Mondelēz claims key progress with latest ESG business practice report
pic by Mike Mitchell
The CEO and chairman of Mondelēz International, Dirk Van de Put, has welcomed progress against a range of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals across its business, writes Neill Barston.
According to its latest report evaluating its performance, the business outlined key long-term goals including moving towards net zero emissions by 2050, as well as placing achieving improved standards of living for cocoa farmers as core targets for its global work.
Among additional areas the company’s CEO highlighted, wereJoining the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund to advance
infrastructure for collecting, sorting and recycling plastic waste in developing countries, as well as progressing its diversity, equality and inclusion agenda by increasing the number of people of colour within its US management structures.
As the company acknowledged in its report on the issue of child labour in West African cocoa supply chains – it stated that ending the issue “was more than we could do alone” which has led the business to a number of collaborations. This includes working closely with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the International Cocoa Initiative, adding that it supports a systemic approach to address the root causes of child labour – which is universally accepted as being the ongoing underlying poverty experienced by many farming communities in core sourcing nations of Ghana and Ivory Coast.
To date, the company remains what is believed to be the only commercial study from the confectionery and snack study that has placed an actual figure on the income gap that exists in West Africa. In 2020, its No Silver Bullets report stated there was a $10 billion income gap for farmers operating in the region – with multiple issues relating to the pandemic since this analysis placing further strain on these producing nations.
Despite such key challenges remaining for the business and wider sector to address, the company’s CEO believed there had been notable gains made on a number of fronts across the business.
Writing in his foreword to the report, Van de Put opened by paying tribute to its workforce in Ukraine, offering his ongoing support in relation to the invasion of the country this summer.
He noted that colleagues had taken a number of steps to support colleagues in the Eastern European nation, where the company had been forced to close its facilities due to the conflict, yet continue to pay employees and offered humanitarian aid, including $10 million in relief and food security funding.
Van de Put said: “I am humbled at the outpouring of generosity I see every day among our colleagues – who are opening their hearts and their homes to Ukrainian people both in the region and around the world. Trying times like these remind us why our products and our mission are so important. I’m especially proud of our employees across the globe, who remain steadfast in their commitment to delivering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.
“As we accelerate our ambition of building a sustainable snacking company, we remain focused on leading where we can make a bigger impact — like in cocoa and wheat — while driving change by helping address issues such as climate change and reducing packaging waste. Our approach to our ESG priorities remains distinctive both in focus and in execution. Since the beginning of our company, we have integrated a sustainability mindset into our long-term business growth strategy — as we continue to create value and make our business more resilient.”