Code of Conduct, life-cycle analysis, GHG footprint – sustainability is a fairly complex subject. In order to help our consumers and all other users understand our website’s and publications’ contents, we collected the most important terms on the matter of sustainability at Beiersdorf in this glossary.
Wordle Glossary Sustainability

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“Association des Industries de Marque” (AIM) is the name of the European brands association, while PROGRESS stands for “Program for Responsible Sourcing”. AIM-PROGRESS is a round table of leading “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” (FMCG) manufacturers who have joined together in order to facilitate and promote responsible sourcing practices and sustainable supply chains.


Biodiversity is the term applied to all plant and animal life living in a particular environment. It can relate to the number and variety of species or the different environments in which they are present.

“Blue Production Centers” Initiative

Beiersdorf’s “Blue Production Centers” initiative aims to make the company's production centers more sustainable in terms of energy and water consumption, as well as waste reduction.

Book and Claim

“Book and Claim” refers to online trade using volume certification in accordance with the guidelines of the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO). A virtual certificate is purchased for each tonne of palm (kernel) oil used that originates from a manufacturer who has demonstrably produced a tonne of sustainable palm (kernel) oil. This mass balancing ensures that certified raw materials are used throughout, from the plantation through to the finished product, independently from the “real” supply chain. The final product thereby contributes to increasing the production of certified sustainable palm oil.


The CDP (“Carbon Disclosure Project”) evaluates the environmental data such as greenhouse gas emissions, climate strategies and environmental management strategies that a company publishes. Beiersdorf has already been a participating member of the CDP since 2006.

Certified Sustainable Palm (Kernel) Oil

Certifications can help guarantee the sustainable cultivation and production of sustainable palm (kernel) oil. Under the guidelines of the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil”, different methods may be applied in the procurement of certified sustainable palm (kernel) oil. However, all options ensure that the palm (kernel) oil is produced from palms cultivated on certified and audited plantations. The various trading models differ regarding whether certified palm oil is actually used in the final product.

Sustainable palm oil production means that in the cultivation of oil-bearing palms and in the production of their oil, environmental and social sustainability criteria are fulfilled – for instance, humane working conditions, supporting indigenous communities, and upholding land rights. Additionally, conservation areas such as rainforests (primary or secondary forests) and peat lands, along with the biodiversity they shelter, are protected from any uncontrolled expansion of oil palm plantations.

Code of Conduct

Beiersdorf developed a Code of Conduct for its employees and a Code of Conduct for suppliers. The aim is to outline transnational compulsory provisions which everyone working at or with Beiersdorf are bound to obey, such as the absolute avoidance of child labor or discrimination. Furthermore the Codes of Conduct help to reduce uncertainties in the everyday work as well as to comply with the statutory obligations. Beiersdorf’s Codes of Conduct describe the principles that form the basis for our decisions and actions for all employees and suppliers worldwide.

Cogeneration Systems

Cogeneration is a process by which energy or heat which is created as a byproduct is actually used for a specific purpose, such as the generation of process heat to be used on the production line, rather than just lost into the atmosphere.


Compliance means for each department at Beiersdorf, from Controlling to Packaging, to abide by applicable laws, norms or standards as well as internal guidelines. At Beiersdorf it is the management’s responsibility to ensure Compliance. An effective compliance system requires the active involvement of all employees. As such every employee at Beiersdorf is requested to participate in the improvement of this system, e.g. by participating in compliance trainings.

Corporate Social Responsibility

“Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) is part of sustainable business practice and means that companies and other organisations take responsibility for social and environmental concerns of their own volition that goes beyond their legal obligations. 

CSR directive implementation law (“CSR-RUG”)

The CSR (“Corporate Social Responsibility”) directive implementation law (German: “CSR-RUG”) requires certain capital-market oriented companies (such as Beiersdorf), credit institutions, financial services institutions and insurance companies to complement their existing financial reporting with the material non-financial aspects regarding environmental sustainability, employees and society, upholding human rights, fighting corruption, and combating bribery.


