DSM is bringing purpose to life – creating brighter lives for all

DSM is bringing purpose to life – creating brighter lives for all

Despite the snow and an all-time high Dutch traffic jam record of 2300 km, Royal DSM hosted on January 22nd over 50 Dutch (and visiting) INSEAD Alumni to an event in their Amsterdam office to discuss purpose & innovation.

As an organisation you focus on generating profits, or on improving the world – or so the story goes. DSM is convinced that for a company to successfully address today’s complex and interconnected challenges, good financial returns can – and must – go together with purpose.

This is why DSM is among the first organizations to fully and explicitly embed purpose in its strategy. DSM is moving beyond compliance to make the creation of a sustainable business environment core to its mission. This means engaging the support all its stakeholders and building on its strong science base and capacity for innovation, to produce sustainable and healthy solutions for its customers, whilst also improving the impact of its own operations.

In an interactive session organised by the Dutch NAA Sustainability Club, Inge Massen, Global Director Purpose & Brand gave an overview of DSM’s next steps in their journey as a “purpose-led, performance driven” company. For more than a decade DSM has a distinguished record for embracing sustainability and providing value for all stakeholders simultaneously across the three dimensions of people, planet and profit. Inge shared how DSM is making a decisive next step as a purpose-led company and how they integrate this approach into strategy, governance and KPIs.

Hans Vossen, VP Finance DSM Innovation Center followed Inge to talk about innovation with a purpose and explained how DSM is seeing the role of innovation in a purpose led company. Hans helped us understand what it takes to manage a purpose-led innovation program and fill DSM’s long term innovation pipeline.

DSM does not claim that adhering to purpose whilst driving ambitious financial goals is always an easy path. To illustrate this, participants then went out into breakout groups to discuss three challenges that Inge and Hans face on their journey. The groups engaged in some very passioned and lively discussions and the insights this brought were shared in a closing plenary session.

This event was kindly hosted by DSM in co-operation with the Dutch NAA Sustainability Club (Maxine Tillij, Tim Bett, Ron Soonieus)