The time has come for the international food and beverage industry to think hard about what we want the future to taste like. This naturally also applies to Paulig, the company in which I’ve been heading as the CEO for a number of years now. Celebrating 145 years in business this year puts us into a special class as one of oldest food and beverage companies in the Nordics.
We must make sure that the next 145+ years take place on a planet that people and businesses can still thrive on. For a family-owned business like ours, there is no other way to look at the matter. I believe that Paulig can have a significant role to play in turning global climate and health solutions a reality, and this includes charting a future path so we can remodel how we grow, produce, and consume food.
Transformation starts with ambitious targets and integrated sustainability
To pull our weight in creating a lasting future for food, and contributing to UN Sustainable Development goals, we have set ourselves very ambitious sustainability targets. Our goal is that by 2030:
- 70% of our net sales will come from products and services which enhance the health and wellbeing of people and the planet
- we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations by 80% and from our value chain by 50% from a 2018 baseline
- 100% our packages will be recyclable and made from renewable or recycled materials
- we will reduce food waste in our value chain by 50%
- 100% of our raw materials from high-risk areas will come from verified sustainable sources
These sustainability targets, and actions to reach them, have been integrated into our business strategy because we believe that sustainability and business growth must go hand in hand. That is increasingly what customers, consumers and other stakeholders expect from us, and what the planet requires us to do.
Only through collaboration can we drive systemic change
It is a fact that we can’t achieve any of our set targets alone. Systemic changes are needed to fix the prevalent sustainability issues in our industry. To make them possible, we need innovations and new business models, as well as changes in how people live and consume. We need to connect and modify our own good ideas with those of others in the food value chain. To promote this thinking actively, at Paulig we are constantly looking for new collaborations with all our partners, at every step and level of our value chain.
As a food and beverage company, we exist in the middle of the food value chain, which gives us a prime position to influence both directions from our position inside the industry. By working together with our suppliers and partners we can address and improve things at the root of where our raw materials come from. At the other end of the value chain, we inspire consumers to make more sustainable choices at the supermarket. This position is both a responsibility and an opportunity: not to be taken too lightly or narrow-mindedly.
Of the 80 countries where our value chain currently extends to, the majority are in the developing world. Paulig can thus be a small but significant force in transforming the food system for the better and I’m extremely proud of the sustainability work that we continue to do in many countries, together with all our valued partners. If we succeed in helping children to pursue education, or farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and earn a fair living, we can help nurture and positively impact entire societies.
Our role as an international food and beverage company is not only to offer new flavours that taste good, but also to make sure that our products leave a positive aftertaste for future generations. Therefore, we wish to invite everybody along to together define and design what the future should taste like.