Our main purpose at AAK is to create value-adding vegetable oil solutions together with and for our customers. To succeed with this purpose we use our company program AAKtion to guide us. AAKtion is built upon our model for responsible growth. We define responsible growth as acting responsibly towards all of our stakeholders – investors, global and local customers, suppliers, employees, and the local communities in which we operate.
All of our CSR policies and codes are based on the UN Global Compact (UNGC) of which we have been a member since 2002. To drive CSR progress, we focus our efforts in five areas: Marketplace, Supply chain, Environment, Workplace and Community. We set and achieve objectives continuously within all of these areas based on market analyses, our stakeholders’ objectives and our own ambitions and priorities.
Corporate social responsibility plays a more significant role today than ever before and we see an increased focus on business practices. Some of the recent sustainability trends that have gained a lot of attention include responsible and transparent supply chains, reductions of GHG emissions, and labour rights – hugely important challenges that are all addressed in this report.
Food safety is a top concern for our customers and their stakeholders, which is consistent with our own priorities. AAK’s production sites are food safety audited and certified in accordance with one or more internationally recognized food safety standards.
Ethical supply is another key priority for our customers as well as ourselves. We share our ethical information and ethical audit reports through the Sedex platform.
Responsible sourcing of palm oil
There is a very strong request from our customers that the sourcing of raw materials is done responsibly, particularly the palm oil. We continue to increase our focus on social and 2 environmental challenges in the supply chain. Our Supplier Code of Conduct addresses important areas such as labour and human rights, environment, and corruption, and is today implemented with all of our direct raw material suppliers.
AAK continues to support and be fully engaged in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO requirements have by some been criticized for not effectively addressing deforestation itself and the GHG emissions caused by deforestation and plantation on peatlands. AAK’s own sustainable palm oil policy anyhow outlines our commitments on sustainable palm in general and specifically requirements for no deforestation and no development on peatlands. We are very satisfied with the strong progress on the implementation of our policy, and especially on our traceability to mill, our supplier risk assessment process, and our commitment to help to transform the supply chain.
Responsible sourcing of shea kernels
Our persistent work in West Africa towards a more sustainable and efficient supply chain benefits both AAK and the hundreds of thousands of women collecting shea kernels. Our Kolo Nafaso program, which started out as a project in 2009, focuses on support, interest-free micro credits, training and trading directly with those women, and the program continues to progress. During the season 2015/16, more than 90,000 women joined, exceeding our expectations by more than 20,000 women. We will continue to develop this very successful program and enroll more women in the upcoming years.
Despite shifting our focus to more specialized and advanced products that in general require significantly more resources per produced unit, our overall resource efficiency has im-proved markedly for a number of years now. 2015 was no exception.
Energy consumption, calculated per MT produced, decreased by 5.8 percent while water consumption was 3 down by 4.0 percent. Furthermore, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel per MT decreased by 4.8 percent and waste sent to landfill only represented 1.3 percent of total waste disposals, leaving 98.7 percent disposed for reuse, recycling or recovery, exceeding our 2015 global objective. All these very impressive achievements were delivered by a very dedicated and highly responsible global operations organization.
A safe and educational working environment
At our production sites, Lost Time Injury Rate very unfortunately showed a slight increase in 2015 after a significant decline in 2014, as did Lost Day Rate – a measurement of the severity of incidents. This is being addressed with further initiatives from our Global Safety Team that relentlessly is striving to make AAK a zero injuries workplace. Despite these slight increases it is very encouraging to see that more than half of our production sites did not have any Lost Time Injuries at all.
At our sourcing sites in West Africa, where conditions and challenges are very different, both Lost Time Injury Rate and Lost Day Rate decreased significantly. This is, amongst other initiatives, the result of a widespread safety training aiming to change the culture into a “safety first” mindset.
Educational efforts are not only being made within the safety area. To internally promote awareness and knowledge of corruption, which remains a common risk throughout the world for all companies, we have rolled out two e-learning modules addressing anticorruption topics. The modules are mandatory for employees at increased risk of encountering corruption. By the end of 2015 both modules had been passed by all target group members.
Being a good neighbor
Contributing to, and engaging in, the different communities in which AAK operates is essential to us. We do so primarily by creating jobs, paying taxes and doing business with local enterprises. But we also strive to be a good corporate citizen by taking issues such as health and safety, diversity, labour standards, and our environmental impact seriously.
At the same time, we realize that there are many other different ways to engage actively, and I am very pleased to see our employees contribute to their local communities. The initiatives presented in this report are only a few of those conducted by AAK employees.
Responsibility going forward
We are very proud to share with you, in our Sustainability Report, the significant progress we continue to make across all of our five focus areas. There are still many challenges ahead of us, continuing to work towards full sustainability in the entire palm oil industry probably being the most important one.
Going forward, we will continue to grow our business in a responsible manner, not only by applying our model for responsible growth, but also by developing it as we acquire new knowledge and as environmental and social priorities change.
Arne Frank CEO and President