“As an international food and beverage company, we are dependent on nature. Without biodiversity, there are no ingredients to create delicious flavors from in the future. In our view, biodiversity loss and climate change need to be tackled hand in hand. By setting concrete, science-based targets for nature actions as part of our sustainability ambitions, we will embed biodiversity into our current and future climate initiatives,” says Kaisa Lipponen, SVP Communications and Sustainability at Paulig.
Food production and the cultivation of raw materials consume land, nutrients, and water resources. It contributes to eutrophication and soil acidification and impacts biodiversity loss. Paulig wants to be part of the solution and is constantly seeking new, innovative ways to reduce and prevent biodiversity loss and reverse negative biodiversity impacts. The work towards setting science-based targets for nature has started.
“To drive sustainable solutions, we need to understand the impact our product categories and raw materials in our value chain generate. We know that coffee, wheat and corn value chains have the biggest impact on both the climate and biodiversity. This information will help us focus our actions on the right things and create a framework for different initiatives,” Lipponen explains.
Paulig has previously participated in a pilot group of companies testing the new guidance from the Science Based Targets Network for setting science-based targets for nature. The pilot was organised by corporate responsibility network Finnish Business and Society (FIBS) and Finland’s future-focused think tank Sitra.
Many initiatives on the way
Paulig is already collaborating with its partners and suppliers to improve biodiversity by supporting sustainable cultivation methods, regenerative farming and circular economy.
- Together with Swedish supplier Lantmännen and its Climate & Nature programme, flower zones are being planted for insects and pollinators and skylark plots left for birds to nest in as part of more sustainable wheat farming.
- In coffee origin countries Brazil and Nicaragua, Paulig has started climate projects to encourage the implementation of climate-smart farming practices. Projects focus on nutrient management and optimisation and the deployment of regenerative agricultural practices such as the use of cover crops, wastewater treatment, and biochar practices.
- Together with Finnish trading sector operator Kesko, Paulig planted 2,000 shade trees in Nicaragua, alongside of 84,000 new coffee trees. Shade trees support biodiversity, serve as carbon sinks, improve soil quality, and curb erosion and water evaporation from plantations.
- Paulig also focuses on reducing climate impact and protecting biodiversity by advancing sustainable sourcing practices and sourcing third party verified raw materials. Many of the raw materials Paulig uses are also certified by Organic, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance.
- Through its Deforestation Policy, Paulig aims to eliminate commodity-related deforestation from its supply chains in collaboration with its suppliers. The company is committed to only engage in deforestation-free supply chains.
Further business integration of sustainability continues
Since launching its Sustainability Approach in 2020, Paulig has made significant progress towards its 2030 ambitions. Paulig has, for example, reduced the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 18.5% from the 2018 baseline, and seven of our eleven factories have received the CarbonNeutral® building certification. Furthermore, Paulig has started climate projects in its coffee and wheat value chains to reduce GHG emissions. In the coming years, Paulig will continue driving further sustainability business integration and set new principles to ensure that the company meets its ambitious long-term goals.
In the Fair and inclusive way of working focus area, the company adds striving for transparency and living income in its key value chains as a target, as well as excelling in personnel inclusion. Earlier in June 2023 Paulig launched its new global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) policy.
In the Health and wellbeing of people and the planet focus area, Paulig will build a planet framework, set category level targets for nutrition and continue to inspire sustainable consumption through its consumer brands.
The company will also update its climate targets based on the new SBTi Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) guidance.