Sustainability as a Result of Passion and Values: Q&A with Ester Baiget
Sustainable LeadershipLeadershipHealthcareBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityDevelopment and Transition
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December 10, 2020
9 min read
Sustainable LeadershipLeadershipHealthcareBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityDevelopment and Transition
Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget said her company works to include sustainability in its products but also in the way the company operates.

Sustainability as a Result of Passion and Values: Q&A with Ester Baiget

RRA Healthcare interview series “Sustainable Leadership: Lessons from Leading Nordic Companies”

Ester Baiget is President and Chief Executive Officer at Novozymes, a global biological company based in Denmark specializing in the research, development, and production of industrial enzymes, microorganisms, and biopharmaceutical ingredients.

Ester joined Novozymes in February 2020 after working as Business President for Dow’s Industrial Solutions and a member of the executive leadership team. During her 25-year tenure at Dow, Ester held manufacturing, technical, commercial, and strategic roles; in her years as Business President for Industrial Solutions, the business has expanded the market, improved its market-leading position, delivered double-digit growth and strong earnings.

Recently, Ester spoke with Diana Horn, Senior Consultant in the Leadership and Succession Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, and Lars Rønn, Managing Director and Senior Consultant in Healthcare Nordics at Russell Reynolds Associates. She shared how sustainability integrates into Novozymes’ business, representing not only the company’s values but also her personal passions around sustainability and science.

The interview presented below has been edited and abridged for clarity.

Lars Rønn

Thank you for joining the session today. We are continuing our sustainability discussion with organizations who are leading the way and making progress on the wide range of UN Global Compact goals. Ester, how would you summarize Novozymes’ position on social responsibility?

Ester Baiget

Lars, thank you for posing the question and for coupling sustainability and social responsibility together, because they are truly interlinked. For us, at Novozymes, sustainability and social responsibility are at the heart of everything we do – how we work, how we run operations, and how we bring our solutions and products to our customers. It is how we take care of our people and how we interact with the world around us. Sustainability is our foundation, clearly expressed in our purpose and vision, embedded into our DNA at Novozymes: together, we find the biological answers for better lives in a growing world.

A very simple way to synthesize our purpose is to say we exist to enable better lives and to address society’s most pressing needs. We create solutions that are based on science – microbes and enzymes. This is who we are – we are proud to discover the biological answers for these challenges – and this is our business driver. Returning to our dialogue on sustainability, what better way is there to drive your business than making the world a better place; this is true for every single one of our 6,000 employees.