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We create and sustain a culture of inclusivity and high engagement while we promote health through our products 

In Chr. Hansen, we have a strong culture of sharing ideas openly and relying on each other. And we believe that a safe, healthy and diverse workforce provides an attractive company that delivers great results through diversity in thinking and opinions. At the same time, we drive improved health in humans and animals with our probiotics, and we develop cutting-edge food cultures that through fermentation enable our customers to produce safe, tasty and nutritious food products. 


Product performance

Improving health Abrir Cerrar

Chr. Hansen supports global health through its well-documented probiotics. Chr. Hansen’s probiotics can be consumed either as dietary supplements or as part of a consumer's daily diet, e.g. in a yogurt. In 2021/22, 195 million people consumed Chr. Hansen’s probiotics. Sales from acquisitions are included in this year’s number, contributing to the increase, together with increased consumer demand for supplements supporting immune and gastrointestinal health. This brings Chr. Hansen close to its product target of 200 million people consuming probiotics by 2024/25, to enhance the health of a growing and aging population. 


Probiotics consumed in m people



Product data table

  2021/22  2020/21 2019/20 

Good health
People consuming Chr. Hansen probiotics, no.







People performance

Our employees Abrir Cerrar

At the end of 2021/22, Chr. Hansen employed more than 3,800 people. Our employee base is broad and diverse; more than 40% of our employees work in our production facilities. The remaining part is spread across R&D and Application, Sales and Marketing and staff functions. The average length of employment across the global workforce is 7.5 years and we employ more than 78 nationalities in 32 countries. 


Total number of employees





Employees Total number of employees by function






Leveraging our Chr. Hansen culture Abrir Cerrar

The Chr. Hansen culture model, introduced in 2018, serves as our compass and provides guidance in difficult situations. 2021/22 was another year with unforeseen challenges like geopolitical unrest, inflation and the aftermath of COVID-19. Here our culture model proved its worth, providing a common language for employees and leaders across the global organization. 

As the world slowly began to reopen, reconnecting became an important theme for Chr. Hansen: reconnecting with customers in a face-to-face setting and connecting in person with old and especially new colleagues who had joined the organization during the past two years. Connectivity is a critical element at Chr. Hansen, and we deliberately use our culture model to leverage the unique Chr. Hansen culture. In 2021/22, 100% of new employees were introduced to our culture model, in line with our target.



Renewed focus on talent acquisition and onboarding Abrir Cerrar

During 2021/22, we worked specifically on optimizing recruitment processes globally. The goal was to streamline our hiring process to help managers have a smooth process and applicants to have a unique candidate experience. We continued to work on an inclusive and non-biased recruitment process, to work with unconscious as well as conscious biases and facilitate a more objective view of the candidates.

To further enhance the onboarding of the approximately 780 newcomers to Chr. Hansen this year, we implemented a digitally supported onboarding process. New colleagues start their onboarding prior to their first day at Chr. Hansen. A series of training and introduction programs, an assigned ‘buddy’ and a selected mentor are some of the digital supported tools introduced to improve onboarding with the intent to reduce time to efficiency for new employees.


Flexible work models and employee well-being as drivers of success Abrir Cerrar

Post-COVID-19, flexible work guidelines have been developed globally and implemented locally. In many parts of the world, these guidelines have generated new and different ways of working and have been a lever to address employee well-being.

Numerous health initiatives were launched under the name 'Hansen Health'. These included global livestream talks on health-related matters and exercise competitions using an app. In Denmark, an in-depth health analysis was performed, providing insights into how and where further focus on well-being was needed. A key take-away was the need to address both physical and mental well-being. Initiatives are planned and will run over the next few years to fully harvest the benefits of the insights gained.


Engagement continues to have high management attention Abrir Cerrar

After two years with our new and more dynamic engagement tool, we adjusted the frequency to three surveys per year in 2021/22. On a scale from 0 to 10, overall employee engagement remains stable with an average of 8.5 and an average response rate of 90% across the surveys in 2021/22. This is a testament to the engaged workforce at Chr. Hansen. The results place Chr. Hansen in the top 25%, in line with our target to be amongst the top 25% in our provider’s global database of more than 160 million unique surveys. 

We continue to strive to create an engaging workplace where employees can apply themselves fully at work. This is fundamental to the long-term success of Chr. Hansen, as it improves productivity, produces happier people, reduces employee turnover and ultimately renders better business results. 

A heated labor market IS putting PRESSURE ON OUr employee turnover  Abrir Cerrar

In 2021/22, we saw above-normal employee turnover across the organization at 16% compared to 14% last year. Turnover was particularly high in Denmark and the US with a direct correlation to specific employee groups. This has posed challenges in backfilling positions and new methods are needed to secure a strong influx of talent. We continue to work on our employee value proposition, in which Chr. Hansen is perceived as offering growth opportunities, flexibility, a great work culture and thus able to attract talents through our strong purpose and strategy.


Leadership and learning culture Abrir Cerrar

Good leadership is key to driving learning, engagement, well-being and performance as well as retention. We will increase our focus on leadership development through a new leadership development program focusing on leadership skills and leading at the right level, called LEAD, which will complement our existing CONNECT program, focusing on authentic leadership. All 600 people leaders will be trained in FY23 and FY24.

Continuous learning and development are key enablers for executing our 2025 Strategy. We commit to investing in our people and we strive to have highly qualified, resourceful and ambitious employees. We invest in their continued development, making learning a priority. In the past year, we have implemented a new digital learning management platform for all employees. The vast curriculum holds predefined learning journeys, videos and models so that employees will be able to find learning opportunities and resources relevant for their specific role.

