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Product Stewardship

Product Stewardship is a cornerstone of DSM’s sustainability strategy and business philosophy/approach by substantiating the social and environmental elements of the value propositions of the company’s products and solutions, and in giving direction for competitive (business) advantage. It addresses the growing demand for more transparency and clarity on substances used in products and their safe sourcing, production, processing, transport, use, and disposal or recycling of an end-of-life product.
Safety, Health and Environment

Product Stewardship is fully embedded in DSM’s Safety Health and Environment strategy and policies and is defined as the “responsibility to control and minimize all possible safety risks and adverse effects on human or animal health and on the environment, that could be caused by (the substances present in) our products throughout the value chain.”

DSM applies six main principles in its approach to Product Stewardship:

  • Responsible Business - take responsibility to control and minimize safety risks/adverse effects on health and environment caused by substances in products throughout their entire life cycle.
  • Transparent communication - share safety, health and environmental data through proper supply chain communication.
  • Compliance - comply with all applicable and relevant legislations and regulations worldwide affecting products.
  • Innovation for safer ingredients - use safer ingredients, and scout for future market needs for safer alternatives and less hazardous processes.
  • Involvement of stakeholders - engage with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to foster new opportunities.
  • Product Stewardship organization - Product Stewardship policies are in place and integrated in the business.

Substances of Very High Concern

Special attention is given to the so called ‘substances of very high concern’. DSM continuously reviews and evaluates the scientific and societal developments regarding potential hazards and risks of substances used in its product portfolio and processes. DSM takes a risk-based approach and will use safer alternatives where feasible and always when required.

If substances of very high concern cannot be replaced, mitigating measures will be defined to science-based acceptable levels. These will be communicated to stakeholders and implemented within DSM’s own operations. DSM actively contributes to the scientific community with knowledge and expertise. If according to DSM or regulatory bodies the concerns or risks are beyond reasonable levels, DSM will abstain using or producing these substances.

DSM is committed to stimulate sustainable innovation. For the company’s innovation portfolio ‘safe by design’ is the leading principle in the development of new and better products and processes. With this principle DSM will meet and anticipate customer and societal expectations, and regulatory requirements.

Our commitments

DSM’s commitments in Product Stewardship are:

  • DSM will take responsibility to control and minimize all possible safety risks and adverse effects on human or animal health and on the environment, that could be caused by (the substances present in) its products throughout the value chain.
  • DSM will be compliant, communicate transparently, engage all stakeholders, and anchor all in its strategy, organization and policies.
  • DSM takes a risk based approach towards so called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). By the end of 2020 the company will have assessed its product portfolio and will have an action plan for products with SVHC >0.1%, excluding substances in products that are considered ‘essential for life’.
  • ‘Safe by design’ is the leading principle in the development of new and better products and processes. DSM will, where possible, select safer ingredients in its innovation projects and enable customers to do the same through new, innovative and safer solutions.

Examples

Examples of DSM’s journey towards a non-toxic environment include:

  • Sigma Air Pure paint made with DSM's Decovery® bio-based resin is a wall paint with an air purification effect. The paint enhances the indoor air climate of homes, offices and schools by removing up to 70% of the harmful formaldehyde from the indoor air. The paint filters the formaldehyde molecules out of the indoor air and neutralizes them.
  • NeoPac™ PU-580 is a breakthrough technology to replace one of the toxic substances in paints and coatings. The original substance is volatile and leads to health problems if it comes into contact with skin or the respiratory system. Based on a novel mechanism, DSM developed a next generation binder which meets all the requirements for labeling, volatile organic compounds, and indoor air quality without compromising on performance.
  • PreventASe® is an award-winning enzyme that is proven to cut acrylamide (a carcinogen) in a wide range of food applications by up to 90% - without affecting taste, appearance or texture.
  • DSM developed a new glucose oxidase originating from Penicillium chrysogenum, called BakeZyme® Go Pure. BakeZyme Go Pure allows for the dough to become elastic, maintaining its ability to stretch and creates new opportunities to use glucose oxidase as a tool for replacing chemical oxidizers (such as ADA – azodicarbonamide connected with respiratory issues, allergies and asthma) or in applications such as frozen dough.

Responsible Care®

As part of our commitment to Product Stewardship, DSM has adopted and adheres to the principles of the Program of Responsible Care®1, set out by the International Council of Chemical Associations. This is the chemical industry’s global voluntary initiative under which companies work together to continuously improve their management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a chemical throughout its life cycle.

1) Responsible Care® is the chemical industry’s global voluntary initiative under which companies, through their national trade associations, work together to continuously improve their health, safety and environmental performance, and to communicate with all relevant stakeholders and with the public about their products, their processes and achievements. The Responsible Care® ethic helps our industry to operate safely, profitably and with due care for future generations, and contributes significantly to sustainable development.