Our current commitment for sustainability is already an integral part of our core business. This is a positive development. We will systematically expand this integration in our core business. To do so, the following steps are necessary:
Analyzing the sustainability status quo:
Currently we are implementing a reporting system in all areas that are important for sustainability, and creating reporting capability where it is still lacking. This comprehensive database is a requisite for employing sustainability as an efficient control factor.
Up until now, key figures have primarily been collected as part of quality management. To improve our body of data and reporting capability, we are currently establishing an internal management system which takes ecological as well as social factors into account and extends our existing quality management system. This requires considerable resources and makes it necessary to institutionalize this field. Consequently, in 2011, we created an additional position in the regulatory affairs department, which is mainly in charge of sustainability and reporting duties.
Setting ambitious internal and external targets:
After assessing the internal and external status quo and determining with greater precision the sustainability performance in the various spheres of activity, we will set ourselves specific goals towards boosting this performance. These goals will be of a qualitative as well as quantitative nature, but they will always be ambitious. Ultimately existing strengths are to be further developed and weak points reduced or balanced out.
We are currently working on defining an ecological and social minimum standard for suppliers. In the spirit of partnership and respectful cooperation, it is our special concern to determine individual targets jointly as much as possible. This offers us the opportunity to develop feasible, lasting and culturally suitable improvements of our sustainability performance in learning partnerships together with our suppliers, thus ensuring fair living conditions for the local people.
With “lighthouses”, we mean innovative pilot initiatives in our core business in which we demonstrate exceptional commitment and which embody our unique qualities and our values in a special way. They are also meant to help us gain specific insights that help us to further develop our business activities and augment our wealth of experience. At the same time, we thus want to turn our commitment for our customers and employees into something that can be experienced by customers and employees. We want to excite them, convey relevant knowledge to them and uncover new potentials.
Intensifying communication and cooperative arrangements:
Despite our Hanseatic traits of respectability and reservedness, we realize that it makes sense not only to do good but also to talk about it once in a while – here, for instance. We want to inform others and build trust on the basis of facts.
Sustainability requires cooperative arrangements. For this reason, we collaborate with various external organizations. Cooperation does not mean that we support all the objectives of these organizations. Rather, it means that these organizations are important to us with respect to achieving sustainability.
SEDEX: Dr. Straetmans became a member in February 2013.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO): Dr. Straetmans is striving for a critical and constructive membership in order to participate in the debate about palm oil and gather information about pertinent activities.
SGS is our external partner who regularly performs quality audits among our ten major suppliers. During the next audit cycle, SGS will examine some of the sustainability criteria defined by Dr. Straetmans.