Defra (“Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs”) is the UK government department responsible for environmental protection, the food industry, the agricultural sector, and rural communities.

DIN EN 16258

DIN EN 16258 is an EU norm for calculating and declaring energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions in transportation and logistics. Beiersdorf takes DIN EN 16258 as orientation in calculating the CO2 emissions that arise from the transportation of its products to customers.


Diversity is about equality for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, physical condition etc. as well as being open to the varied perspectives of colleagues. As a truly global company, Beiersdorf lives diversity as one team. We value difference because a diverse and multicultural work force fosters an inclusive company culture and enhances Beiersdorf’s competitiveness in global markets.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency relates to efforts to reduce the amount of energy required in order to complete a certain process or task.


Environmentally-friendly refers to a process or product that is not harmful, or less harmful to its environment. Beiersdorf is a keen proponent of promoting the concept of being environmentally-friendly throughout its entire supply chain.


ESMAS stands for “Environmental and Safety Management and Audit Scheme”. ESMAS integrates the key elements of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 into a company-based standard. All the key features of the international standards are included, supplemented with specific in-house requirements. Auditing is performed by external audit agencies. The certificate is granted upon audit of an effective implementation of ESMAS.


The “Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil” (FONAP) is an organisation of companies, associations and NGOs that jointly wants to develop sustainable solutions to improve practices in the palm oil sector. The goal of the “Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil” is to significantly increase the share of segregated, certified, sustainably produced palm oil in the German, Austrian and Swiss markets, and to make 100% certified palm oil available to these markets as quickly as possible. The Forum's goals and initiatives include exacting certification systems such as RSPO, ISCC and the Rainforest Alliance. Its main activities are developing suggestions for improvement of existing certification systems, increasing the transparency of available palm oil products, derivatives and fractions, and providing specialised information about certified Palm (kernel) oil for its members and the general public.

FSC® certified cardboard

FSC® is short for “Forest Stewardship Council”, an organization working to advance the practice of sustainable forestry all over the world. This label on the cartons confirms that all the wood fibers used in its manufacture have been continuously tracked from the forest of origin, in accordance with the FSC®'s Chain of Custody standards. As such you can be sure the wood pulp used has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible manner. Beiersdorf has continuously reduced the use of folding boxes across the Florena range, saving nine tons of cardboard a year. All remaining folding boxes come from responsibly managed forests and carry the FSC® Mix label. Beiersdorf has also started to introduce FSC® certified cardboard for all folding boxes across the NIVEA range.


FTSE4Good is an internationally leading family of indices on sustainability and corporate governance. It includes companies that demonstrate outstanding corporate responsibility, including Beiersdorf.

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Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

GRI stands for “Global Reporting Initiative”. It is a non-profit, network-based organization which focuses on sustainability reporting and sustainable development. It encourages companies to boost their level of sustainability by amplifying their own sustainability reporting efforts. The GRI network consists of all types of organizations, including corporations, NPOs, rating agencies and many more.

Global Warming Potential

Global Warming Potential is a value which indicates the capacity of a greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere. They are also used to describe how such gases could affect global warming over various time periods or spans (normally 20, 50 and 100 years). Most Global Warming Potentials decrease the longer the time span considered.

Greenhouse Gas emissions

The main greenhouse gases are water (H2O, as steam), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrogen dioxide (N2O). These overall emissions are often recalculated as CO2 equivalents and categorized as Scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions. This procedure enables companies to classify and therefore better understand their emissions. Scope 1 covers all direct emissions and includes those that originate from goods production or from a company's own vehicle fleet. Scope 2 comprises emissions originating from the generation of the electricity, heat or steam that a company has purchased – in other words, indirect emissions. Scope 3 takes a broader approach and also includes upstream emissions (e.g. from the production-related supply chain, such as waste treatment) as well as subsequent emissions, for instance from post-production phases such as disposal and recycling.

