Modern Slavery Statement

Respecting human rights

Preventing all forms of slavery in our business & supply chains

At DSM, we acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to respect human rights across our own business operations, our relationships with other businesses and the communities in which we operate. This statement is produced under the provisions of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018. It explains the steps we take as a company to prevent modern slavery in our business and supply chains. Modern slavery includes slavery, servitude, forced labor and human trafficking.


DSM is committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights as set out in the International Bill of Human Rights (consisting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Moreover, we adhere to the expectations expressed in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, the UNICEF Save the Children and Global Compact Child Rights and Business Principles, and the Responsible Care Global Charter.

DSM engages with stakeholders to identify and address human rights concerns. Special attention is given to certain stakeholder groups such as DSM employees, DSM business relations (and their employees) and the local communities in which DSM operates.

Our business

Royal DSM is a global purpose-led, science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. DSM’s purpose is to create brighter lives for all. With its products and solutions DSM addresses some of the world’s biggest challenges whilst creating simultaneously economic, environmental and societal value for all its stakeholders; customers, employees, shareholders, and society-at-large. DSM delivers innovative solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company was founded in 1902 and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

Our commitment to combatting modern slavery

DSM is committed to acting ethically and maintaining a fair and honest business environment for employees, customers, suppliers and communities.

  • Our Code of Business Conduct ('the Code') lays out the principles that guide us in everything we do and serves as an umbrella for several other DSM regulations. Respect for people, recognition of their fundamental rights and a belief in the power of their diversity are part of the key principles underlying DSM’s policies and operations. The Code explicitly mentions that we do not use forced labor or child labor, or demand that our employees work excessive hours. In cases where employees are asked to work overtime, their extra work is compensated in line with local legislation.

    The Managing Board holds DSM's unit management accountable for compliance and the Company applies zero-tolerance consequence management to violations of the Code. Under our whistleblower procedure, incidents are reported and dealt with by local line management or the DSM Alert Officer when appropriate. The whistleblower procedure is available to all stakeholders.
  • Our Supplier Code of Conduct reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in our business relationships and the commitment we expect from our suppliers to do the same. As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risks of slavery, forced labor and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains each of our suppliers is required to sign up to our Supplier Code of Conduct in order to work with us and is contractually obliged to comply with its terms and DSM’s business and ethical standards. Our Supplier Code of Conduct expressly prohibits involvement in human trafficking and the use of slavery, forced labor or child labor. We encourage our suppliers to provide their stakeholders with a mechanism to raise concerns relating to a breach of the Code, or legislation.

Risk assessment, due diligence and audit of own operations and suppliers

Own Operations

Within our own operations, DSM focuses on 2 elements – policy and practice. From a policy perspective, we believe that Modern Slavery is well covered. In terms of practice, all regions have performed their own investigations and confirm that they believe they are follow DSM’s codes and policy as it applies to Modern Slavery.

Specifically in our nutrition cluster (covering our UK and Australian operations), we are audited on our compliance by our customers via the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) platform. This platform is used to monitor and track social and environmental performance. The Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) looks at four core pillars in the areas of Labor Standards, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Integrity. To ensure compliance, DSM sites are checked every three years by external auditors using the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) process. The findings are closely monitored, and non-compliance rapidly remediated through the introduction of appropriate corrective actions. 

Supply Chain

We actively monitor our supply base via supplier contacts/visits, sustainability assessments, and quality and sustainability audits on site. In any case where human rights abuses are observed measures are taken. DSM expects suppliers to have processes in place to remediate those human rights abuses they cause or contribute to.

Besides monitoring compliance with the above, we are working to identify where the greatest risks of slavery, forced labor and human trafficking arise with our business and supply chains, and are reviewing our procedures for combatting slavery and human trafficking, including assessing the needs to revise our internal processes and enhance the due diligence we conduct on our suppliers.

DSM is a member of Together for Sustainability (TfS), an industry collaboration focused on driving improvements in terms of supply chain sustainability in the chemical industry. The coalition works with EcoVadis on assessments and audits in 4 theme – Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainability Procurement. combatting slavery and human trafficking is addressed Within the Labor & Human Rights theme. In 2019, DSM assessed 332 suppliers via the EcoVadis platform, of which 295 were re-assessments. In total, 1043 new supplier Assessments were initiated by TfS members via EcoVadis, and 3154 re-assessments were conducted. 

In 2020, DSM intended to design and pilot a due diligence approach on high(er) risk supply chains. However, this has not taken place yet. 


All DSM employees are expected to follow the Code of Business Conduct, which is available in seven languages on the company website. They receive regular training on values and business principles per the framework requirements. Purchasers are also trained on how to educate suppliers on Supplier Code of Conduct and how to act when suppliers are not compliant.

This statement was approved by the Managing Board and Executive Committee of Koninklijke DSM N.V. This statement covers Koninklijke DSM N.V. and all its legal entities.

Signed on 24 Jan 2021
Cristina Monteiro
Member DSM Executive Committee, EVP Group People & Organization

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