Deforestation accounts for 10-15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By actively engaging in its own supply chains, Orkla can make an important difference.
To help protect rainforests and combat climate change, Orkla adopted a zero deforestation policy in 2015. Orkla aims to ensure that all key agricultural products and packaging used by the Group are sustainably produced – without causing deforestation – by 2020.
In the Forest 500 assessment, published in December 2016, the UK think tank The Global Canopy Programme highlighted Orkla’s policy of zero deforestation. The assessment comprised 500 companies, financial institutions and countries that have the power to stop global deforestation, and ranked their efforts. Orkla was one of the companies that scored highest in the assessment.
Orkla engaged in an active dialogue in 2016 with its stakeholders, including Greenpeace. This has provided good input for anti-deforestation work. Orkla and Greenpeace made a joint presentation at the Global Compact’s Nordic network conference, hoping to inspire more companies to introduce a deforestation prevention policy, with clearly defined goals.
Intensifed efforts to reduce use of palm oil
In 2016, Orkla took several steps to reduce the risk of deforestation in connection with the production of cocoa, soya, cardboard and paper. However, the raw material used by Orkla that represents the greatest risk of deforestation is palm oil, and efforts have therefore been concentrated on this commodity. Orkla pursues a two-pronged strategy in its palm oil work. Orkla companies focus actively on reducing their use of palm oil and ensuring that the palm oil that is used is traceable and sustainably produced, at the latest by the end of 2017.
Palm-oil free branded consumer goods
The Nordic companies in Orkla Foods and Orkla Confectionery & Snacks have largely replaced palm oil with a healthier alternative that does not contribute to tropical deforestation. In the period from 2008 to 2016, they reduced their use of palm oil by around 90%. Several of the companies have reduced their use by close to 100%.
In 2016, Orkla Confectionery & Snacks eliminated palm oil in most of its biscuit products, including Ballerina, Singoalla and Brago. Orkla Foods Sverige replaced palm oil with rapeseed oil in Paulùns Granola. Palm oil has also been removed from Ekströms Vaniljsås vanilla sauce and Frödinge Kladdkaka cream cakes and Morotskaka carrot cakes. The vast majority of Orkla’s foods, biscuits, snacks and confectionery in the Nordic grocery market are now palm oil-free. Orkla’s total purchases of palm oil have been reduced by around 20,600 tonnes since 2008, including 900 tonnes in 2016.
Sustainable palm oil production
For Orkla Food Ingredients, Orkla Home & Personal Care and branded consumer goods companies outside the Nordic region, palm oil and palm-based derivatives are still important raw materials. The companies have mobilised efforts on a broad front to increase the percentage of oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in the palm oil they use. Certification reduces the risk of deforestation and other undesirable practices. Orkla’s main suppliers have also initiated a range of measures to monitor their sub-contractors, prevent and put out fires and promote sustainable cultivation. As a result of these measures, Orkla is well on its way to achieving its goal of 100% sustainably produced palm oil by the end of 2017.