Greenhouse Gas footprint

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint indicates the amount of GHG that is discharged during the production of a good or service.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The “Greenhouse Gas Protocol” (GHG Protocol) is a scorecard guideline for the calculation and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The GHG Protocol was developed in cooperation with the “World Resource Institute” (WIR) and the “World Business Council for Sustainable Development” (WBCSD).

Green IT

Green IT aims at designing the entire product lifecycle of information and communication technologies in way that is environmentally and resource friendly – from manufacturing through to operation and waste disposal. It seeks to protect the environment by using more efficient devices, using them more intelligently, and making appropriate adaptations to existing systems. The goals are to reduce consumption of raw materials and energy, as well as decreasing CO2 emissions and costs. 


GreenPalm is a certificate trading program. It was created to manage environmental and social issues linked to the production of palm oil. It is a supply chain option that growers of sustainable palm oil can choose to sell their oil through once it has successfully passed through the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palmoil” (RSPO) certification process. GreenPalm enables sustainable palm oil producers to earn more for their crop. Buying oil which has the GreenPalm logo means making a positive contribution to the production of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and palm kernel oil (CSPKO).


A system of standards, rules, guidelines, procedures and policies which a company uses in order to ensure responsibility, fairness, and transparency in all its relationships with all its stakeholders.

GRI Content Index

This document enables stakeholders and other readers to see at a glance which indicators of the corresponding “Global Reporting Initiative” standard have been reported on. Since the 2018 fiscal year Beiersdorf has reported in line with the GRI Standards 2016.


The GRI (“Global Reporting Initiative”) Standards are an internationally recognized framework for sustainability reporting. Its three universal standards are applied by every organization that produces a sustainability report fulfilling the GRI criteria. Moreover, an organization selects topic-specific standards – economic, environmental, or social – to report on its material topics. Since the 2018 fiscal year Beiersdorf has reported in line with the GRI Standards 2016.

Identity Preserved (IP)

“Identity Preserved” (IP) describes the strict physical separation of certified sustainable palm (kernel) oils originating from different plantations. The sustainable palm (kernel) oil contained in the end product is therefore unequivocally identifiable and can be traced back to the plantation stage.


The “International Labour Organization” (ILO) is a special UN body responsible for formulating and establishing international labor and social standards. The ILO's main objectives are to promote decent working conditions, ensure social protection, and strengthen social dialog.

ISO Standards 14040 and 14044

ISO (“International Organization for Standardization”) 14040 and ISO 14044 are international standards for “Life-Cycle Analysis” (LCA). They specify requirements and provide support and direction on how to carry out LCAs. They cover various aspects such as goal and scope definition, impact assessment and reviewing the LCA.

ISO Standard 45001

ISO (“International Organization for Standardization”) Standard 45001 sets out the requirements on occupational health and safety management systems, and comprises a guideline for their effective implementation. ISO 45001 replaces OHSAS (“Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series”) 18001.

ISO Standard 50001

ISO (“International Organization for Standardization”) Standard 50001 is an energy management system standard and provides support in improving energy-related performance.


Not all waste is suitable for recycling. Waste that cannot be recycled back into the economy is disposed of in special sites – so-called landfills. Various classes of landfill are used for the controlled, long-term disposal of such waste either above or below ground.

LEED Building Standard

The “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) rating system assesses a building's environmental friendliness. The system takes a “whole building“ perspective and covers a building’s entire lifecycle. It can be applied to buildings that are still in construction or which are already built. Applying LEED principles helps ensure that a building is as environmentally-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Life-cycle Analysis (LCA)

“Life-cycle Analysis” (LCA) is a method of measuring the environmental characteristics and impact of the different stages of a product’s entire life-cycle, from the obtaining of raw materials through processes such as production and distribution, to use in the home and final disposal or recycling. The results of such assessments help to provide a detailed picture of the environmental footprint of the product and to highlight potential areas where environmental improvements can be made.

