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For Symrise, investing in resource-efficient technologies and processes is one of the most ­important measures for sustainably increasing the company’s value. We have set ambitious goals to continually optimize our environmental footprint: By 2020, we want to reduce our energy and water consumption, our CO2 emissions and our wastewater as well as waste volumes per ton of product by 33 %.

A comprehensive analysis of our own processes and their impact on the environment is the most important prerequisite for successful environmental management. From raw materials sourcing and processing to product development, production and logistics: We examine every link along our value chain and every stage in the product life cycle to identify areas needing work and those with potential for reducing our energy, water and ­resource consumption as well as our emissions.

Environmental Management

Our environmental management is based on the ISO 14001 standard around the world. About 76 % of our sales volume is produced at sites with ISO 14001 certification. The Corporate Compliance unit coordinates our global environmental mana­gement. Together with the business divisions involved, it develops guidelines and procedural instructions from the global ­principles defined by the Executive Board and assesses com­pliance with legal requirements and obligations. With regular ­internal and external audits, we want to further improve our en­vironmental performance. Symrise did not incur any penalties for environmental offenses during the reporting period.

The Executive Board and the Symrise Sustainability Board define environmental goals that apply for the entire Group. In order to reliably meet these goals, we are focusing on a series of measures:

  • Local Responsibilities

    Our global sites independently determine the best environmental measures for their situation. Locally, the heads of our sites and production facilities are responsible for ensuring that these goals are met. We also appointed sustainability ambassadors in 2012, who help raise awareness for and assist the implementation of our goals at the various sites.

  • Environmental Aspect Analyses

    In environmental aspect analyses, we systematically analyze the greatest environmental impacts that our systems and processes cause and determine corresponding mitigation measures based on this data. Environmental aspect analyses are undertaken regularly at all ISO 14001 certified locations. A holistic software solution for tracking environmental data introduced in 2012 allows us to precisely analyze our consumption and emissions. A total of 18 environmental advisors are also testing the environmental efficiency of our sites.


    TESIUM is our service company in the areas of technology, safety and the environment. The wholly-owned subsidiary of Symrise plans investments and reliably implements them. In doing so, ­TESIUM considers environmental, safety and energy aspects across the entire life cycle of the systems. ­TESIUM also offers this bundled expertise to other companies as well.

  • Total Productive Maintenance

    The focus of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is on the efficiency of our systems. With the use of this tool, we develop loss trees, which allow us to identify efficiency losses in a targeted manner. This knowledge then enables us to better grasp the situation and optimize the processes involved. The Symrise employees involved in this process work in 56 cross-hierarchical teams with over 46 TPM coordinators to develop solutions and put them into practice. Since 2007, we have implemented well over 5,000 improvements and could meet our goal of increasing efficiency each year.

  • Balanced Scorecards

    Since 2005, we have been using Balanced Scorecards at all of our global production sites. With the scorecards, we aim to op­timize the key areas of quality, service, costs, safety and employee motivation. Each of these segments receives globally unified key figures and goals that we assess every month and refine each year.

  • Symchronize™

    Symchronize™ is a new type of integrated supply chain management. With this Symrise initiative, we optimize our entire value chain, from raw materials sourcing to when customers receive the end product, in close cooperation with our customers and suppliers. It focuses on need-oriented supply, increasing productivity via optimized resource usage and synchronizing processes.

66 %

We work continuously to improve the collection
of data regarding our Scope 3 emissions. In this way,
we are already able to record the emissions for
nearly 66 % of our raw materials portfolio.


We have been systematically recording our greenhouse gas emissions and reporting these according to Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions) of the GHG Pro­tocol since 2006.  16 We have also set reduction goals based on these: By 2020, we aim to reduce our CO2 emissions per ton of product by a third compared to our values from 2010. So far, we have managed to reduce our CO2 emissions per ton of product by 9.3 % compared to the base year of 2010.

While the past few years saw us make some good progress towards our long-term environmental goals, the trend did not continue as successfully in 2013. Though we did indeed remain within our tolerance zone for our long-term goals thanks to the positive momentum from previous years, we only managed to reduce our CO2 emissions slightly this year due to increased customer demand for more energy-intensive products. This is also reflected in our energy consumption (see page 87).

In 2014, we will therefore focus increasingly on decoupling our dynamic growth in the corresponding application areas from their possible environmental impacts. We will further optimize the energy balance in key areas via additional measures and place a stronger focus on reducing emissions as part of Total Productive Maintenance. To further improve the environmental ­efficiency of our chemical production, we will also work on ­enhancing the management of byproducts from our existing ­processes.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Scope 1 and Scope 2

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* In 2013, we redefined the calculation method for our emission values: We no longer calculate our emissions per ton of product sold, but rather per ton of product. This allows us to account for the increasing complexity of production and establish greater comparability with the emission values of our competitors and customers. The values from the previous years have been adjusted accordingly.

Since 2011, we also record our indirect emissions according to Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol. In 2013, these CO2 emissions amounted to 836,171 tons. We are constantly working to improve the ascertainment of Scope 3 emissions – for instance through the creation of a product carbon footprint. In this way, we are already able to record the Scope 3 emissions for nearly two-thirds of our raw materials portfolio.

Beyond this, we have also been submitting our greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2006. After always improving our rating in past years, our score on the transparency index dropped slightly to 81 points this year. Our CO2 performance remained ranked at B (on a scale of A to E). Even though we still managed to post good results, the outcome serves as additional incentive for us to further reduce CO2 emissions.  17

Carbon dioxide accounts for the majority of our emissions. Other greenhouse gases, such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, ammonium, methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are emitted only in limited quantities from the production of our products.

