Editorial of the Global
and friends of
One can get the impression that the world today is changing faster and more profoundly than ever before. The world population continues to grow and will soon reach the threshold of eight billion. The limits to the use of natural resources are becoming increasingly apparent. Climate change is the most prominent example of this. Against this background, economic development must decouple itself from the consumption of natural resources and find new ways to reconcile profitable business and responsible action. We feel this pressure for change today more than ever.
Symrise is at the center of these change processes with its business model. Global megatrends such as healthy nutrition and natural personal care, as well as urbanization and digitalization, affect us directly and support our business activities. On the other hand, we consume energy and raw materials to manufacture our products. Symrise recognized this challenge years ago and made this decision: For us, sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy and a key driver of successful business development. We actively support the principles of responsible management from the United Nations Global Compact. In 2019, we conducted a far-reaching materiality analysis together with our stakeholders in order to report the current impacts of the business activities at Symrise on people, the environment and society as measured for materiality. Our focus areas where we can make the greatest impact are the use of raw materials and climate protection.
In the procurement of natural raw materials, Symrise is going back along the entire value chain and seeking to work shoulder to shoulder with the farmers who produce vanilla, cloves or citrus fruits on their fields and plantations. This gives us the opportunity to influence how and in what quality the raw materials are produced. We can also help local communities improve their living conditions. This backward integration also ensures our ability to deliver even in phases of shortages in raw materials. Responsible use of raw materials is ensured at Symrise through circular economic practices in which valuable products are developed from byproducts of raw materials processing. New ways to increase the efficiency of our processes and thus our sustainability performance also include the use of “green chemistry” and artificial intelligence. In the area of climate protection, we aim to more than halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, partly by sourcing all the electricity we need worldwide from renewable sources. Our ambitious goal is that the business activities of Symrise should be climate positive by 2030.
The progress made in these initiatives, of which you will find many examples in our Corporate Report, as well as our economic track record show that 2019 was a good year for Symrise. This can be seen not least in the performance of our share price. Symrise is continuing to grow faster than the relevant markets with consistently high profitability. Earnings per share are rising, as is the dividend. Sustainability and economic success will continue to go hand in hand at Symrise in the future.
Your Global Management Committee