Our product stewardship

Managing the impact of our products

Product stewardship

We work tirelessly to manage and minimize all possible adverse effects of our products on people and the environment, across the entire value chain. That means tackling everything from transparency on substances used in products and their safe sourcing; to production, processing and transport to the use, disposal and recycling of products.

A fully embedded approach

Product stewardship is fully embedded in our Safety Health and Environment (SHE) strategy and policies. It’s 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.’ And it’s based on six defining principles:

Responsible business Taking 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 Sharing safety, health and environmental data through proper supply chain communication.
Compliance Complying with all applicable and relevant legislations and regulations worldwide that affect products.
Innovate safer ingredients Taking responsibility to control and minimize safety risks/adverse effects on health and environment caused by substances in products throughout their entire life cycle.
Stakeholder involvement Engaging with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to foster new opportunities.
Organization Having Product Stewardship policies in place, integrated with the business.

Substances of very high concern

We’re continuously reviewing and evaluating the scientific and societal implications of potential hazards and risks of substances used in its product portfolio and processes. At DSM we take a risk-based approach, using safer alternatives where feasible - and always when required.

If substances of very high concern can’t be replaced, we implement mitigating measures based on scientifically based acceptable levels. These are then communicated to our stakeholders and implemented within our operations. If according to our scientists or regulatory bodies the concerns or risks are beyond reasonable levels, DSM will simply not use these substances. In fact, ‘safe by design’ is the prime principle in our development of new, improved products and processes. It’s all part of our purpose of creating brighter lives for all. 

Responsibility 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.
Compliance DSM will be compliant, communicate transparently, engage all stakeholders, and anchor all this in its strategy, organization and policies.
Risk Mitigation 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' This is the leading principle in the development of new and improved 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.

Program of Responsible Care®

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

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.

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  • Stakeholder engagement

    Stakeholder engagement

    With its scientific resources and knowledge DSM has a unique opportunity to influence and shape the sustainability agenda, but we cannot do it alone.

  • Our operations

    Our operations

    DSM takes its global environmental and social responsibilities seriously. This goes beyond our own operations to that of our suppliers, customers, and end-users.