Organizational profile | 102-11

Precautionary Principle or approach

In guidelines and initiatives like the UN Global Compact, the Precautionary Principle is cited as a guiding principle for risk prevention. The risk management system at Symrise is based on generally recognized standards (ISO 31000) and extends across all Group companies and business divisions. The Precautionary Principle is particularly important when it comes to managing the local impacts of our business activities. Our Integrated Management System is based on the international standards in the areas of quality management (ISO 9001), the environment (ISO 14001), occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001), sustainability (ISO 26000), energy (ISO 50001), social responsibility (SA 8000), the generally accepted audit standards of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and other recognized local standards that promote continuous improvement in performance

Independent DQS auditors have intensively examined the company’s internal processes. Their findings: Research and development as well as production and sales are characterized by environmentally conscious operations. In this way, Symrise fulfills the international requirements of the Global Conformance Program for environmental management.

In the reporting period, Symrise also once again made an impressive showing in the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) rating. Despite considerably higher requirements for CDP Rating participants, Symrise ranked once again in the top group this year. The highest award of A was achieved in the category climate for the fourth time. Until August 2017, Symrise was the only company in the industry to have its climate strategy approved by the Science Based Target Initiative. For the first time, we also achieved the highest rating of A in the water protection category and thus a place in the prestigious A-list. Additionally, Symrise also achieved an excellent result in the forest protection category with an A-. Since 2016, Symrise has taken the top position in the CDP rating in the area of climate change, protection of water and forests, thus highlighting its pioneering achievements in these fields.

In 2017, we began working with the CDP Supply Chain Program. Our suppliers with the highest risk status were requested to follow the CDP Supply Chain Program. Since the 2017 program was viewed as a pilot, we requested that suppliers renew their participation in 2019 with increased data quality and detailed information, as was done in the previous year. In all three areas queried – climate change, water and forest – the number of responses increased considerably in the reporting year, as did the number of suppliers who pursue the above issues at the Executive Board level, set specific (reduction) targets and hold their respective suppliers responsible for achieving these targets (see also Management approaches GRI 302, GRI 303 and GRI 305). In this way, Symrise actively requires its suppliers along the value chain to demonstrate responsibility.

Symrise is committing to being climate-positive as of 2030 at all its global production sites based on the Scope 1+2 emissions of the GHG Protocol. In this context, we are committed to increasing the eco-efficiency of our greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1+2) by more than 60 % by 2025, based on added value. With this climate goal, Symrise will achieve its Science Based target approved in 2017 early on. In doing so, Symrise will also be able to sign the "Business Ambition for 1.5°C" and thus serve as a role model in entrepreneurial commitment to a future no warmer than 1.5°C.
We will achieve our ambitious climate goal through, among other things, the continued increase of energy efficiency in all production sites, the purchase of environmentally friendly energy sources and the supplying of surplus energy to local communities: Along with ongoing measures of our local Total Productive Maintenance teams, which continuously replace energy-intensive consumer equipment such as motors and ventilation or heating systems with more efficient alternatives, we will reduce our CO2 emissions related to energy generation by about 35 % annually, particularly through our cogeneration plant at the Holzminden site, which has been in operation since 2017. The share of electricity from renewable energies worldwide was 24.1 % in the reporting year. In addition, we converted all of the electricity we purchase in Germany to green power in 2018 and have set the goal of expanding this measure to our locations worldwide by 2025 – and thus obtaining all purchased energy from renewable energies. In Germany, we also completely compensated for the gas used for the operation of the cogeneration plant by purchasing certified emission reduction certificates and thus support high-grade climate protection projects worldwide. This commitment will continue to be anchored in our future power purchase agreements (PPAs) as of 2023.

We also urge our key suppliers to commit to their own greenhouse gas reduction goals by 2020.

In the reporting year, Symrise was recognized with first place of the German Sustainability Award for its ambitious program for climate protection, its commitment in shaping the supply chain and its commitment to preserving biodiversity. In the same year, the company also joined the Development and Climate Alliance – a multi-stakeholder partnership consisting of hundreds of companies, associations, government agencies and civil society to promote the voluntary compensation of CO2 under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since the end of 2019, Symrise has also been a member of the RE100 Initiative and is thus also committed to this external group for the purchase of electricity from renewable sources.

As a result, Symrise is a role model for climate protection in our industry and acts in accordance with the resolutions of the UN climate conferences COP 21 in Paris, COP 22 in Marrakesh, COP 23 in Bonn, COP 24 in Katowice, COP 25 in Madrid and the recommendations of IPCC 2018. (See also 201-2.) The inclusion of Symrise in the ETHIBEL Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe was also confirmed for the sixth time in a row. Furthermore, the rating agency EcoVadis awarded Symrise the Gold status in recognition of its corporate social responsibility in 2019 for the fourth time in a row.

Signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles: At the initiative of the Corporate Sustainability Group, Symrise signed this UN guideline and pursued its goals before many of our customers’ other companies.