Climate & Energy

Improving our own carbon footprint

Raising the bar

To be a leader in climate action it’s important to lead by example. That’s why at DSM 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 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).

*from 2016 as baseline year

Our performance and targets

Realization 2018



GHG absolute reduction (vs. 2016)


Energy efficiency improvement year-on-year


Purchased renewable electricity


Employee engagement favorable score


Safety Frequency Recordable Index


Brighter Living Solutions

2021 / 2030 ambitions

30% absolute reduction by 2030 (vs. 2016)2

>1% average annually till 2030

75% by 2030

>75% by 2021

<0.25 by 2021

>65%5 by 2021

1) We estimate the effect of the underlying structural improvements in absolute GHG emissions by roughly 8% versus 2016, while the total absolute GHG emission reduction versus 2016 is approximately 18% (from 1.5 million tons to 1.23 million tons).
2) An additional Scope 3 intensity reduction target of 28% by 2030 (versus 2016) has been agreed which, together with our Scope 1 + 2 target, meets the criteria for a Science-Based Target.
3) Our energy efficiency improvement was 5.1% over the past strategic period.
4) Excluding temporary vitamin effect.
5) KPI will be updated as part of the Responsible Care Plan update in 2020.

How do we achieve our targets?

How we are achieving our targets? Well we ensure that all new investments by our businesses are carbon neutral, and have dedicated investment programs on renewable energy and energy efficiency, we set-up in the light of adopting an Internal Carbon Price for example.

In 2018 DSM 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 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.

Buying wind power

We’ve joined forces with like-minded companies AkzoNobel, Google and Philips for a unique long-term renewable energy commitment in the Netherlands. So far our consortium has signed two Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for wind power (one in October 2016 for the 102 MW Windpark Krammer project and the second in December 2016 for the 34 MW Windpark Bouwdokken project). These deals are among the earliest examples of aggregated corporate demand successfully transacting in clean energy markets and were showcased in a study published by the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI’s) Business Renewables Center in December 2017.

These agreeements mean that in the Netherlands DSM has run on 100% renewable purchased electricity since 2018 and 40% in the US since 2017.

Internal Carbon Price

At DSM 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.

To show our support, we joined the “Carbon Pricing Champions” of the United Nations Caring for Climate initiative and Feike Sijbesma, our CEO, is Co-chair of a High-Level Commission on Carbon Pricing and Competitiveness supported by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), of which he is the former founding Co-Chair.


When it comes to climate, we’re an action taker and a movement maker – determined to play our part in shaping the low-carbon agenda. It starts with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,  but it continues through everything from advocating carbon pricing policies to working alongside governments, NGOs, fellow private companies, and anyone else that can help us reach our goal of a low-carbon world for all.

We advocate consistent, long-term governmental policies that make a low-carbon economy a reality. We believe that government policies and initiatives should encourage low carbon innovations, improvement of energy efficiency and the scaling of renewable energy; innovate fiscal systems and policies, including  (but not limited to) carbon pricing and removal of fossil fuel subsidies; increase transparency and disclosure of financial investments and policies regarding the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy; and educate the public on the impact of climate change.

We’re directly involved in several climate action initiatives and on the board of three prominent European public-private partnerships: the Bio-based Industries Consortium; the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE); and the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem). 

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