Occupational Health and Safety
Workplace accidents caused by safety lapses and work-related illnesses, for example, through stress or inadequate ergonomic workplace design, lead to individual strains and may negatively affect the motivation of individual employees or teams. They result in sick days that are expensive for the company, reducing productivity. Therefore, the consistent emphasis of our HR policy on being an employer of choice also includes caring for employee health at the workplace. By doing so, we actively support the achievement of the goals of health and well-being (SDG 3) as well as humane working conditions (SDG 8).
Our subsidiary TESIUM bundles our competence in the areas of technology, safety and the environment. It ensures that the highest environmental standards are fulfilled in all business divisions. All our sites worldwide follow obligatory Corporate Guidelines that contain an approach to the safety of systems, the protection of employees and the environment, which have been coordinated with the Executive Board. Because local situations and needs vary, the specific measures to be implemented at the individual sites are guided by on-site systems and working groups.
Issues of health and occupational safety are regulated by our Corporate Guidelines and Code of Conduct at Symrise that apply around the globe. In addition, the collective bargaining agreement, which was negotiated with the trade union IG BCE (mining, chemical and energy industrial union) and which applies to Symrise in Germany, contains regulations on workplace design and occupational health and safety. The CBA also governs the cooperation between company management, the works council and the union on matters pertaining to protecting the health of our employees.
We have arranged a comprehensive system of measures at all our sites whose written behavioral guidelines offer assistance in identifying possible hazards. The guidelines also regulate how we handle hazardous substances. A complete list of all chemicals used at a particular site, including their corresponding safety data sheets, is provided at each site in the local language. Each production site has its own occupational health and safety committee, which includes both management and other employees. All employees undergo health and safety training courses designed specifically for their given activities. The appropriate first-aid facilities are available in the event of an emergency.
The effectiveness of our measures is regularly evaluated by internal audits based on ISO 19011. Regular external audits by customers, authorities and independent certification companies further verify the constant improvement of our management systems. In addition, we have a monthly reporting system that indicates the status and performance of our occupational safety efforts. The most frequently occurring types of injuries in 2017 were bruises, fractures, irritations, chemical burns, cuts and other superficial wounds. In order to improve worldwide performance in the area of occupational health and safety, the concept of a zero-accident culture was introduced in 2017. Essential components of this program are special workshops on zero-accident culture for upper and midlevel managers as well as management safety visits for the first and second management level of the entire organization. The conduct of training to increase awareness of occupational safety will be integrated as a mandatory personal target agreement for managers beginning in 2018.
Our preventative health measures demonstrate our comprehensive approach to helping employees lead healthier lifestyles. Prior to hiring new employees, we conduct medical examinations at all our sites worldwide and initiate preventative measures such as vaccinations.
We are committed to regular training and continuing education programs on the topic of health, just as we promote diversity among the workforce and help employees balance their professional and private life. Information about healthy nutrition and healthy sleep patterns or the offering of massages rounds out these preventative measures. Through our worldwide sensitizing and intervention program “symply healthy,” we help our employees take a conscious approach to their health, for example through targeted smoking cessation programs.
For specific goals and results see Track Record, Goals and Measures.
Given the nature of the industry, the topic of facility safety at Symrise is of vital importance, especially in the local communities where our sites are located. Accidents or leakages at our facilities can result in negative effects that could pose a danger to humans and the environment. Sustainable industrialization and responsible infrastructure are important components of SDG 9.
Because local situations and needs vary, the specific measures to be implemented at the individual sites are guided by onsite systems and working groups. Our subsidiary TESIUM bundles our competence concerning the safety of our systems, thereby ensuring the protection of staff, environment and host communities in Germany. All our sites worldwide follow obligatory Corporate Guidelines that contain an approach to the safety of systems, the protection of employees and the environment, which have been coordinated with the Executive Board.
The primary goals are long-term operational safety, environmental efficiency and the profitability of production facilities. For this purpose, the Corporate Guidelines specify safety standards that apply equally to all our production sites worldwide. Our subsidiary TESIUM ensures that the facilities comply with our safety requirements. This includes the preparation of systematic safety reviews, contingency plans, safety reports, alarm and risk-prevention plans, and public information. Another important tool for this is Total Productive Maintenance. It forms a basis for cross-hierarchy teams of Symrise employees to develop new solutions and proposals.
Diversity and Equal Opportunity
As a global company with almost 9,400 employees, success in various markets is only possible if people with the most varied backgrounds regarding gender, nationality and age at a national and international level work together respectfully and learn from each other. Victims of discrimination feel hurt, unsettled and marginalized, which can lead to social withdrawal. If companies tolerate discrimination, they jeopardize the satisfaction and motivation of their employees and thereby their attractiveness in the labor market. By contrast, companies that promote diversity have been shown to benefit from more creative teams and more productive results. The inclusion of people in their diversity is an important component of SDG 8, while SDG 5 specifically emphasizes the relevance of the equal treatment of women and men.
Group Human Resources is responsible for the topic of diversity and equal opportunity. Our annual diversity reporting, which takes into account our large sites and thereby about 80 % of our workforce, documents the progress of our HR diversity policies.
Symrise consciously embraces an HR policy that views diversity in the workplace as a benefit to creativity and integrity. It includes the promotion of diversity in the workplace, the dedicated promotion of young families through a family-oriented HR policy and the compatibility of professional and private life. In 2017, the Executive Board of Symrise issued a clear commitment to the advancement of diversity.
We practice our commitment to diversity by implementing our family-oriented HR policy designed to support young women and their families, the deliberate overrepresentation of women in our Future Generation Leadership Development program and the targeted hiring of women given the same qualifications. Equal pay for both men and women is a matter of course for us. In many countries, wage agreements govern remuneration. By using pay categories, we ensure that gender-specific differences for equal work are ruled out. For those employees not covered by wage agreements, our job grade model ensures transparency and fairness of remuneration.
In parallel, by signing the “Women’s Empowerment Principles,” we have recognized the principles of equal opportunity for women around the world and established them as a guideline for all our managers worldwide. In addition, our Integrated Management System is based on the provisions of the SA 8000 social accountability standard, which is binding throughout the company. This standard is based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Humane working conditions, decent employment and due consideration for the social aspects of employment are the foundation for how we act at all sites.
Our at least 70 expatriates, who come from foreign countries and work for a period here in Germany, also promote the national and cultural diversity of our country.
For specific goals and results see Track Record, Goals and Measures.