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Novozymes Works Toward Sustainable Solutions

As the world leader in bioinnovation, Novozymes, a Danish biotechnology company, hopes to make a difference in the world by moving toward a more sustainable business model.

The company recently revised its corporate strategy to support its eco initiatives and include long-term social, environmental and financial goals.

“Together, we find biological answers for better lives in a growing world – Let’s rethink tomorrow.” said Novozymes’ global marketing director textile industry, Peter Faaborg-Andersen. “An important point is that the very first word is ‘together’ – this essentially reflects we have to work together with other leading companies and organizations put the Novozymes’ sustainable innovation muscle into the right context in order to really make a difference for the industry and the end consumers. Partnerships and alliances are vital to make a difference in a world full of complex problems and large opportunities – vital to help the world move in a more sustainable direction.”

The new strategy is split up into four focus areas: rally for change, lead innovation, focus on opportunities and grow people. The company’s rally for change means it will explore new partnerships, work with governments and international organizations to boost its sustainability efforts, specifically in the textile industry.

For Novozymes, this is a constant goal in order to secure a better future for the textile industry worldwide. In supporting this target, the company became a founding partner of LAUNCH Nordic, an initiative created by Nike, NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Department of State to find more sustainable solutions in the apparel industry’s value chain. The company is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which also works toward sustainability in the textile value chain.

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Lead innovation is the second focus area of the new corporate strategy. In 2014, the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) and the Textile Institute rewarded the company’s CombiPolish solution with two innovation awards. The CombiPolish process allows for textile mills to include biopolishing and bleach clean up in the dye bath, saving energy, water and process time.

The third focus area, focus on opportunities, means bringing new, sustainable innovations to the apparel world. A Novozymes’ – sanctioned consumer survey revealed that 85 percent of those surveyed would use biopolished clothes for a longer amount of time. The company hopes to push this idea forward to fashion brands as a way to bring sustainability to cotton garments.

The last focus area, grow people, the company explains, is more internally targeted; however Novozymes also wants to share its innovations and new information with the entire industry.

“These focus areas offer very exciting challenges to our company, and when it comes to our textile business, we are already confident that we have already been working in the right direction, and we want to continue the good work that we have already begun,” Faaborg-Andersen said.

The company says all of its colleagues have responded positively and excitedly to the new strategy and that they see it as a natural progression. Customers and partners also responded well.

When it comes to what they hope to achieve in the future with this new strategy, Novozymes says it’s all about working with the right people in the right way. The company believes combining the skills and passions of various textile and apparel professionals can lead to great innovations.

“We are excited to bring new innovation to the textile industry for the benefit of textile mills, brands and retailer and consumers.  And it is the right time. Our customers are also seeking sustainable answers. Consumers are getting better educated and have more insight into the footprint and price of the clothing that they buy, and we can help the textile industry to navigate this new environment.”

Going forward, Novozymes says it will embrace the new strategy and partner for impact within the textile industry. The company is working with NGOs, retailers, machine manufacturers, fiber producers, leading formulators and textile processing units toward more sustainability solutions.

“Whether it is collaborating with the Danish Fashion Institute to help advise the UN Global Compact, or working with Marks & Spencers and other brands to promote longer lasting clothing with biopolishing, or launching new innovative solutions with Lenzing, our work and innovation reaches has far more impact and reach when we do it together.  And this is not just key for Novozymes, but for the entire textile industry – together we are stronger,” Faaborg-Andersen says.