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Novozymes Uses Sustainable Development Goals as a Catalyst for Growth

Posted: 05.30.2018 no comments


Biotech innovator Novozymes’ president and CEO Peder Holk Nielsen is optimistic that the world has the willingness and the technology to tackle climate change.


Read the entire article at GreenBiz.


“You can get into the mood where this is such an overwhelming task that you can’t make a difference and therefore you go on doing the same thing as you’ve always done,” Nielsen said. “Or you can tell yourself, ‘Let’s concentrate on where I can make a difference, and then let’s make a difference.’ I would put to you that if every company did that, then we could actually solve most of these problems. It’s no harder than that.”



Nielsen’s company, Danish biotech firm Novozymes (which develops enzymes used for bioenergy, food and agricultural applications, household care products and production processes) has taken that sentiment to heart. Since 2015, the company’s business strategy has been explicitly aligned around catalyzing technologies that play a role to exploit the “inventory of business opportunities” embedded in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Using the SDGs as a talking point helps Novozymes put its strategies into context for national governments, cities, investors and other key stakeholders, including 6,200 employees. Indeed, a significant portion of the compensation for Novozymes’ top 200 executives is tied to the company’s ability to grow revenue related to catalyzing a low-carbon future, while meeting its own corporate sustainability targets, Nielsen said.


“Sustainability is not a corporate department in Novozymes; it’s a part of what we do, it’s the strategy,” he said. “I think that’s an important distinction to make.”


Novozymes is the global leader in industrial enzymes, controlling an estimated 48 percent of the market and holding more than 6,500 granted and pending patents, according to the company’s annual report. The organic revenue growth for its bioenergy business was 11 percent in 2017, while its food and beverage business grew 9 percent. Right now, about 65 percent of its business comes from developed economies, and Nielsen views the SDGs as a way of starting more serious dialogues in emerging nations.