A business organisation needs a mission or purpose to create a sense of direction and effectively allocate resources and make decisions. This is conveyed by its aims which express how it adds value. Aims help direct resources to the needs of profitable markets. They point the way towards the business’ objectives and strategy.
Aims are only useful if they trigger action. This is why many companies concentrate their aims into a single memorable purpose.
Syngenta's purpose is 'Bringing plant potential to life'. This is designed to energise and inspire the Syngenta community which includes all the company's stakeholders – its employees, customers, shareholders, creditors and suppliers.
This shared sense of purpose provides the basis for the organisation’s key objectives. These are the 'destinations', the major goals that the business intends to fulfil. In a large organisation they are broken down into supporting functional objectives. Properly co-ordinated, these functional objectives should enable the organisation’s corporate objectives to be achieved.
Like many major companies, Syngenta condenses its objectives into a vision. This is a short statement that paints a picture of where the company wants to be in the future. It is designed to co-ordinate and motivate employees to work towards a common goal.
Most sugar (70%) is obtained from sugar cane and Brazil is the dominant producer. While world demand for sugar is rapidly rising – up by 45% in 20 years – the industry has modernised little and is largely unmechanised. Syngenta’s vision was to improve the production and planting of sugar cane in order to reduce costs and increase productivity in an ecologically sustainable way.
Syngenta’s product Plene is an example of how Syngenta puts that vision into practice. In Plene, Syngenta has designed a fully integrated system for sugar cane production. This has resulted in a 15% reduction in grower costs, better working conditions for labourers and reduced soil erosion.
A range of project teams worked on the realisation of this project. High quality, disease-free seedlings were selected at Syngenta's nurseries. These are processed and treated with Syngenta technologies. Planting has been mechanised through a partnership with John Deere, the agricultural machinery manufacturers. This has reduced labour input and increased productivity. The results are a faster germination, greater resistance to disease and a more productive harvest.