Global diversity of species is an indispensable source of inspiration and natural raw materials for Symrise in order to continue to create new flavors and fragrances. However, non-sustainable consumption and production patterns lead to a sustained worldwide reduction in biodiversity. The essential impact of 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 aquacultures that are not sustainable for soil and forestry. Impacts result at our own production sites, for example, through sealing the soil or emitting pollutants into the air or water. Within the framework of SDG 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. The protection of the diversity of species is part of our environmental strategy and our environmental management. Since 2017, Symrise has been signatory of the “Business & Biodiversity Pledge” to act sustainably in accordance with the core goals of the UN Convention on Biodiversity as well as a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative, a cross-sector alliance of companies for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
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 are committed to preserving biodiversity directly, for example, through reforestation projects or the introduction of sustainable methods of agricultural cultivation. Our performance in the area of sustainability has been externally verified, for example, by using recognized sustainability standards in a targeted manner and by receiving certifications that explicitly account for the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity (e.g., the Rainforest Alliance or UEBT).
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 still 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 and 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. However, our suppliers are enjoined to avoid or minimize potentially negative impact on biodiversity consistently.