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Sustainability is tomorrow’s competitive edge

Peter A. Ruzicka

Peter A. Ruzicka

Orkla’s Sustainability Report 2014 now launched.

Orkla seeks to promote a sustainable value chain for grocery products. Sustainable production will give us competitive advantages in the future, says President & CEO Peter A. Ruzicka. Read more in Orkla's Sustainability Report 2014.

We live in a world of constant change. One of our era’s greatest challenges is to tackle resource scarcity and climate change, and at the same time to enhance the quality of life of people all over the world. In 2050, there will be around nine billion people on our planet. Some three billion new middle-class consumers will want the same standard of living as we have today. Yet humanity is already using natural resources equivalent to 1.5 planet Earths. In other words, we are not living off the return on nature’s capital, we are eating into that capital.

If we are to solve this problem, we must all contribute, including Orkla. We are conscious about our responsibility towards society and the environment, both because we consider it to be our moral responsibility, and because we think it makes good business sense.

In 2014, Orkla drew up a sustainability strategy with ambitious goals for the years up to 2020. We have defined four areas in which Orkla has considerable influence, and where we can make an important, positive difference. These areas are nutrition and health, food safety, responsible sourcing and environment. In each of these areas, we have established concrete targets and action plans.

Several of Orkla’s products are part of consumers’ everyday diet, and even small changes can lead to significant improvements in public health. In 2014, we have made substantial progress in our efforts to make our popular favourites healthier by reducing salt and saturated fat. Our dialogue with the Norwegian health authorities has also spurred us to action, inspiring us to set ambitious new targets for Orkla’s future work in the area of nutrition and health.

Our production of food makes us a major purchaser of raw materials. We consider it important to ensure that the raw materials we use are sustainably produced, and are therefore actively engaged in several supply chain improvement projects. A good example in this respect is our work to promote sustainable palm oil. In 2014, we adopted a proactive new strategy that commits us to protecting the rainforest. We have succeeded in replacing palm oil with healthier oils in a large number of our products, and in the past seven years we have reduced our palm oil consumption by 19,000 tonnes. Where it is impossible to replace the palm oil, we aim to ensure that the oil used in Orkla’s branded consumer goods is sustainably produced by the end of 2017 at the latest.

We have achieved progress in all our main focus areas. At the same time, we recognise that a great deal remains to be done. Through our new strategy, we have established a clear direction for the years up to 2020, and we will work actively to deliver on our sustainability pledges.

These are:

Nutrition and health – We will promote better public health by developing healthier products, providing good consumer guidance, marketing our products responsibly and engaging in broad collaboration with others.

Food safety – We will ensure safe food throughout our value chain by setting uniform product quality and product safety standards, regardless of the country in which we manufacture and sell our products.

Responsible sourcing – We will develop sustainable value chains. All purchasing will be carried out in compliance with Orkla’s principles for sustainable production.

Environment – We will operate on a sound, long-term, sustainable basis, which means minimising our environmental footprint.

Orkla has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2005. This means that we have committed to conducting our operations in accordance with the UN’s Ten Principles for sustainable development. Through this work, we have experienced the importance of collaboration and dialogue for solving major challenges.

Sustainable growth is about understanding the world around us and being well positioned to realise the opportunities that arise. Those who succeed in reconciling the dual objectives of global sustainability and profitable growth, are tomorrow’s winners.

Peter A. Ruzicka
President & CEO