Ritter Sport improves its environmental performance with CO2 neutral status
The German-founded Ritter Sport chocolate brand has confirmed a major sustainability milestone in receiving verification for becoming climate-neutral in its group operations, writes Neill Barston.
As the business explained to Confectionery Production, its environmental performance has been examined externally by testing organisation, TÜV Nord Cert, in accordance with established greenhouse gas protocols.
The move follows its core goals including being among pioneers of 100% sustainable sourcing with its cocoa supply, which it achieved three years ago, with the business now expanding its presence in a number of markets including the UK.
As the company noted, while many firms seeking to be climate neutral, purchase external climate protection certificates, Ritter has from its outset sought to operate sustainably.
It achieves this through operating its own cocoa plantation in Nicuaguara, El Cacao (below), which is considered of the largest in the world, around half of the 2,500-hectare site is uncultivated forest left so that nature and wildlife can thrive.
The rest of the site is home to over 1.7 million cocoa trees, and it has been recognised as a gold standard climate protection project.
Ben Daniels, MD Ritter Sport UK & Ireland says of the achievement: “We are extremely proud that Ritter Sport is now a CO2-neutral company, another huge milestone in our brand’s sustainability journey. Our CO2-neutral status is the result of decades-long passion for sustainability and the environment, from the Ritter family owners, throughout every level of our organisation, permeating every function. That passion is at the very heart of our culture.
“We know our customers and consumers alike, actively seek out brands and businesses who have sustainability excellence and transparency in their value chains, and who endeavour to do their part on key societal issues such as climate change. It’s often not the cheapest or quickest way of operating a business, but it is the right way, and we are all about doing the right things to create really good chocolate.”
Ritter Sport started its journey to climate neutrality almost 20 years ago with the aim to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated at the company’s sites in Germany, as well as the other emissions over which the company has a direct influence.
For example, since 2002 Ritter Sport has sourced the energy for its production sites solely from renewable resources. The company has even built its own power and heating plant on site which now covers almost 70 per cent of its heat requirements and 40 per cent of the electricity requirements at its site in Waldenbuch, Germany.
Where Ritter Sport is not currently able to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions or they’re unavoidable, it has provided compensatory measures for the remaining emissions.
These compensation measures include purchasing climate-protection certificates; these are gold standard certificates, the most stringent standard which includes investment in a wind farm and working with plant-for-the-planet to plant at least two trees for every tonne of CO2 needing to be compensated.