Organizational profile | 102-12

External initiatives

Symrise wants to increase the value and sustainability of its business activities over the long term. For this reason, the managerial and supervisory bodies of Symrise AG align their activities with various principles of responsible management. The aims of the German Corporate Governance Code, for instance, serve as the standard for good management in both the Executive and Supervisory Boards. The ten principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations, which we signed in 2012, provide additional guidance for our entrepreneurial actions. With our “advanced level” reporting, which we implemented for the first time in 2014, we have further strengthened our commitment to this issue. In addition, we support the sustainable development goals of the United Nations published in 2015. As an initial step, we reviewed the compatibility of our sustainability strategy and objectives with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that apply to Symrise. In doing so, we were able to identify additional potential for improvement.

Symrise became a member of the Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI) in 2013. Both for Symrise and the SSI, the focus is on the responsible sourcing and cultivation of raw materials. Together with customers, suppliers and non-governmental organizations, we want to actively cooperate with the SSI, sharing our knowledge while also gaining new experience. Symrise is a founding member of the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative, which is committed to a long-term stable supply of high-quality natural vanilla produced in a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable manner. With the acquisition of Diana, ADF/IDF and the corresponding expansion of our portfolio, animal welfare has become a higher priority for our agenda.

In addition to that, as a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2015, Symrise has set ambitious goals for itself that have already partially been achieved. By the middle of 2016, we converted our Palm Oil supply chain in such a way that all palm oils came from 100 % RSPO “Mass Balance” certified sources. By the end of 2018, we already obtained more than 50 % of primary and more than 68 % of secondary palm oil derivatives from certified sustainable sources. At the same time, numerous recipes have been converted to palm oil free quality. In 2019, we were able to increase the proportion of primary and secondary palm oil derivatives to 60 and 80 % from certified sources. We are off to a good start to obtain all palm oil and palm oil derivatives from certified sustainable sources by the end of 2020. Through our global membership of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) we are also committed to ethical sourcing.

Since 2016, we have been a member of the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI), which underscores our commitment to the responsible sourcing of natural raw materials.

In 2019, Symrise 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). In the same year, the initiative “Bridging the Gap” was initiated. In collaboration with Unilever, Kellogg’s, Save the Children, Natura, MARS, Tanager, Pernod Ricard, Franklin Baker and GIZ, the Initiative aims to improve the living and working conditions of local farmers and to increase supply chain transparency for our customers through various projects. In the reporting year, Symrise also established the One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) coalition as a founding member in collaboration with 18 other globally active companies and with the support of The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The focus of the alliance is on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agriculture. The partners have committed themselves to jointly developing more environmentally friendly cultivation practices and changing their added value accordingly.