Our House of Sustainability has guided our continued progress and represents the foundational structure of our sustainability initiatives and how we make it part of our DNA.
Our overall objective to grow AAK sustainably and progress within sustainability as a whole is governed with help from the pillars in the AAK House of Sustainability. The individual elements have continuously been adapted to meet our stakeholder´s needs. If you would like to learn more, please watch this short, animated video about The House of Sustainability.
The five pillars
To maintain momentum and drive improvement, we have defined key ambitions within each of the five focus areas in our House of Sustainability. Our achievements within these five pillars are the result of a tremendous amount of dedication from AAK colleagues and collaboration partners around the globe.
More information on achievements and ambitions are publicly available in our Sustainability Report.
1. Our Customers
This pillar covers all areas in which AAK interacts with customers, from products, product development, and food safety to product information and market communication. Interaction with customers is based on sound business ethics and a deep understanding of the company’s responsibility for safeguarding customer brands. Oils and fats from AAK perform valuable functions in customers’ products and sustainable value-adding benefits. In cooperation with our customers’ key people, our experts test applications, co-develop product and supply chain solutions, and explore new production methods. This way we always aim to be a leading and knowledgeable partner on sustainability to our customers.
2. Our Suppliers
Our Suppliers pillar covers activities related to the sourcing of raw materials that AAK uses in its production plants. Our goal is to achieve responsible sourcing by building strong and resilient partnerships with suppliers and customers, in order to protect our customers and our reputation as well as to mitigate risks and issues linked to the raw material supply chains we manage. Working towards continuous improvement on environmental, social and ethical performance indicators is an important part of our work. We prioritize our efforts based on risks as well as the impact we can make.
3. Our Planet
This focus area covers the environment in terms of environmental impact and increase of resource efficiency per processed unit raw material. In terms of climate impact we realize the urgency and we are committed to reduce our emissions and meet required ambition levels based on solid groundwork. During 2020 we will identify impact, frameworks and actions that can enable us to reduce our climate impact in the most effective way. In our latest Sustainability Report you can read more about various local initiatives and efforts made to ensure continued progress related to both climate and resource efficiency.
4. Our People
This focus area is about working life at AAK: how to remain an attractive workplace for employees, and to make sure that everybody is healthy and safe. AAK’s employees are the company’s most important resource. With employees in numerous locations across the globe—in production plants, sales offices and sourcing operations—AAK is a diverse company with many different job functions. Our values and Code of Conduct are common to every employee and govern the way in which our business is conducted and how employees interact with each other and the company’s stakeholders. AAK is working towards an injury free workplace. The Lost time injury rate ended up on 0.4 in 2019 – a 30 percent reduction since last year. This is an achievement in line with our ambition, but we are still working towards an injury free workplace.
5. Our Neighbours
This focus area covers activities that AAK initiates and engages in, either local, regional, national or international, in order to play our part and act responsibly in society. Contributing to, and being part of, the community in which AAK operates is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with neighbours, politicians, and authorities. Through a commitment to community causes, AAK is also instrumental in creating a workplace with highly motivated employees who take pride in working for a company that makes a noticeable difference.
The foundation of our model is the UN Global Compact (UNGC). The UNGC defines ten universal principles within Human and Labour Rights, Environment, and Anti-corruption. The principles are derived from the Declaration of Human Rights, and range from the abolishment of child labor to the development of environmentally-friendly technology. We are proud members of the UNGC since 2003.
Sustainable Development Goals
In 2019, our progress in contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals was especially evidenced in our supply chains.
One of the biggest contributions in 2019 was related to our efforts with the Kolo Nafaso program in West Africa, which increased by 72 percent. We were able to offer training to an additional 96,615 women, providing instructions in cooperative business skills, good agricultural practices, and water usage.
The Kolo Nafaso program also continued to contribute to equal rights and to provide economic resources by opening 4,249 bank accounts, training 2,456 women in rocket stove construction and, not least, by supporting the female extension officers who play a critical role in helping the participants grow as strong female leaders.
As part of our annual review process, we, in 2019, identified eleven SDGs that represent our ability to contribute and make a substantial positive impact. Please read more about our progress in the Sustainability Report on page 76-68.