To us, sustainable growth is about our responsibility towards all of our key stakeholders—the local communities where we operate, our customers, our employees, our investors, and our suppliers.
In 2012, we launched our House of Sustainability; our guidance for sustainable growth and our global CSR work. The individual elements have continuously been adapted to meet our stakeholders’ needs. Watch the House of Sustainability movie.
The five pillars
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. As a supplier of ingredients for some of the world’s best-known brands, we at AAK recognize our role and our customers’ expectations and see these as key elements in the way our company strategy is executed.
2. Our Suppliers
Our Suppliers covers activities related to the sourcing of raw materials that AAK uses in its production plants. Responsible sourcing of our raw materials is the backbone of AAK’s business and a cornerstone of our strategy. The combination of the right raw materials and our Co-Development approach is key to the wide range of solutions offered. Just as it is vital for AAK to obtain the right raw materials, AAK places equal emphasis on how our raw materials are produced. We want to make a real difference to the environment and to the local communities where our raw materials are grown and harvested. For this reason we have implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct that, amongst others, applies to all AAK’s direct raw material suppliers worldwide which are continuously risk assessed for compliance with the Code.
3. Our Planet
This focus area covers AAK’s impact on the environment in terms of consumption and emissions from our production plants. It is a top priority for us to minimize our use of natural resources and emission per processed final product even though our stronger focus on speciality drives a higher degree of processing. Over the years we have been able to create a strong track record of continuous improvements within areas such as energy consumption, GHG emissions, water consumption, and waste treatment. In our latest Sustainability Report you can read about various local initiatives ensuring our continued progress.
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.
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. Which community activities we engage in is dependent on what is relevant and adds most value to the local community. 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 2002.
Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, all member states of the United Nations adopted 17 goals setting out to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. AAK has already a strong commitment to sustainability and we welcome the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As a global company we recognize that businesses have to play an important role in that process and our sustainability efforts contribute to the SDGs.