Danish-based sustainable emulsifiers manufacturer Palsgaard has released its 2016 CSR report, highlighting yet another year of continued progress towards the company’s 2020 sustainability targets. During the year, Palsgaard became the first in its industry to offer a full range of RSPO SG-certified emulsifiers. A major step was also taken towards the goal of worldwide CO2-neutral production by 2020, with 100% neutrality achieved at the company’s Mexican subsidiary.
The report has been prepared in accordance with the comprehensive principles in the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, and it comprises the company’s UN Global Compact Communication on Progress (COP).
Compared with 2015, and despite increased production volumes, total energy consumption fell 5% per kilogram of finished product, while CO2 emissions remained unchanged. In another important sustainability contribution, Palsgaard now offers 100% of its palm oil-based products as RSPO SG-certified. With this in place, food manufacturers can rely on a sustainable supply chain of palm oil to meet increasing global demand without the damaging environmental effects and poor working conditions normally associated with non-sustainable palm plantations.
Efforts to improve workplace safety during the year proved successful, with a significant reduction in work-related accidents. Water consumption increased temporarily, as did waste water, requiring the installation of additional cooling capacity for re-using technical water.
During 2016, Palsgaard continued to refine its procedures for responsible supply management, expanding the proportion of spend sourced from suppliers assessed under the company’s Responsible Sourcing Programme from 80% to 85%, as part of its strategic CSR targets.
Mexican plant achieves CO2-neutrality
A key accomplishment for the year was the achievement of 100% CO2-neutrality at Palsgaard Mexico, following the Danish production plant’s attainment of neutrality in 2015. The achievement marks a significant step towards the company’s 2020 target of a worldwide zero carbon footprint, with Palsgaard’s Dutch and Malaysian production plants next in line.
“We’re a constantly growing company,” says Palsgaard CEO, Jakob Thøisen. “And the energy-intensive nature of our industry presents challenges around energy use and other sustainability targets. Despite this, we are committed to mitigate any adverse impacts that our operations have on the environment and society, and we continue to plan and introduce new activities to achieve CO2-neutrality at all our production facilities by 2020.”
Sustainable Development Goals
The 56-page report, which conforms with GRI G4 standards, divides the company’s sustainability agenda into four main strategic areas:
- corporate governance,
- energy & environment,
- products, and
It describes the challenges faced in each area, along with actions taken in 2016, and future plans. The report also highlights Palsgaard’s noteworthy contributions towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in each area including, for example, reducing food waste, creating healthier recipes, and increasing food safety by using vegetable-based emulsifiers to replace petrochemical additives in polymers. The company’s global activities promote decent employment and prioritise the health and well-being of employees, too, prompting particular focus on employee conditions and employee benefits during the year in Mexico, Malaysia and Russia.
Further plans described in the report call for Palsgaard Mexico to become RSPO SG-certified, for activities to further decrease energy consumption, and for a change from light fuel oil to greener alternatives to be made at the Malaysian production plant. Additional attention will also be given tostrengthening responsible handling of both by-products and product waste.
Tradition of caring
The strong results achieved in 2016 add momentum to the company’s 2017 celebration activities to mark 100 years since the modern emulsifier was invented by Palsgaard’s founder, Einar Viggo Schou. He particularly valued responsibility, community and the environment, long before ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ became a widely known concept. Jakob Thøisen explains:
“Many companies emphasise CSR in their corporate strategies primarily in response to increasing customer requests. Palsgaard, however, is owned by the Schou Foundation, which has CSR as a core value. So we have a natural duty to care for our employees, our society and the environment, adjusting CSR activities as our company grows and the market changes. And we continuously evaluate our performance in this light.”