Mass Balance

Mass Balance is a supply chain model approved by the “Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO). In this model sustainably sourced certified palm oil is monitored throughout the supply chain. It may be mixed with other non-certified oil at some stage meaning that not all of the sustainably sourced palm oil is in the end product, but it is still possible to identify the amount of certified and non-certified oil.

Materiality Analysis

The identification of key material issues is linked to the concept of materiality in sustainability reporting. Key material issues are economic, environmental and societal issues which have a strong impact on the success of a business and which are also highly relevant to external stakeholders.


Microplastics are small, solid plastic particles under 5mm in diameter, water-insoluble and not biodegradable (according to the definition by UNEP, the “United Nations Environmental Program”). Microplastics mainly originate from the fragmentation of larger pieces of plastic that reach the oceans as waste. These are then gradually broken down by rough weather and natural erosion. Further sources include synthetic fibers from clothing, wear on vehicle tires, and smaller plastic particles from everyday consumer goods.


MSCI ESG Research analyzes a company’s sustainability based on detailed key environmental, societal, and corporate governance (ESG) aspects. Overall MSCI evaluates more than 6,000 companies worldwide.


NexTrust is an EU-sponsored project aimed at improving efficiency and sustainability in European logistics through networked cooperation. Beiersdorf is engaged in this project along with 30 further partners.

“Nivea cares for family”

“NIVEA cares for family” is the social initiative of Beiersdorf’s flagship brand. It aims to strengthen families by building competencies for children, empowering mothers, and creating opportunities for families to spend quality time together.

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OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The OECD (“Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development”) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises comprise recommendations for responsible business in a global context and integrate all internationally recognized key labor standards. Topic focus areas are relations with trade unions, upholding human rights, environmental protection, fighting corruption, and upholding consumers' interests.

OHSAS 18001

The globally recognised British OHSAS 18001 (“Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series”) standard describes requirements for occupational safety management systems. It is structurally very close to standards for managing quality and environmental protection (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001). OHSAS 18001 is recognised worldwide as the leading instrument for defining the requirements of occupational health and safety management systems, and is widely used by certification agencies for audits and certification.

Palm (Kernel) Oil

Palm (kernel) oil is obtained from oil palm tree fruits or seeds. It is mainly used to make margarine, soap and other cosmetics.


Polyethylene (PE) is the world's most commonly manufactured and used synthetic material, and is found in numerous everyday products.


A polymer is a chemical compound that consists of many small identical molecules (called monomers). Polymers are a very varied chemical group of longer molecular chains that have highly diverse characteristics and functions. Synthetically manufactured polymers in solid, fluid or gel form carry out a wide range of functions in the modern world. Polymers also exist in nature as biopolymers, for instance as proteins, starches, or cellulose.

Renewable/Regenerative Energy

Energy generated from sources that are naturally regenerative, such as solar, wind, and hydro energy.

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible sourcing means sourcing materials in a socially and environmentally responsible way that seeks to preserve both the supply of the material and the environment of the areas where it is sourced.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

Beiersdorf is participating in the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO), which comprises of various stakeholders from the palm oil industry such as producers, traders, “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” (FMCG) manufacturers, retailers as well as environmental and social non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The RSPO was established in 2004 with the aim of encouraging the production and use of sustainable palm oil.

RSPO Multi-Site “Supply Chain Certification Standard” (SCCS)

An audit to the RSPO Multi-Site “Supply Chain Certification Standard” (SCCS) ensures compliance with all guidelines throughout the entire supply chain governing the procurement of sustainable palm (kernel) oil. It also ensures certification by an independent and accredited certification authority.


The “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) are political objectives defined by the United Nations (UN) that aim to secure sustainable development on an economic, social and environmental level. There is a total of 17 SDGs, and each is assigned to the five core commitments regarding People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership.


