region measures the number of learnersA 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. it has reached through its educational initiatives. In total, we aim to reach 1 million people by 2020. We focus on programs for children with limited resources and access to scientific activities.


We are always looking for new and exciting ways to share our enthusiasm for enzymesProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. and microorganismsMicroscopic, living, single-celled organisms such as bacteria and fungi. with the world. In 2017, to coincide with Biotech Week, we launched Teach for Tomorrow as a new global initiative to help us do exactly that. We encouraged employees to go to local schools and give elementary students a basic introduction to the potential of biology and biotechnology. With this initiative, we educated more than 3,000 learners across the globe.


In total, we educated more than 188,000 learners in 2017 through our different initiatives. Here are some of the highlights from our EDUCATE projects across different regions:



In 2017, we continued to scale up our three core projects to develop knowledge of biology. The Biology Catalyzes the Beauty of Life project provides diversified vocational development opportunities for teachers and improves biology education through a teach-the-teacher approach in schools which serve disadvantaged migrant communities. It is run in partnership with Panorama PR & Resources Co. Ltd. In 2017, we covered 14 migrant schools and educated around 10,000 students.


Together with the NGO Enactus, we run the Biology Education Innovation (BEI) initiative. Through this program, we provide educational, financial and on-site teaching support to 45 project teams teaching biology to elementary and high school students.


As part of the global Teach for Tomorrow program, Novozymes China launched an initiative called Parents’ Class, encouraging employees to teach biology in their child’s school.


Furthermore, we also work with the Shanghai Ditworld to teach students about the application of biology in their daily lives. Read more about how we encourage China's little biologists.




Our outreach activities aim to create interest in natural science. We sponsor and engage in a number of learning activities, such as the Young Scientist Competition, Geek Days, Guys' Science Day and Girls' Science Day. Each year, Novozymes welcomes around 600 high school students to its facilities in Bagsvaerd to teach them about enzymes.



Novozymes partners with the Agastya International Foundation, an Indian education trust and nonprofit organization based in Bangalore, and sponsors its Let's investigate lab at the Bio Discovery Center. This rural center provides a platform for children from nearby villages to experiment and build their understanding and knowledge of biology. Approximately 9,000 students visit the center each year.


As part of our partnership with the Center for Environment Education (CEE), we began sponsoring the Hand Wash & Personal Hygiene initiative, which focuses on improving personal hygiene knowledge among students across five states in the south of the country. Furthermore, we continue to support the Handprint for Change initiative. This project aims to provide students with practical experience to integrate science and social science concepts and enhance their understanding of sustainable development.


In 2017, we also partnered with the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a residential institute for tribal people based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha state. We support the institute by contributing toward its biology lab infrastructure. Our contribution is to help 10,000 students from marginalized and disadvantaged tribal communities.


Latin America

Novozymes’ educational initiatives in this region rely on a digital and interactive format and center around apps that educate young readers about biology, biotechnology and sustainability through exciting tales connected to a specific SDG. We continued to disseminate knowledge through the two educational apps for smartphone and tablet that we launched last year. In 2017, we launched a new app on SDG 6 Clean Water & Sanitation.


The apps were used by StoryMax (a startup specialized in developing digital books), by Professor Benita Prieto (an expert in digital literature and education) and by SESI-Pr (a renowned educational institution in Paraná state, Brazil). SESI-Pr has tie-ups with more than 55 schools all over the state, providing access for more than 11,000 students.


StoryMax received an award in the People’s Choice Digital Fiction category for one of its mobile applications, Frritt-Flacc by Jules Verne, in the Opening Up Digital Fiction Writing Competition in the UK. The objective of this competition is to recognize and discover popular digital fiction.


North America

Our sites in this region engage in a diverse range of educational outreach activities. For example, Novozymes’ site in Salem, Virginia, US, created the iNspire team, which visits classrooms in the local school system to talk about biology, biotechnology and science careers. Other sites also work with educational organizations in their communities to engage students.


In North Carolina, US, Novozymes partnered with the University of North Carolina’s Morehead Science Center to support the SciMatch program, which brings scientists from universities into elementary and high school classrooms across the state.


Our site in Saskatoon, Canada, has partnered with the NGO Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan to develop elementary soil kits that allow students to learn about the relationship between the soil, soil microbes and food supply through hands-on activities.