Taking Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) to the next level Abrir Cerrar

Our ability to attract and retain a diverse pool of talent is critical to our success. Our existing workforce is a broad and diverse group representing different educational backgrounds, nationalities, genders, ages and ethnicities – ensuring that a variety of perspectives are brought to the table, which is particularly important for an innovation-driven company.

We are reinforcing our focus on supporting an environment where all employees feel safe and accepted. By creating and sustaining an inclusive and equitable environment, where everyone feels they can be themselves, we enable employees to perform at their best and full potential. To further promote this, we established local DE&I Employee Resource Groups who come together to discuss and agree on relevant actions. In addition, we have created a Global DE&I community in HR across all regions to create awareness about the topic and initiatives taken across the globe. 


Diversity of the Board of Directors Abrir Cerrar

The Board has a gender diversity target of having at least three shareholder-elected members of each gender by 2025. This target is currently met with three male and three female shareholder-elected members. The diversity level of the Board of Directors of Chr. Hansen A/S also had equal gender representation with three out of the four shareholder-elected members being women.


Gender diversity of the shareholder-elected board members




Nationalities of the shareholder-elected board members





Tenures of the shareholder-elected board members

Tenure diversity of the shareholder-elected board members

Share of women in Directors+ positions Abrir Cerrar

The share of women at Directors+ position was 31%, down 1 percentage point compared to last year. After reaching our 30% target last year, we increased our 2025 ambition to 35% and firmly believe we can reach this target. The ratio of female employees and managers was 44% to 38%. Both the ratio of female leaders and female employees increased by 1 percentage point compared to last year.

Share of women in Directors+ positions




Gender pay equality Abrir Cerrar

Gender pay is another important element of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion ambition. Fairness and transparency in employee remuneration are key in an inclusive workplace. This year is the second year that we report on gender pay. The number we report represents the difference in average earnings between the female and male workforce, in countries with more than 250 employees (DK, US, FR, DE). The data constitutes approximately 80% of the total workforce.

The methodology applied is inspired by the UK, where gender pay reporting has been a legal requirement for some years, giving us a mature and validated approach. In 2021/22, the gender pay analysis showed an average gender pay gap of 4.1%. This is a reduction of 2.1 percentage points compared to last year’s gender pay gap of 6.2%. We continue to work on the cultural and systemic issues to further reduce the gap. As part of our 2025 Strategy, we will focus on creating better gender balance across all job levels and roles, use the salary review process to identify gender pay gaps and put more focus on increasing the number of female managers.


Work safety Abrir Cerrar

Chr. Hansen is committed to maintaining and continuously improving our employees’ health, safety and well-being at work. In 2021/22, we added four new sites in Chr. Hansen and 27% of the Lost Time Injuries came from the new sites. We ended the year with 11 Lost Time Injuries, which is five more than last year, due to the integration of acquisitions, resulting in a Lost Time Incident Frequency (LTIF) of 1.7.

The severity of the cases reported was low to medium, with no high severity injuries. This is the third year in a row with no high severity injuries at Chr. Hansen. We are particularly proud of being able to maintain the good safety performance in a  year characterized by onboarding new sites and COVID-19 restrictions. We are very confident about our ability to meet the target of 1.5 or below LTIF by 2025.


Lost Time Incidents Frequency per million working hours (LTIF)


Human and labor rights Abrir Cerrar

Chr. Hansen is committed to safeguarding human and labor rights, which is clearly reflected in our Sustainability Position. Annually, we update our human rights due diligence assessment evaluating generic sector risks against the mitigating measures that Chr. Hansen has in place. The result of this year’s assessment is that health & safety as well as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion continue to be the key focus areas for Chr. Hansen in our operations and supply chain.

To do business with Chr. Hansen, suppliers need to sign and comply with a set of social and environmental requirements, including respect for human rights and zero tolerance policy for bribery and corruption. The requirements are developed based on international guidelines such as UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. The requirements are enforced through Chr. Hansen’s vendor approval system. As a result, all Chr. Hansen’s direct suppliers are obliged to respect human rights including no use of forced or child labor. 


Lost Time Incidents Frequency per million working hours (LTIF) Abrir Cerrar

Third-party audits on social and environmental matters are performed at Chr. Hansen’s production sites once every three years. The audits are managed through Sedex, which is one of the world’s largest collaborative platforms for sharing social and environmental data with customers. No non-compliances related to human rights were identified within this financial year. 

Going forward, Chr. Hansen continues its clear commitment to being a good corporate citizen, following the principles of our Sustainability Position. We respect human rights as defined in the International Bill of Human Rights and we expect our suppliers, business partners and other parties directly linked to our operations and products to do the same. We support the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and respect the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), in the countries where we operate. Our work with human rights, anti-corruption and bribery are integral parts of our continuous support to UN Global Compact. We continue the work with human rights due diligence assessment, supplier requirements and internal audits enforcing our commitment to protect human rights. 

People data table


  2021/22  2020/21 2019/20 

Total number of employees
Average number of employees (full-time equivalents)
Employee turnover, %



Diversity and inclusion
Gender - all employees (male/female)1, %
Gender - managers (male/female)1, %
Gender - ratio between female employees and managers1
Gender - key positions (male/female), %
Board of Directors - (male/female/non-local), %
Retention of employees over the age of 30, %
Gender pay gap, %



Employee engagement
Engagement matters ranking, top %
New employees introduced to culture model, %




Occupational health and safety
Lost Time Incidents (LTIs)
Frequency of LTIs per million working hours (LTIF)
Severity (days away per LTI)






1 2019/20 numbers have been adjusted to more accurately reflect the carve-out of Natural Colors.
2 COVID-19 has affected the onboarding process, making it more online-based. As a result, we are not able to report on this
indicator for 2020/21.

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