DSM: Natural and social impact valuation

DSM has been quantifying the environmental impact of our products for several years. Recently, we have started to apply the same scientific approach to social impact. We wanted to move beyond quantification and explore monetizing the natural and social capital value of one of our products: OatWell®.

To gain more insight into OatWell®’s extended footprint, we explored the potential behind valuing the health benefits and other social and environmental benefits. We made a conscious decision to run natural and social valuation approaches independently by different groups to gain alternative perspectives.

The natural capital side was executed with an experienced third party and used DSM’s Eco+ assessment to define the environmental cost of production.

A group of young DSM professionals executed the social capital analysis. We used DSM’s People+ framework to identify the social impacts (including health, comfort and well-being, and working conditions).

Natural Capital Protocol used
  • No, but aligns with the Protocol’s framework
Impact drivers assessed
  • Fresh water ecosystem use e.g. wetlands, ponds, rivers
  • GHG emissions e.g. volume of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs and PFCs etc.
  • Impact on biodiversity e.g. impact on species, ecosystems, habitats or genetic diversity
  • Soil pollutants e.g. volume of waste matter discharges and retained in soil over a given period
  • Water pollutants e.g. volume discharged to receiving water body
  • Water use e.g. volume of ground- or surface water consumed
Organizational Focus
  • Product
Valuation Type
  • Monetary
Geographical Scope
  • EUROPE
  • Sweden
Value Chain Boundary
  • Direct operations
  • Upstream
Sectors
  • Chemicals

Key findings

The purpose of this exercise was to investigate the potential of impact valuation for DSM. The resulting impact valuation was to a lesser degree important than the learning and exposure process that DSM went through.

The results of the valuation enable us to identify and pursue market segments that have the most direct value creation and commercial success for specific products.

The natural and social impact calculated in this pilot was larger than estimated, and this realization has led to more awareness of various value creation opportunities. This has triggered strategic discussions at the senior management level about how to translate outcomes into a business strategy and realign business engagements with customers.

This and other pilots have proven the value of impact valuation. We will continue to work with natural and social capital valuation investigations at the product and corporate level to further understand the impacts that our products and our company have on nature and society.

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