At AAK, we deliver plant-based oils and fats solutions with care for the planet and the people that we reach through our business.
Drawing on a diverse range of raw material sources, AAK has a responsibility and a role to play in enabling sustainable foods to consumers. By ensuring responsible supply chains, minimizing our environmental impact and by being a knowledgeable partner on sustainability we can provide value-adding sustainable solutions to our customers and thereby consumers.
Sustainability — part of our DNA
Sustainability has been at the core of AAK for many years. It has a strong alignment to who we are and how we run our business and our company. In 2019, we initiated a strategy process to identify opportunities for future growth, and sustainability was confirmed as one of the key enablers going forward. Three-year plans are initiated in order to strengthen sustainability as an enabler with focus on our significant impact in our supply chains and prerequisites to grow in a sustainable manner. The AAK materiality analysis was also revisited during the year and new information was collected from important stakeholders regarding how we can improve and enable their sustainability ambitions. This groundwork and valuable insights combined with the Sustainable Development Goals will be our guiding stars and support our role in creating value-adding sustainable oil solutions going forward.
Ambitions and achievements during 2019
The AAK ambitions have been met in many ways during 2019. Our colleagues are making efforts to create a safe workplace, education of our employees is strengthening skills and people’s engagement show how we can act as catalysts for sustainable change in societies where we operate. These are efforts where the impact is hard to measure but we know it’s there and that it’s significant. Furthermore, I would like to emphasize some specific ambitions and activities that demonstrate important steps not only for AAK but also for our customers, our suppliers and our planet.
A leading and knowledgeable partner on sustainability
Together with an increasing concern about health and the environment, AAK has seen the demand for plant-based foods grow over the last few years. During 2019, we launched AkoPlanet™, a portfolio with solutions for plant-based foods that are good for both people and the environment. This important step will lift our capabilities to respond to a fast-moving market segment not only with our solutions but also with our knowledge and experience with sustainable value-adding solutions and impactful work carried out in our supply chains.
Sustainability progress for all key raw materials
We have for many years been working on achieving sustainable development in our supply chains. We see this experience as a great strength of the company, demonstrating our ability to upscale initiatives that show significant positive impact. A great example of this is our direct shea sourcing program Kolo Nafaso in West Africa. During 2019, we have grown this initiative tremendously and today more than 230,000 women shea collectors are engaged in the program with access to pre-financing, training and logistical support. A journey that has given us valuable experience to further apply and build on.
Minimizing our environmental impact
Our ambition to minimize our environmental impact is shown in our ever-expanding efforts to prevent the negative effect of our production sites. We have seen improvements for three significant resource efficiency indicators during 2019. The total energy consumption per processed unit decreased by 7 percent, and the water consumption per unit processed material decreased by 2.3 percent compared to 2018. In addition, we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions per processed unit raw material by 4.4 percent. Work is now ongoing to identify further improvements to reduce our environmental impact.
The Call to Action
2019 close out a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities. As I write this, the ongoing corona pandemic is also profoundly impacting people’s health, societies, and business operations across the world. The uncertainty in our industry has increased, especially in the short term. However, in a more long-term perspective we remain prudently optimistic about the future.
AAK realizes the urgency related to climate change and we are committed to reduce our emissions and meet required ambition levels based on solid groundwork. During 2020 we will identify climate risk, frameworks and actions that can enable us to reduce our climate impact in the most effective way. Climate change impact assessments have been initiated at all production sites and during 2020 we will also initiate climate change impact assessments in our supply chain to identify how to lift the shared responsibility together with relevant stakeholders. This will provide valuable input for our actions both in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases and to how we can build the resilience of the company when facing climate changes. It is not only our response to fight climate change but an investment that will build long-term value for AAK.
The health and well-being of our planet and our people is the responsibility of all of us and we are committed to do our part.
President and CEO