Novozymes shareholders meeting pinpoints strengths
annual shareholders meeting.
In his verbal report, Henrik Gurtler, chairman of the board of directors, said that after another year of very good results and positive business development, the goal now was to focus further on top-line growth. "To secure this, we launched a strategic initiative just over a year ago with increased investments in market-expanding activities," he said. "We are now following this up with a new external ambition for Novozymes' top-line growth, namely sales of DKK 10 billion in 2010." The annual meeting also approved the audited annual report, the re-election of PricewaterhouseCoopers and authority for the board of directors, in the period until the next annual meeting of shareholders, to acquire treasury shares equivalent to 10 per cent of the share capital at the share price on the date of acquisition. Gurtler also commented on the firm's recognition for its sustainable development. "The fact that Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, for the sixth time, rated Novozymes as the most sustainable company within biotechnology in both Europe and globally in 2006 confirms Novozymes' continued pre-eminence in sustainability," he said. "Today in Oslo we have been named 'Best in Class' by StoreBrand Investments and we have also been included in the list of the 100 most sustainable companies in the world. So we have much to be proud of - over and above our financial achievements." The Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world for 2007 is the result of studies and research of 1800 international companies carried out by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors and Corporate Knights. It is designed to provide information to investors with an interest in sustainable companies and serves as a benchmark for companies' sustainability performance. The issue of sustainability is something that will only increase in importance. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, consumers are increasingly conscious about which companies have been quickest to adapt to more sustainable practices. Exploitative sourcing is now a mainstream issue, while the dramatic growth of fair trade is pulling food consumption out of the cost-is-all bracket, with consumers prepared to pay more for guarantees of fair labour practices and sustainable sourcing. Products marked 'natural' or 'organic' are flying off the shelves, with fair trade sales in the UK, alone, growing by more than 40 per cent a year.