Healthy diets for all within planetary boundaries

Sustainability at dsm-firmenich: A brighter future for all

Purpose led, Performance driven, dsm-firmenich is a science-based company. Our strong growth platform is centered on developing innovative solutions addressing Nutrition & Health, Climate & Energy and Resources & Circularity, together with increased customer centricity and large innovation projects. At dsm-firmenich, sustainability is not only our core value and a key responsibility, it is also increasingly an important business driver that is fully engrained in our purpose, strategy, business and operations.

So we focus our business on creating a positive societal impact whilst doing good business. The reason is simple. We don’t want to be successful in a world where the ice caps melt; coral is decimated; millions are left homeless and destitute due to climate change; while hundreds of millions remain undernourished. It was humans that caused this situation. But we really do have the power to change it…

Time for action

We now live in a world where 821 million people suffer from hunger, while more than 650 million people are obese. That’s why, at dsm-firmenich, we’re fully behind healthier diets for all - within planetary boundaries. Everyone deserves the right to eat well and enjoy the benefits that good nutrition brings. Today, we’re working with everyone - from scientists and business partners, to the World Food Programme and Africa Improved Foods - to make this happen and fulfil five of the UN’s most important Sustainable Development Goals: 

Sustainability is who we are and what we do at dsm-firmenich. This is not some idealistic call to simply make the world a better place At dsm-firmenich, we see sustainability as the core driver of our business, and we believe that by creating solutions that address societal needs and offer our customers innovative, sustainable solutions, we will enjoy above-average growth, allowing us to deliver attractive returns to the shareholders who place their trust in our company.

And we have been recognized as leaders in sustainability: dsm-firmenich is ranked #1 globally by Sustainalytics, AAA rating in MSCI, with a prime score in ISS-Oekom and a leading position in Vigeo and platinum status in Ecovadis rating. dsm-firmenichs climate change strategy received an A-rating from CDP. dsm-firmenich is listed in Forbes Global 2000 as the Worlds’ Best Employers, listed in the inaugural Financial Times Diversity Leaders, a ranking on company in 10 European countries on a diverse and inclusive workplace.

More information can be found at

Raising the bar on Climate Action

To be a leader in climate action it’s important to lead by example. That’s why at dsm-firmenich we closely manage our absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction; GHG efficiency; and energy efficiency. In fact, in 2018 we again raised the bar by targeting a 30% absolute reduction of the company’s direct GHG emissions (Scope 1) and emissions from our purchased energy (Scope 2), by 2030, and reduce indirect value chain emissions (Scope 3) by 28% per ton of product produced in the same period. These targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being  aligned with the Paris climate agreement. 

dsm-firmenich has also set a long-term target to reach net-zero emissions before 2050. We report on our climate actions through CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) , and we’ve committed to reporting this information in mainstream reports as part of our fiduciary duty implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

In 2018 dsm-firmenich also concluded a new €1 billion Revolving Credit Facility with our long term banking partners that links the interest rate payable to our GHG emission reductions., underscoring the importance of sustainability in everything we do - including corporate finance. Furthermore, as our suppliers play a key role in delivering our strategy and targets, we are working closely with them on emission reduction projects through a newly established CO2REDUCE program.

Renewable energy

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy for all) we’re committed to responsible, efficient use of energy. At dsm-firmenich we depend on the availability of renewable electricity via the grid or local electricity production. As local policies affect our ability to scale-up our procurement of renewable electricity, we work closely with authorities and other companies to scale-up supply of renewable electricity on the grid, including our own on-site solar fields at several sites.

We’re also a signatory of the Climate Group’s Renewable Energy 100 (RE100) initiative, which brings together the world’s leading companies committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable sources at the earliest possible opportunity. The intermediate target we set for 2030 is for 75% of our purchased electricity to be obtained from renewable sources.

At dsm-firmenich we’ve set an internal carbon price - which means incorporating the cost of all GHG emission-based decisions that require significant capital expenditure. Currently this is €50 per ton of CO2 equivalents.

We’re among more than 1,400 companies who have made the same shift. Why? Because it serves as a useful model for redirecting and scaling up investments towards low-carbon technologies; for driving operational efficiencies and especially in markets that already have a carbon price or in regions where a carbon price is expected to emerge.

Healthy, diverse & sustainable animal proteins

Within the framework of our activities in Nutrition and Health, this means that we advocate healthy, balanced and affordable diets for all that will allow the world’s growing population to be fed using the natural resources available while staying within the planetary boundaries. This involves, among other things, increasing the quality and nutritional content of food – and also of feed, which is where our Animal Nutrition and Health business comes in. dsm-firmenich wants to support all forms of proteins produced with the highest sustainable standards. Based on expertise in human and animal nutrition, as well as environmental science, we enable and produce sustainable proteins: from plant-based proteins to meat, eggs and fish. For all forms, we are tirelessly working on combating the key challenges such as reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, limiting nitrogen and phosphorous emissions, while keeping the highest nutritious standards and ensuring good livelihoods. 

