Strategy and Analysis | G4-2

Description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities

We believe that economic success, sustainability and social acceptance are inextricably linked. Symrise’s corporate strategy is based on the three pillars of growth, efficiency and portfolio. It incorporates aspects of sustainability at all levels in order to enhance the company’s value over the long term and minimize risks. Our integrated corporate strategy is further defined and expanded by goals and measures along the four pillars of our sustainability activities: Footprint, Innovation, Sourcing and Care. In this way, we are making sustainability an integral part of our business model and turning it into a clear competitive advantage.

We are aware of the environmental, economic and social impact we have on society. This is why we, as a globally operating company with a worldwide sourcing structure, assume a leading role in climate protection and resource conservation. Using a materiality analysis, we have systematically assessed the impacts of our business activities within the context of sustainability and our stakeholders’ expectations (see also G4-18-22).

We have established a Group-wide risk management system to identify opportunities and risks that are associated with our sustainability challenges. This covers sustainability-relevant issues as a subcategory of nearly all other risk categories – from environmental and industry risks via procurement and product risks to operating risks.

The progressing climate change is just one example of the relevance of our sustainability-related risk management. Changes in climate conditions and the resulting fluctuations in the availability of natural resources can have a direct influence on our supply chain and constitute a procurement risk. Logically, we have taken this risk into account and addressed it in our procurement strategy.

We have set clear goals to be achieved by 2020: We want to have annual sales growth of 5–7 %, an annual EBITDA margin of 19–22 % and generate 50 % of sales in emerging markets. Our economic ambitions are further shaped by the goals and measures we have set and enacted as part of our sustainability agenda:

Show table
Commitment 2020 Target Status 2014
Footprint Contributing to climate protection
Reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases.1
-33% -19.38%
Increasing process yield
Reducing product loss via wastewater.1
-33% -18.21%
Enhancing resource efficiency
Reducing our sensitive waste.1
-33% -29.28%
Innovation Innovative strength
The number of patents we submit each year.
>25 33
Responsible Innovation We integrate aspects of biodiversity into our R&D activities as well as our procurement policy and train relevant stakeholders along the value chain. Strategic partnership with the Union for Ethical BioTrade and the Global Nature Fund.
Sourcing Sustainable raw material sourcing We will measure 100 % of our main suppliers by sustainability criteria We measure 70 % of our main suppliers by sustainability criteria
Backward integration and conserving biological diversity 100 % of the farmers that supply us directly are evaluated on ethical and biodiversity criteria. Rationale for a strategic partnership with the Union for Ethical BioTrade and the Global Nature Fund.
Care First-choice employer
We continually reduce unwanted employee turnover.
<4.8% 4.8%
Health and safety
We constantly improve work safety and are committed to the health of our employees.2
MAQ 2.0 MAQ 4.8

1 Our basis is the year 2010 (without Diana). The figures represent the cumulative reduction over the years normalized by added value.
2 MAQ = Accidents subject to reporting requirements (>1 work day) x 1 million / working hours. The values include Diana.

In terms of these goals, we are making good progress. The awards that we received across various areas in 2014 testify to this ('awards'). And yet, we still face regular challenges that represent both opportunities for growth and areas for improvement. In Care, for instance, we were not able to reduce our work accident rate despite intensified efforts in 2014. We are therefore doubling our efforts in this area and have enacted a series of measures that will help us achieve our 2020 goals. The acquisition of Diana presented us with particular challenges in the Footprint and Sourcing areas in 2014. Due to differing reporting methods and systems, we were not able to completely harmonize our environmental reporting and progress reports within the reporting period. We also see a need for improvement in terms of our joint supplier evaluation based on SEDEX criteria and will place a greater focus on this area in 2015.