Sedex stands for “Supplier Ethical Data Exchange” and is an international collaboration platform. The platform's aim is to promote sustainability and minimise risks in the supply chain. It offers registered suppliers an efficient way to share information and audit reports about working conditions, occupational health & safety, corporate integrity and environmental management with their registered customers, thus significantly reducing the efforts they must devote to preparing and submitting reports and audits. For customers, the platform is an efficient way to identify and reduce ethical risks in their supply chain.  

Segregated Sourcing of Palm Oil

Segregated sourcing of palmoil means to purchase an amount of sustainable sourced material, like palm oil, which is kept separate throughout the supply chain. So the sustainably sourced palm oil is guaranteed to be physically traceable to a certified source. 


The SMETA (“Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit”) 4-Pillar-Audit Protocol serves to promote ethically sustainable supply chains and is based on the core areas of Labour, Health and Safety, Environment, and Business Ethics. Through SMETA accreditation suppliers are able to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable procurement.


Any individual, group, association or entity that is in some way connected to an organization. A stakeholder can be someone who exerts influence over the direction a company takes e.g. a shareholder or alternatively someone who is affected by the organization’s actions e.g. a person living close to where the company is located. Other examples of stakeholders are employees, consumers, and suppliers.

Stationary Energy

Stationary energy includes stationary direct energy sources such as natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, petrol, fuel oil, and renewable energy produced on site. It also includes stationary indirect energy such as electricity purchased, district heating, steam purchased, and direct cooling purchased.

Sustainability Product Scorecard

Beiersdorf has developed its own sustainability product scorecard in order to be able to accurately measure the environmental impact of our products’ packaging and formulas. The scorecard examines key elements such as the amount of non-fossil ingredients, the impact on water toxicology, the reduction in packaging material, and the use of recycled materials.

Synthetic Polymers

A synthetic polymer is a material consisting of many small identical molecules (monomers). Polymers are produced on an industrial or laboratory scale by means of technical polymerization. Semisynthetic polymers are created by modifying naturally occurring polymers. Synthetic and semisynthetic polymers in solid, fluid or gel form fulfill a wide range of functions in the modern world.

Value Stream Method

The “Value Stream Method” (VSM) assists organizations in documenting, assessing and ultimately improving the material flow that is required to create a product. It helps companies to identify all the steps in a process so that those steps which do not add value (i.e. waste) can be reduced or even eliminated.

Water Risk Atlas

The “Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas” published by the “World Resource Institute” (WRI) is a tool in global use for identifying and assessing water risks. “Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas” data enable companies to identify current developments and challenges in the water supply, and to take appropriate measures.

“We care.”

“We care.” is Beiersdorf's sustainability strategy, which supports Beiersdorf in pursuit of its business goals whilst simultaneously helping it to reduce the company's environmental footprint.  The strategy focuses on issues which are key to Beiersdorf's stakeholders and which contribute to the success of the company. Our approach is centered on three distinct areas – “Products, Planet, People” - thus ensuring that the company's sustainability efforts continue to deliver meaningful, long-term and wide-ranging impact.

WELL Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard is an internationally recognized seal for measuring, certifying and monitoring buildings' characteristics that can have a positive influence on employees' health and well-being in the company.

Women in Leadership

“Women in Leadership” is an initiative of the DAX 30 (companies listed on Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX index). The aim of this concept is to significantly (and voluntarily) increase the number of women working in executive positions by 2020. Within the context of this framework, Beiersdorf has voluntarily committed itself to increasing the number of women in leadership positions. In Germany for instance, the aim is for women to account for around 30% of senior executive positions in the Consumer Business Segment by 2020.

“Zero Accident” program

As part of its on-going commitment to employee health and safety Beiersdorf has a company-wide “Zero Accident” program which - in addition to focusing on reducing accidents - also aims to eliminate unsafe working conditions and promote safer working behavior through active communication and guidance.