We must offer nutritional solutions that allow us to produce more animal protein – significantly more animal protein – with greater efficiency, paying full regard to animal welfare, product quality and process safety, while reducing the impact of our operations on the environment. At the same time, we have to ensure that our innovative portfolio provides our customers with opportunities for competitive advantage and profitable growth.

The We Make it Possible ANH strategic positioning supports our ambition to be the world leader in animal nutrition & health, providing tangible and measurable solutions to the biggest challenges facing society & the animal protein industry. In line with the dsm-firmenich Purpose Led, Performance Driven strategy, ANH is strongly positioned around sustainable animal production (our ANH Purpose), based on 6 core business drivers.

At dsm-firmenich, we help address these different challenges with our products and innovations for human and animal nutrition. dsm-firmenich offers breakthrough solutions in many areas – from eubiotics that increase the resilience of animals to stress and challenges, thereby limiting antibiotic use,through algae-based omega-3 to reduce the aquaculture industry’s reliance on finite marine resources to enzymes to improve the digestibility and utilization of multiple feed ingredients. 

Below you can find a few examples of them. More information can be found at dsm-firmenich Feed Talks.

Helping tackle anti-microbial resistance: Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) poses a major health threat. Livestock is one of the contributors due to misuse and overuse of antibiotics in animal feed. dsm-firmenich’s eubiotics support a healthy animal and can help to minimize the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics for growth promotion, thereby reducing the spread of AMR. The result: better animal welfare, and higher food security at more affordable prices for all.

  • VevoVitall included in piglet diets at 0.5% consistently improved weight gain by more than 5.15% and reduced the feed conversion ratio by more than 2.5%, eliminating the need for AGPs.
  • Balancius consistently improves feed conversion by 3% in broilers and average weight gain by 4-6%, increasing the resilience of animals to stress and challenges, thereby limiting antibiotic use and supporting sustainable poultry production.
  • Crina Poultry Plus can effectively increase the resilience of broilers broilers resulting in +2.1% body weight gain and -2.6% feed conversion.
  • The use of Crina Ruminants or Crina Ruminants plus Rumistar had a similar response to feeding with monensin in terms of feed intake and milk yield in dairy cows; furthermore, the use of Crina Ruminants was shown to increase feed efficiency by 9.2% compared with monesin.

Reducing our reliance on Marine Resources: Fish is an excellent source of protein, as well as omega-3 EPA and DHA that help keep the heart healthy. Currently, 76% of the worlds’ fisheries are either depleted or exploited so Aquaculture plays a very important role there. But aquaculture growth is heavily dependent on finite marine resources for fish feed, particularly omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil

  • dsm-firmenich and Evonik produce algal omega-3 EPA and DHA oil with the natural marine algae Veramaris. This reduces the dependency of finite wild catch resources and supports sustainable aquaculture. The amount of omega-3 EPA and DHA in 1 ton of Veramaris algal oil is equivalent to 60 tons of wild catch, and the omega-3 output capacity of the Veramaris factory is equivalent to 1.2 million tons of wild catch.
  • In Tilapia feed, the combination of enzymes WX and NP was highly effective in enhancing performance in low and zero fish meal diets to a level equivalent to a diet containing 5% fish meal.
  • In Tilapia feed, the use of the enzyme ProAct resulted in an increase in apparent digestibility of protein up to 8%, enabling diet to be formulated with lower levels of fish meal.

Making efficient use of Natural Resources: With estimated increases in the world’s population to nearly 10 billion by 2050, the demand for animal-based food will increase by up to 70%; without changing current practice, the environmental pressures of animal production could increase by 60 to 90% and cannot be sustained within planetary boundaries. By improving feed digestibility, dsm-firmenich’s products and solutions improve the nutritional value of the feed, enabling greater diversity of feed raw materials, reducing our reliance on mineral phosphorus, soy and the pressure on deforestation and natural habitat conversion.

  • By adding only 0.02 kg of the enzyme HiPhos we replace 9 kg of phosphate in one ton of broiler feed. With that, the amount of phosphate lost from broilers can be reduced by 50%.  In swine feed it replaces 6 kg of phosphate in one ton of swine feed. With that, the amount of phosphate lost from pigs can be reduced by over 90%. The amount of phosphorus saved by dsm-firmenich’s phytase use per year globally is estimated to be at 1.3 million metric tons.
  • The feed enzyme ProAct enables greater use of alternative feed raw materials and feed formulation flexibility by increasing the amount of digestible protein in feed from 5.2% to 8.9% and replacing on average 25kg of soybean meal per ton of feed (or 8% less) for broilers.
  • Used globally in broilers, ProAct would allow the replacement of 7.2m tons of soybean meal corresponding to 9.0m tons of soy, leading to a lower deforestation pressure of 3.1 million ha per year.

