Our guiding principle for social commitment, “Because we care,” highlights Symrise’s understanding of its place as a responsible member of society. We want to be a valued, accepted and active partner in our surrounding communities. That’s why Symrise promotes the concept of shared value: When we account for the demands of our various stakeholder groups across the entire value chain and make a positive influence on society while enjoying the direct economic advantages of this, we create value for all parties. And that, in turn, secures the long-term success of our company.
Partnering With Communities
In order to better understand how our operations effect our surrounding environment, Symrise maintains contact with its neighboring communities and residents at its more than 30 sites. 29 A neighborhood newsletter, for example, helps keep the residents living near our headquarters in Holzminden informed about the company’s activities. The topic of odor emissions resulting from our production processes is very important to neighboring residents. To minimize these odors, we are constantly modernizing our equipment – for instance by installing regenerative thermal exhaust air cleaning systems. We want to engage in partnerships with the communities surrounding our international locations as well. In Brazil, Germany and Madagascar, which are key countries for sourcing citrus fruits, vegetables and vanilla, we place great importance on supporting and promoting the local economic structures in addition to our business operations.
Our local employees are the most important link between our sites and the local communities. Over 90 % of the management staff are from the local area. Many ideas for the non-profit projects we participate in come from our employees. We support their commitment in both material and financial form. It is our aim to have every employee contribute to the sustainability of our company and business activities. To accomplish this, we initiated a global employee network of volunteer sustainability ambassadors to solidify our sense of entrepreneurial responsibility. These ambassadors work to generate even more motivation for social projects – e.g. through workshops and targeted sensitivity measures.
The existing volunteer initiatives at nearly every Symrise site testify to our employees’ willingness to get involved with social projects. In India, for example, multiple Symrise employees joined together and organized a blood drive, participated in garbage collection projects or projects aimed at helping the homeless. The 13 members of the Symlive team in Brazil also have been creative in finding ways to inspire others to live more sustainably. And in France, the Care Team organized a so-called solidarity afternoon in November 2013, where colleagues could participate in various social initiatives. More information on the various volunteer projects our employees participate in can be found online: 30
Donations and Sponsoring
Topics like nutrition, hygiene, skin protection, care and well-being are just as important to our company as they are to society. That’s why we offer support beyond our business activities for organizations, institutions and projects that make a non-profit contribution to these areas. To ensure that we create added value, we perform needs analyses before we commit to larger projects. Our global donation and sponsorship activities are coordinated centrally, while providing our local companies with the freedom to make independent decisions and implement them. With our donation and sponsoring guidelines, we ensure that funds are distributed worldwide according to uniform principles and in line with our corporate strategy. Corporate Audit regularly assesses these donations and sponsoring contributions for their compliance with these guidelines and the Symrise Code of Conduct. Politicians and political parties do not receive any contributions from Symrise.
We also invest in the future by supporting scientific advancements and providing people with access to a quality education. We support preschools, schools, universities and other non-profit institutions both in education and training as well as research. A requirement here is that the project to be supported is local to one of our company sites or is relevant to our business activities.
We prefer to support projects where we can put our expertise to good use. For example, we support the project “Grow with me” in Cleveland, Ohio, which teaches children in the USA about the importance of a healthy diet via a community garden. In Brazil, we cooperate with the Dorina Nowill Foundation, which is committed to the inclusion of vision-impaired individuals: We also provide training materials for vocational training in the fragrance industry. Furthermore, with our help, the educational project operated by the Brazilian NGO Beleza & Cidadania offers people with low incomes low-priced training in personal care. In Madagascar, well over 10,000 people now benefit from our support in the areas of health, nutrition and education in the communities where we source vanilla. We also promote a scholarship program for students from low-income families in the Philippines.
As experts in UV protection, Symrise also helps children that suffer from the so-called “children of the night” disease – a genetic defect that prevents the body from being able to repair damage resulting from UVA and UVB radiation. Accordingly, we awarded a three-year grant on the research of possible treatments at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF) in Düsseldorf. At the same time, Symrise also supports sick children and their families and even invited some young patients to a nighttime workshop in Paris.
In 2013, we invested a total of more than € 800,000 in community interests across the Group. This amount includes social projects, donations and sponsorships. An extensive overview of our various social commitments around the world can be found online: 31