Novozymes supports international human rights principles and labour standards. Relevant principles are integrated systematically to ensure that global and local initiatives are mutually supportive.
Novozymes' work on social responsibility is based on a two-pronged model: on the one hand ensuring that Novozymes' minimum standards are met throughout the organisation, while on the other looking to help selected units to establish local strategies and targets. These strategies go further than the minimum standards and help to strengthen Novozymes' role as an active corporate citizen.
Compliance with minimum standards
Novozymes' seven minimum standards of human and labour rights are based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights – see The Novozymes Touch – and the principles of the UN Global Compact. Each year the entire organisation carries out self-assessments which document how these minimum standards are being met. From 2006 compliance with these standards will be audited by Novozymes' internal auditor corps. Novozymes' minimum standards are the same as those used by Novozymes to evaluate its suppliers. Read more in the Global Compact Communication on Progress under Other information.
Local strategies clarify efforts
The formulation of a local strategy for social responsibility has been mandatory for seven local units since 2004. These strategies take account of topics and stakeholders relating specifically to the countries and regions in which the units operate, and are therefore by their nature very different. Local involvement with stakeholders is essential if Novozymes is to be able to continuously integrate social responsibility into everyday activities.
In 2006 all of the strategies will include targets and activities for diversity in the workplace, as this has been singled out as a global priority. However, the specific targets and activities will undoubtedly vary from unit to unit as they each face very different challenges locally. The focus areas of the individual strategies are made available on Novozymes' Intranet to promote the exchange of experience.
Experiences from the first year have been good. The various business units have identified relevant new initiatives, and existing activities have been better coordinated. The strategies have also increased awareness and helped to raise the priority of local efforts.
Strategy for social responsibility in Brazil
One example is the strategy at Novozymes Brazil, which has several years' experience of working with social responsibility, although the 2005 strategy was the first overall strategy for this work. The strategy does not therefore contain that many new initiatives, but the process has now been made more systematic so that all of the activities can be prioritised and followed up more easily. One of the focus areas in Brazil in 2005 was forming more strategic partnerships with local universities to exchange knowledge. The site has also worked actively to formalise relations with its neighbours in the local community to ensure continuous dialogue and feedback.