Our material

With the comprehensive update of our materiality analysis, we have refined the strategic priorities underpinning our sustainability management. At the very top of our agenda: climate change mitigation, circular economy, biodiversity and human rights.

We updated our materiality analysis in the 2022 reporting year using a comprehensive analysis process consisting of multiple online surveys and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders.

As part of this, we have revised and reclustered topic headings and content where appropriate. For example, the “Protection of biodiversity” topic has been expanded to “Environmental protection & biodiversity,” while the previously separately evaluated topics of “Sustainable partnerships” and “Support of local communities” have been merged to create “Partners & communities” with a view to focusing the content. “Employer attractiveness” has been integrated into related topics. Management of climate risks by Symrise is now explicitly addressed in the “Climate change mitigation and adaptation” topic, which covers tackling the climate crisis and more.

The qualitative significance of this year's analysis has been further increased through 30 + interviews with managers, Executive Board members and experts in various stakeholder groups – investors, customers, NGOs, scientists, politicians and associations.

This has allowed us to identify “Climate change mitigation and adaptation,” “Environmental protection and biodiversity,” “Use of raw materials and recycling solutions” and “Sourcing and human rights” as the four topics with the highest materiality for Symrise and which therefore take strategic precedence. These four topics were rated highest in terms of both business relevance and prospect of having an impact. The contextual focus unifies employees and managers. Among all stakeholders, “Climate change mitigation and adaptation” is the most material topic. Experts also designated “Partners & communities” a key lever for Symrise in making a positive difference beyond the company itself with partners and thereby exerting an impact and multiplier effect on the industry. Management especially emphasized the importance of the “Product innovation and design” and “Product quality and safety” topics to the company’s value creation.

»Symrise can positively influence suppliers to implement climate-relevant measures.«

Dr. Helmut Frieden, VP Corporate Sustainability


When compared to the last materiality analysis conducted in 2019, these results underpin once again the focus of Symrise on sustainability in the area of “Footprint & sourcing” – with the difference being that climate is the clear priority this year. For the first time, “Biodiversity” has also become one of the top four topics of Symrise. Water management and governance & compliance are comparatively less important this year. With a view to the product topics rated higher from a management perspective, the latter is indicative of the continuous shift in emphasis in sustainability – away from governance in general and specific environmental management towards a more holistic product and core business transformation.

The results of the materiality analysis have been discussed and validated by the Sustainability Board. They therefore also define the framework for our sustainability reporting (Sustainability Report and Corporate Report) in preparation for the CSRD.

»The results of our materiality analysis get to the heart of our strategic understanding of sustainability: climate, biodiversity, the circular economy and human rights have the highest priority for Symrise.«

Bernhard Kott, Chief Sustainability Officer Symrise

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