Louis Dreyfus Company makes sustainability strides in soy, sugar, rice and coffee

Louis Dreyfus Company makes sustainability strides in soy, sugar, rice and coffee

30 Jun 2020 — Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has published its 2019 Sustainability Report, highlighting significant progress in its environmental performance, reinforced governance of key issues, and positive strides for supply chain transparency. The company has exceeded its year-on-year reduction goals for all four of its key performance indicators. These include CO2 emissions (down 11 percent), electricity and energy consumption (down 10 percent), water usage (down 14 percent) and solid waste sent to landfills (down 57 percent).

“We work hard to achieve our goals and to engage stakeholders across our value chains, and I am proud of the progress we have made in this work, which is essential to the long-term success of our mission to provide sustenance for millions of people worldwide,” says Ian McIntosh, LDC’s CEO.

“In 2019, we significantly outperformed global annual reduction targets across all our environmental metrics, thanks to investments in modern equipment, efficiency savings and process improvements around the world. This puts us back on track to meet our global goals to reduce each indicator by 5 percent between 2018 and 2022. As a leading industry player, it is essential for LDC to help reduce the environmental impact of our sector,” adds McIntosh.

LDC progressed through concerted action and partnerships in several business areas. 

In sugar,  the company continued to work with certification and verification bodies to encourage suppliers to adopt their standards and practices. In rice, the company worked with the International Labour Organization as part of investigations into supplier practices in Thailand and Vietnam, following concerns about labor-related human rights issues.

Working with suppliers, customers, certification bodies and other partners, LDC also pursued its three-streamed coffee sustainability efforts, designed to avoid supply chain exclusion of smallholder farmers without access to resources, knowledge and certification. 

The company continued to support the production of millions of bags of certified and verified coffee, trained hundreds more smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods sustainably, and advanced its program to source responsibly, from farmers who adopt sustainable coffee cultivation practices, irrespective of verification.

And in soy, LDC made new strides to drive toward more sustainable production practices in Brazil – individually, by incentivizing soy farmers to conserve native vegetation through preferential financing, and collectively alongside fellow Soft Commodities Forum members. Through the latter, the company reports biannually since June 2019 on soy sourced from Brazil’s Cerrado biome, and from specific municipalities within it identified as priority areas for collective action.

“Our commitment to promote transparency and traceability in our supply chains is at the heart of our sustainability approach,” said Guy Hogge. “In soy, as in palm, traceability and reporting are fundamental factors to encourage more sustainable production practices, and to help protect native vegetation and high conservation value natural habitats.”

LDC expects to make new strides in all these areas, having set targets to trace soy and palm back to farm in Brazil and Indonesia respectively, to enlarge third party supplier engagement efforts in juice, to reduce freight emissions and to connect its remaining regional RCFs with improvements in environmental performance.

“Our company purpose to create fair and sustainable value will continue to guide our work to achieve these goals – through our initiatives, and by engaging others to find shared solutions to common challenges,” concluded Ian McIntosh.

LDC also improved its governance structure in 2019, to identify, monitor and address key issues quickly and effectively.

“Our new Environmental and Human Rights committees comprise LDC senior leaders and experts to drive forward our activities but also invites external experts and stakeholders to provide outside views and insights. We believe the balance of internal and external perspectives will enable us to have a greater impact in addressing today’s global challenges. This collaborative approach is an important element of our sustainability efforts,” says Guy Hogge, LDC’s Head of Sustainability.

Edited by Gaynor Selby

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