Principle 6

Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Novozymes' management system – including values, relevant policies, etc.

Novozymes' approach in 2008

Reference to GRI G3 performance indicators

The Novozymes Touch

  • Vision, values, and fundamental principles
  • Support for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Support for the United Nations Global Compact

Social responsibility policy
People policy

Position on human rights

Position on diversity and equal opportunities

Please refer to Principle 1 for scope and general approach regarding Novozymes’ support of human rights and labor rights.

Novozymes’ minimum standards of social responsibility cover freedom of association, nondiscrimination, working hours, salary and benefits, disciplinary measures, child labor, and forced labor.

Novozymes’ approach is to focus on the opportunities for working with diversity as a business asset. Diversity and equal opportunities were a special focus area for Novozymes in 2006. A number of activities took place throughout the year such as workshops, launch of guidelines and tools, and internal communication campaigns. In 2007, several of these activities have been continued, experiences have been used, and better practices are continuously implemented. Furthermore, in order to follow up on these initiatives, a question regarding diversity performance has been incorporated into our new annual employee survey.

Responsibilities and activities
Regional Vice Presidents within Novozymes have overall responsibility for human rights and labor rights aspects in the particular regions, whereas the person responsible for a particular site has operational responsibility. This is reviewed by the Sustainability Development Board, which is made up of line of business representatives.  

Novozymes’ business units conduct annual self-assessments, which are carried out on the basis of our global minimum standards. The minimum standards make it possible to identify better practices and share experiences between business units, thereby improving performance locally. The anchoring of the minimum standards in line of business through self-assessments is reported to the Sustainability Development Board, who reviews and decides on further action in coordination with the Sustainability Development Department on an annual basis.

In 2008, it was decided that training and communication of the minimum standards will be conducted at local sites to allow for emphasis on the most relevant standards locally. 

Again in 2008, new suppliers of raw materials carried out self-assessments to document compliance with the same minimum standards that form the basis for internal self-assessment at Novozymes' business units.

Audits of business units' compliance with internationally recognized human rights and labour standards have been an integrated part of the internal auditing program since 2006. Annually, Novozymes’ internal audit panel selects business units that are audited with regard to their compliance with human rights and labour standards. Audit findings are reported internally to executive management, and follow-up on corrective actions is integrated into our audit procedures/system, which is verified by our external auditors. Novozymes does not report audit findings externally.

Local social responsibility strategies
Beyond ensuring compliance with global minimum standards, Novozymes’ sites have developed local social responsibility strategies on an annual basis since 2004. 

Grievance mechanisms
Novozymes strives to be an attractive place to work because of what we do and how we do it. In support of this, Novozymes has established a number of guidelines for how to behave as a Novozymes employee – including The Novozymes Touch, the Novozymes Policies, and the Novozymes Standards. In order to ensure that these guidelines are lived up to, a regional ombudsperson has been installed. The ombudsperson ensures that all employees in Novozymes have the possibility to report, in confidence, events that are perceived to conflict with the above-mentioned guidelines, and to have such events evaluated on the basis of an objective analysis. The regional Finance Directors are appointed as regional ombudspersons in each of the three Novozymes regions Asia, Americas and EMEA (excl. Denmark). The regional ombudspersons report to a global ombudsperson, who is also the responsible ombudsperson for Denmark.

Global Diversity Management Program
From 2005 - 2008, a global diversity management program was implemented to raise awareness among managers about the benefits of diversity and build an understanding of the leadership skills and behaviors that foster respect and inclusion. To introduce special working procedures for both managers and employees, the project was introduced by a training program focusing on diversity and equal opportunities before, during, and after hiring. Additionally, tools for working with diverse teams as well as courses in diversity management have been offered to all managers with responsibility for three or more persons. From August 2008, responsibility for diversity management has been placed in line of business and a complete Diversity website was launched on September 1, 2008. The diversity management program is reflected in the relevant Novozymes positions, standards, and policies.   

Expanding Diversity project in Novozymes Brazil
To coincide with the Global Diversity program and accommodate the Brazilian government’s quota legislation, which states that in companies with 100 - 200 employees, a minimum of 2% of the employees must be persons with special needs, Novozymes in Brazil launched an “expanding diversity project” in 2005. The project included an adjustment of the organizational set-up and adapted the physical working environment in order to employ and retain persons with special needs and to further enhance equal opportunities for all our employees. To ensure understanding and acceptance among existing and new employees with special needs, a training program was held to introduce special working procedures for both managers and employees focusing on diversity and equal opportunities before, during, and after the hiring. The project has provided a solid platform for encouraging a diverse workforce and nurtured acceptance of people with diverse needs and disabilities. Today, out of the 168 employees in Novozymes Brazil, five have a physical disability.

See also:

LA 2
LA 13
LA 14

HR 1
HR 2
HR 3
HR 4

SO 5