A little-known company’s invisible innovations deliver big benefits to the planet.
In keeping with its low corporate profile, DSM, the $8.6 billion Dutch chemical concern, is changing the world in meaningful, if barely visible ways. There’s Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber, which—at fifteen times the strength of steel and a fraction of its weight—has lightened the load (and slashed emissions and fuel consumption) of planes and ships. Or Maxarome, DSM’s all-natural yeast ingredient which offers a healthy alternative to salt. Or Decovery, its bio-based, renewable polymers used in water-based, odor-free paints.
DSM classifies these innovations and many others as “Brighter Living Solutions”—its burgeoning portfolio of products that are measurably better for people or the planet than mainstream alternatives. They now account for 61% of the company’s revenues—up from 34% six years ago—and 90% of its pipeline. DSM says these products sell better, which is why sustainability has become core to corporate strategy and progress on that front is tied executive pay.