Management Approach 2016 (Disclosure 103-1, 103-2, 103-3)
For Symrise, the global diversity of species is an invaluable source of inspiration and innovation for the development of unique flavors, fragrances and cosmetic or functional ingredients. However, the global and local impact of human activities has led to a sustained worldwide reduction in biological diversity. The potential effects of this are systematically analyzed and evaluated as part of our sustainability management. The material impact of our business activities on biodiversity is indirect and occurs in the supply chain – particularly during raw materials production. This potentially includes instances where our suppliers deplete natural populations or employ methods of cultivation or aquaculture that are not sustainable for soil and forestry. Impacts from our own production sites, for example, occur through sealing the soil or emitting pollutants into the air or soil, which we monitor as part of our operational environmental and site management. Within the framework of SDGs 14 and 15, specific expectations have been established for the company.
Depending on the specific topic, biodiversity is managed and addressed at Symrise partly at the corporate level and partly at the division level in conjunction with Corporate Sustainability. The Chief Executive Officer is directly briefed on biodiversity several times per year. As core goals of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and fair distribution of advantages from the use of genetic resources are essential components of our sustainability strategy and our environmental and sustainability management. By signing the “Business and Biodiversity Pledge” of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, we have committed ourselves to acting sustainably in accordance with the core goals of the Convention. In the implementation of our biodiversity goals, we work closely with skilled external stakeholders, such as the Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative or the Union for Ethical Biotrade. Furthermore, we are involved with other member companies of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in multi-stakeholder forums, such as the One Planet Business for Biodiversity Initiative.
The most important lever of our company for protecting biodiversity and encouraging its sustainable use is environmental and ethically sustainable cultivation and sourcing practices. As part of our targeted intervention projects, such as in the Amazon region or in Madagascar, we strive to preserve biodiversity directly, for example, through reforestation projects or the introduction of sustainable cultivation methods for biobased raw materials from agriculture and forestry. We make effective contributions to biodiversity-friendly supply chains through the targeted application of sustainability standards and certifications that explicitly account for the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity (e.g., the Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Farm Sustainability Assessment, UEBT Ethical Biotrade Standard, etc.).
In the Forest category of the CDP Supply Chain program, Symrise recorded a response rate of 47 % in the reporting year. For more information on the Forest category, please see CDP Website on the topic and the current CDP results from Symrise. For more information on the CDP Supply Chain program, please see GRI 102-11 and the management approaches GRI 302, GRI 303 and GRI 305.
Symrise assesses the degree of biodiversity and ecological stress factors in the countries where our raw materials originate. We also assess the degree to which those species from which we derive our strategic raw materials could be endangered. Due to our stable customer and product portfolios, there are only a few raw materials being used that are obtained from threatened species (according to the IUCN Red List and CITES definitions). Via corresponding sustainability verifications, strict use controls, efficient production processes and the development of suitable raw material alternatives, we concentrate on avoiding or minimizing any negative biodiversity impact, and we ensure a sustainable use of these species. Symrise cannot directly monitor changes in species’ populations within ecosystems that our suppliers deem relevant for generating raw materials. Our suppliers are enjoined to consistently avoid or minimize any potential negative impacts on biodiversity.