How is dsm-firmenich protecting the health of people and planet through sustainable change?

By Talking Nutrition Editors
  • The health of our planet is inextricably linked to the health of the population. Health and nutrition companies have a big part to play in driving sustainable change to safeguard people and the planet.
  • This World Environment Day (June 5 th ), we are highlighting our commitment to a sustainable future and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to reduce carbon emissions, end hunger, achieve food security and healthy lives and wellbeing for all ages.
  • Discover how we are accelerating our route to net-zero with science-based climate targets and a transparent approach to accurately measure the environmental footprint of individual ingredients.

Nutrition companies have a sizable environmental impact, from the manufacture and transportation of foods to the production of dietary supplements. Evidence indicates that the production of food accounts for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of the world’s habitable land. 1 The farming of meat and fish has not only reduced biodiversity to the point where almost one million species face extinction, but also polluted 78% of the world’s ocean and freshwater reserves. 2 The dietary supplements industry is no exception, with 50% of all supplement products containing at least one animal-derived ingredient. 3 World Environment Day on June 5 th aims to raise global awareness and encourage action to protect our environment. dsm-firmenich shares the same ambition to safeguard people and planet, and this starts with taking responsibility for our carbon emissions.

The time for sustainable change is now

The need for sustainable nutrition is growing, and it’s time to take action. Companies can’t ignore the heightened focus on sustainability and need to recognize it as a success factor to improve their positioning in the market. Although there are complex challenges to overcome, there are also many opportunities to accelerate the pace of change and unlock new business prospects. This is where dsm-firmenich comes in. We have a strong vision to improve our overall carbon footprint, enable our customers to deliver healthy solutions through sustainable innovations and advocate for systems transformations.

Discover dsm-firmenich’s commitment to a sustainable future

We bring progress to life by tackling the challenges of today and tomorrow. Challenges like the tension between what people individually want (the desirable), what we collectively need (the essential), and what the planet demands (the sustainable). That’s why we have woven five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into our strategy:

  1. Zero hunger – we improve nutrition for those who need it most.
  2. Good health and wellbeing - our health, nutrition, biomedical and high-performance materials are boosting health in all age groups.
  3. Affordable and clean energy - we are making affordable, renewable energy a reality with yeast and enzymes for improving biomass conversion of biofuels and biogas.
  4. Responsible consumption and production – our solutions are minimizing waste across the value chain.
  5. Climate actions - we continue to advocate responsible action on climate change with our stakeholders and are increasing the use of renewable energy.

In 2016, we set climate targets to track our progress as we accelerate our route to net-zero for a healthier, cleaner, and more resilient future. By 2030, we aim to:

  • reduce scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions by 42%
  • reduce value chain emissions by 25%
  • purchase 100% renewable energy
  • improve water efficiency by 10% (in water-stressed sites)

We’ve made strong progress so far. From 2016-2022, we reduced absolute emissions by 35% and value chain emissions by 17%, purchased 78% renewable energy and improved water efficiency by 7.2%, compared to 2016. 2018 we launched our CO2REDUCE program to help our suppliers reduce their carbon footprint by sharing ambitions, exchanging information and creating reduction roadmaps for achieving our emissions targets.

Our targets are independently tested by Science Based Targets initiatives (SBTi) – an organization that supports companies in calculating decarbonization initiatives to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. This science-based partnership plays an important role in our efforts to tackle global warming and supports the transition to a net-zero economy.

Sustainability features at the ingredient level: Imp’ACT Card™

Sustainability is top of mind at dsm-firmenich, and the customer is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we created the Imp’ACT Card™, to support our sustainability claims and enable transparency and accurate measurements of the environmental footprint at the customer level. The card represents IMPACT and ACTION, which is what is needed to become create sustainable innovation. Important information is clearly labelled on the card, including the calculated environmental impact, traceability, certifications and social impact of the individual ingredient.

For example, our ascorbic acid (vitamin C) Imp’ACT Card™ demonstrates how this pioneering solution generates 51% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to alternative vitamin C ingredients. The carbon and water footprint are calculated by our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which quantifies the environmental impact of a product, technology or process throughout its entire life cycle from raw material extraction, through manufacture, use and disposal.

Deliver sustainable change with dsm-firmenich

At dsm-firmenich. we don’t believe in compromise. We work at the intersection of what’s essential, desirable and sustainable, because that’s where the greatest impact lies. No company can achieve net-zero on its own, but an end-to-end partnership with dsm-firmenich can help you meet your sustainability goals and get closer to net-zero. 

Want to know more about how our sustainability initiatives can help you increase transparency and support healthier people and planet? Find out here: Sustainability | DSM 


  1. Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987-992.
  2. Medrano. D., Mejia. A., Riggs. E. Animals on the brink of extinction. Animals on the Brink of Extinction | Defenders of Wildlife
  3. The Animal and Environmental Impacts of the Supplement Industry: A Summary of Our Findings (2022). The Animal and Environmental Impacts of the Supplement Industry: A Sum – Terraseed

Published on

05 June 2023


  • Industry News
  • Marketing
  • Senior Management
  • sustainability


7 min read

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