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Materiality and stakeholder engagement

The foundation of our sustainability strategy is the materiality matrix, which we use to set priorities and ensure that we take a focused approach. A materiality analysis is about the identification of key issues that are important to our stakeholders and our strategy. The materiality matrix visualizes the results of this analysis, by plotting the relevant social, environmental, governance, and economic issues as a function of their importance to stakeholders (vertical axis) and Corbion's strategy (horizontal axis).

The materiality matrix was generated in 2017 using an in-depth methodology (see Figure 1) and resulted in the identification of nine material themes. These nine themes have a high impact on our strategy and are considered important by the majority of our stakeholders. These themes are the basis of our sustainability framework. The materiality assessment is updated at least every three years, as input for our strategy updates.

The graph below shows the upper-right section of Corbion's materiality matrix, highlighting the nine material themes.

Materiality matrix

Material themes, definition, link to sustainability strategy

The table below lists the material themes, definitions, boundaries, management approach, and the link with Corbion's sustainability framework and strategy.

Material theme

Sustainable supply chain

Definition

Responsible sourcing of raw materials, taking into account business ethics, human rights, labor conditions, the environment, agricultural practices, land rights, land use, and biodiversity.

Management approach

• Sustainability criteria embedded in our security-of-supply assessment
• Generic supplier code that states mandatory requirements on, amongst others, business ethics, human rights, labor conditions, the environment, and responsible procurement
• Specific policies for our key raw materials focusing on continuous improvement toward the implementation of the relevant sustainability standard for each of these raw materials
• Participate in relevant multi-stakeholder initiatives
• Collaborate with strategic suppliers to reduce our Scope III emissions

Boundaries

Corbion's supply chain

Link with sustainability framework

Responsible sourcing

Material theme

Occupational health and safety

Definition

Provide a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, contractors, and visitors.

Management approach

• Record all incidents and implement corrective and preventive measures
• OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001 certification for all our manufacturing sites

Boundaries

Corbion's own operations

Link with sustainability framework

Responsible operations

Material theme

Resource efficiency

Definition

Efficient use of raw materials, energy, and water in Corbion's facilities. Reduce, re-use, and recycle waste. Reduce Corbion's own carbon footprint.

Management approach

• Valorize by-products
• Waste reduction programs
• Design out waste for new manufacturing processes
• Transition to renewable electricity
• Energy-saving projects at manufacturing sites
• Selection of the most energy-efficient technology available when equipment is replaced
• R&D program to identify opportunities for heat integration, electrification, and recycling
• Review the financial impact of greenhouse gas emissions through internal carbon pricing in capital expenditure and long-term R&D projects

Boundaries

Corbion's own operations

Link with sustainability framework

Responsible operations

Material theme

Product environmental impact

Definition

Impact of Corbion's products on end-users' ecological footprint.

Management approach

•   Sustainability assessment integrated in our innovation stage-gate process
•   Quantify the impacts on people and/or planet for products with a sustainability value proposition (Life Cycle Assessment)

Boundaries

Corbion's own operations and supply chain (cradle to gate)

Link with sustainability framework

Sustainable solutions

Material theme

Renewable raw materials

Definition

The use of renewable raw materials instead of finite fossil-based resources. Corbion's contribution to the transition to a circular economy with a reduced dependency on fossil-based fuels.

Management approach

•   Strategic innovation portfolio focused on the development and commercialization of biobased organic acids
•   Innovation program for the use of alternative feedstocks in our processes

Boundaries

Corbion's value chain

Link with sustainability framework

Sustainable solutions

Material theme

Safe, affordable, and healthy food; prevent food waste

Definition

Contribution of Corbion's food ingredients to safe, affordable, and healthy food and to the prevention of food waste.

Management approach

• Provide food safety solutions that enable our meat customers to produce safe food
• Provide preservation solutions that help our customers deliver products with longer shelf life, which in turn enables them to reduce food waste and deliver affordable products to markets in which consumer spending power is limited
• Leverage our expertise in food spoilage and food safety to serve more segments of the food industry, such as salads, dips, hummus, and other chilled foods
• Provide solutions for healthy food, such as ingredients for salt reduction in meat

Boundaries

Corbion's downstream value chain

Link with sustainability framework

Sustainable solutions

Material theme

Product quality and performance

Definition

Deliver products that consistently meet specifications and deliver the expected performance.

Management approach

• Ensure certifications are in place to meet customer and industry-adopted standards and requirements
• Internal audits by our global quality platform to ensure that we continue to improve our operational standards for quality and food safety

Boundaries

Corbion's supply chain and own operations

Link with sustainability framework

Sustainable solutions

Material theme

Transparency

Definition

Transparency on raw material sourcing, product environmental impact, sustainability performance, and clear labeling of food ingredients.

Management approach

• Global policies on quality, safety, the environment, and social aspects
• Supplier code and specific raw material codes provide transparency on the criteria that Corbion applies for the sourcing of raw materials
• Participation in CDP, EcoVadis, and other relevant stakeholder questionnaires and reporting initiatives
• Reporting and assurance of sustainability KPIs in Annual Report
• Provide stakeholders with insight on the SDG2+12 impact of our products

Boundaries

Corbion's value chain

Link with sustainability framework

Transparency

Material theme

Innovation

Definition

Development and commercialization of new products, product applications, and processes.

Management approach

• Commercial excellence program to further professionalize the way we engage with customers
• Operational excellence program to drive continuous improvement across Corbion
• R&D excellence program to continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our science and to stay on top of emerging technologies to identify risks and opportunities

Boundaries

Corbion's value chain

Link with sustainability framework

Innovation