In 2013, we analyzed our product portfolio and production processes for the use and development of ozone depleting substances (ODS). The analysis showed that we do not produce any notable ODS emissions.


Nearly every one of our production processes requires the use of energy. It stands to reason then that the efficient use of energy is of great strategic importance to us. By 2020, we want to operate our production facilities and processes efficiently and reduce our energy consumption by a third per ton of product compared to our usage in 2010. Similar to our CO2 emissions, we only managed to reduce our energy consumption per prod-uct slightly in 2013. The reason behind this was a shift in demand towards products whose production requires more energy (see also page 86). Compared to the base year 2010, we have already saved 9.1 % on energy consumption.  18

We also aim to use less fossil fuels and successively increase our use of renewable energies. Already 17 % of the electricity used comes from renewable energy sources. We also process production waste for thermal utilization and saved approxi­mately 2,744 tons of heating oil in 2013 as a result. A major portion of our energy consumption takes place at our head­quarters in Holzminden, due to the high production volumes generated there. Our subsidiary TESIUM therefore developed concepts for completely reno­vating our energy supply systems in 2012. This should reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, increase our energy efficiency and substantially lower our CO2 emissions. In 2013, we performed initial feasibility studies and added greater detail to our plans.

Total Energy Consumption in gigajoules per ton of product

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Energy Consumption by Energy Source in 2013

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Water, Wastewater and Waste

We have committed ourselves to an efficient and careful use of the precious resource water: By 2020, Symrise wants to reduce both its water consumption and wastewater emissions per ton of product worldwide by a third. In 2013, we used 9.72 cubic meters of water per ton of product. This means that our water consumption has dropped 8.3 % compared to the base year of 2010.  19 For 2013, our wastewater emissions were down by 12.3 % compared to the 2010 figures at 8.81 cubic meters per ton of product.  20 The greatest water consumption was recorded at our site in Holzminden.

Some sites are located in areas that are currently experiencing a water shortage or are likely to be confronted with a lack of water in the future. We especially want to further reduce our water consumption at these sites using a series of initiated programs and improved wastewater treatment. In order to train every single employee on handling water efficiently, we started sensitivity training at sites in places like Brazil, Colombia and Singapore and implemented measures to help increase efficiency. Whenever possible, we reuse water in our production processes by recycling it ourselves.

Preliminary cleansing of our wastewater takes place at the production facilities. At our headquarters in Holzminden, further cleansing occurs upon discharge into the municipal sewer system. To accomplish this, we work closely with the local authorities. We want to keep emissions in the water as low as possible and check the condition of the water at regular intervals, which provides us with the chemical oxygen demand (COD) figure. Over the past three years, we have succeeded in reducing this figure by 24.9 % per ton of product. In 2013, the average COD value at Symrise came to 12.1 kilogram per ton of product. Wastewater contaminated with heavy metals is produced in a very limited amount at Symrise.

Total Water Withdrawal in m³ per ton of product

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Total Wastewater Volume in m³ per ton of product

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Water Withdrawal in 2013 by Source

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Wastewater: Chemical Oxygen Demand in kg per ton of product

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Total Wastewater Volume for 2013 by Destination

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Our waste management consists of waste avoidance, thermal recycling of waste to generate energy, reuse of waste and recycling. In 2013, we reduced our waste volumes by 16.9 % per ton of product compared to the figure from 2010 and therefore are well on track for meeting our goal of producing 33 % less waste by 2020. Chemicals, oils or solid waste were not released into the environment in material quantities in the reporting period.  21

We also create less waste via efficient packaging. Wherever possible, we deliver our products in large containers that we take back and reuse. For small containers, we use disposable packaging for logistics reasons. Symotion GmbH, our logistics services subsidiary, optimizes this packaging continuously in respect of both the economic and ecological implications and of product safety and occupational health and safety aspects. In 2013, we used 25,400 tons of packaging material globally. The recycling quota was 23 %.

Total Waste Volume: Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste in kg per ton of product

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Total Waste Volume in 2013 by Disposal Method

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Nature is an irreplaceably valuable source of natural raw mate­rials for Symrise. That is why we closely assess our influence on ­biodiversity, to ensure the long-term availability of natural resources. As part of this, we participated in a biodiversity check performed by the Global Nature Fund and the corporate consulting firm dokeo in 2011 and 2012. The check examines the interactions between biodiversity and a company’s own activities and derives opportunities and risks along the product life cycle. As the results showed, Symrise has recognized the importance of this issue and sets itself apart in terms of its commitment, clear responsibilities and regular materiality analyses. We do however see a need for improving our systematic method for recording data on the direct and indirect influences on biodiversity, which also includes the development of specific indicators for impact evaluation. These results flow into our strategy and into the development of suitable measures so that we can better assess our influence on essential locations both inside and outside of conservation areas.  22 We also want to expand our cooperation with scientific and social actors and more actively involve our employees.

Two of Symrise’s facilities are located in or adjacent to conservation areas: our development center in Cotia, Brazil, and our plant in Vohemar, Madagascar. The first is located along the border of the Atlantic rainforest, Mata Atlântica. Due to its extraordinarily high biodiversity level, the area is considered one of the five most important biodiversity hot spots in the world. We have undertaken to protect this forested region as well as to ensure that our business activities have no negative impact on it whatsoever. Madagascar, too, is one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots most worth protecting. The Symrise site in the Sava region is not directly located in a protected area and has only a limited impact on the environment as only fermentation and extraction processes are carried out there. With the help of integrated measures, we want to minimize our impact in the medium term and support projects that actively help to conserve biodiversity.

Since 2010, we have been able to reduce our wastewater
emissions per product by 12.3 %. During the same time period,
the chemical oxygen demand (COD) declined by 24.9 %.