Reducing emissions in livestock: With livestock and fish production contributing to 14.5% of our world’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, it’s essential that we take action now – especially when you consider that the world will demand an additional 40 million tons of meat and 25 million tons of fish each day by 2026. Reducing GHGs, but also N and P residues from animal manure in the soils, oceans and fresh water is an urgent priority for the world.

  • At dsm-firmenich, our bright science is helping to reduce methane emissions in cows by 30% or more with our new solution Bovaer.
  • VevoVitall is a safe and ultra-pure source of benzoic acid for livestock use that is easy to handle, with low odor and low corrosion, that lowers urinary pH reducing manure acidification, which helps control ammonia emissions by up to 20%. At the same time gives swine farmers the fast-growing, efficient, healthy and profitable animals they need. The ammonia emission reduction resulting from VevoVitall to the diet of growing-finishing pigs was amounted to an average 15.8% compared to a diet without it.
  • By reducing protein supplementation in animal feed, the enzyme ProAct reduces nitrogen excretion in manure by up to 17% and GHG emissions (CO2e) by up to 5% or 0.14 tons of CO2e per ton of broiler carcass weight. Considering 66 billion chickens slaughtered globally, ProAct has the potential to reduce 18 million tons of CO2e per year.

Improving Lifetime performance of farm animals: Replacing livestock due to health and disease issues comes at a significant economic cost, with morbidity and mortality due to disease causing the loss of ~$300 billion annually; the associated environmental cost is also significant. dsm-firmenich is providing science-led, innovative solutions to extend the lifetime performance of animals and to reduce the occurrence of diseases.

  • dsm-firmenich is addressing the fatty liver syndrome in laying hens by supplying essential nutrients and vitamins, such as Choline, Betaine, Vitamin E and B12, Selenium and Hy-D (25-OH-D3), and also high quality lipids as an energy source.
  • Extended lay cycle is associated with increased mortality and a decline in egg quality, due to the deterioration of tissues and organs; however, dsm-firmenich initiatives to ensure long-term bone integrity, and liver and GI health, ensure high-quality egg production is maintained throughout an extended lay cycle.
  • Improved litter dry matter and nitrogen level can help decrease incidence of footpad dermatitis, breast blisters and hock burns in birds. Lower protein diets supplemented with the enzyme ProAct allow for 38% average improvement in the footpad scores, improving animal welfare and reducing economic losses.
  • dsm-firmenich’s Biotin is a vitamin supplement developed by dsm-firmenich that has been shown to enhance hoof integrity, quality and strength, and reduce the likelihood of problems associated with lameness. Studies also shown that E50, a vitamin E supplement developed by dsm-firmenich, improves hoof integrity with a subsequent reduction in clinical lameness by 75%.
  • Nutritional supplementation with E50 has been shown to reduce the inflammatory infection rate at calving by up to 80% and cut the duration of mastitis by up to 50%, resulting in higher-producing, more profitable cows.

Improving the quality of animal proteins, while reducing food loss and waste: There are sufficient calories to feed the global population; however, this is prevented by disproportionate food distribution coupled with the loss and waste of more than 1 billion tons of food each year, resulting in about 24% of food calories produced never being eaten. Improving the integral quality of meat and fish via nutritional intervention can limit food waste at each stage of the food supply chain. dsm-firmenich is pioneering robust nutritional solutions to enhance the quality and productivity of meat, fish, eggs and milk.

  • dsm-firmenich’s E50 supplementation helps delay the onset of off-flavors and discoloration in fresh, ground, and frozen meat; feeding swine and poultry can extend shelf-life of fresh meat by up to 6 days and frozen meat by up to 3 months.
  • dsm-firmenich’s vitamin D3 metabolite, Hy-D, allows for a faster uptake of 25(OH)D3 in hens, leading to a 4% increase in egg shell thickness and a 15% reduction in breakages during production, processing, transportation and distribution.
  • CYLACTIN is a probiotic feed additive that stabilizes the GI microflora in broilers, cattle and swine. and helps to build a better intestinal environment.
  • Mastitis is estimated to cost the global dairy industry US $19.7 to 32 billion annually. Dietary supplementation of vitamin E50 in cows extends the lifetime of immune cells involved in supporting healthy udders and thereby limiting the use of antibiotics.

At dsm-firmenich, we strongly believe in sustainable food systems and that the livestock industry can transform itself from within to be a part of the solution. We want to play a key role in this transformation and work at species and country level, with our partners, to provide tangible and actionable solutions to create brighter lives for all.

If not us, who?
If not now, when?

Published on

29 September 2020


  • Sustainability

About the Author

Carlos Marcelo Saviani - Global Sustainability and Business Solutions Lead for Animal Nutrition and Health

Carlos Marcelo Saviani is the Global Sustainability and Business Solutions Lead for Animal Nutrition and Health. He holds a BS in Animal Science later complemented by an MBA.

Carlos has 25 years of experience working to improve the sustainability of animal proteins across the world. At DSM he is responsible for the development and implementation of the global animal nutrition and health sustainability strategy. He works closely with customers and the marketing, sales and innovation teams to incorporate sustainability as a business driver.


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