Strength through holistic thinking and acting

Economic success and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. In fact, quite the opposite. They go hand in hand, as clearly demonstrated by the figures of Symrise for 2020.

In the previous year, Symrise grew from within by 2.7 percent – for the 15th consecutive time and despite the global economic slump caused by the pandemic. This success is based on a long-term strategy of strong innovations, a broad portfolio, close partnerships, and sustainable business along the value chain. “Holistic thinking and acting is what makes us strong,” says Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise. The strength we gain shapes and supports the sustainable growth of our company. The goal for 2025 remains clear: Symrise wants to grow faster than the overall market – by between 5 and 7 percent annually. This allows the company to gain market shares and increase the distance between us and smaller competitors.

The EBITDA margin, meaning the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was 21.1 percent. This means that the target margin was achieved and Symrise remains one of the most profitable companies in the industry. “We will continue to grow over the next four years, and our goal remains € 5.5 to € 6 billion in annual sales,” says Bertram.

Sales with new product developments amounted to 15.4 percent relative to the market launch in the past three years. By networking the highly diverse areas of expertise of Nutrition, Flavor and Scent & Care, the sales contribution of the product developments will remain above 15 percent.


In the previous year, Symrise grew from within by 2.7 percent – for the 15th consecutive time.


Procurement volume rated according to sustainability criteria.


Symrise wants to be climate-positive starting 2030.

Heinz-Jürgen Bertram clarifies: “We need to do a better job of protecting our environment and climate; otherwise, one day we won’t even need to talk about our company’s success anymore. For Symrise especially, this is important because we obtain many of our raw materials from nature.” That is why sustainable partnerships are vitally important. In 2020, 67 percent of the main suppliers and therefore 80 percent of the procurement volume were rated according to sustainability criteria. And we continue to raise the bar: This should be 100 percent in four years based on 90 percent of the procurement volume.

Symrise wants to be climate-positive starting 2030. This includes relying on renewable energies wherever possible. To this end, the company has sourced all its external electricity from renewable sources in Germany since 2018. This has been possible for all sites around the world since last year.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Occupational safety is an essential component of the sustainability and corporate strategy at Symrise. In the previous year, accident frequency in the company was 3.0. This is calculated using the number of accidents subject to reporting requirements – under one lost day – in relation to one million working hours. The stated goal was a value below 2.5. More education is necessary in order to bring accident frequency below 1.5 by 2025. That is why the comprehensive “Drive to 100 % Safety” campaign was launched in Holzminden. It aims to present employees with an emotional depiction of the importance of observing safety regulations and acting thoughtfully. The campaign will be complemented by company-wide initiatives and training.

All the UN Sustainability Objectives are in the SymPortal:

The latest annual report is here:

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