“Sustainability is part of Orkla’s business strategy, and it is becoming a key to success for companies,” says Helene Thörnlund, responsible for sustainable sourcing at Orkla Foods. Regulation is becoming tighter, and consumers and financiers alike are expecting more and more from companies regarding sustainability.
“Our most important sustainability goals are related to reducing climate emissions,” Thörnlund says. Orkla aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the value chain by 30 percent by 2025.
“The agricultural producers who supply us with raw materials have an important role to play in achieving the targets as over 90 percent of our emissions come from our upstream value chain. Dairy is a key area emission reduction. Milk production is a major source of emissions in our value chain, and it is an area where reductions can be made,” Thörnlund says.
Ongoing cooperation with suppliers is key. Suppliers’ sustainability activities are reviewed together, looking for ways to accelerate emission reductions.
“We want to help producers drive change in their operations. Collaboration between all players in the value chain is crucial. As a product manufacturer, our role is to test and implement new low-emission raw materials in our products. We also encourage emission reductions by showing there is a market demand and emphasising the added value of sustainability to us as customers.”
Biodiversity is becoming increasingly important
Animal welfare is one of Orkla’s focus areas for sustainable sourcing. The company has developed an animal welfare policy that specifies minimum requirements for the conditions of farm animals. The aim is to comply with this policy in the sourcing all animal products by 2025.
“We prefer Nordic milk and meat producers, as animal welfare legislation is at a good level here,” Thörnlund says.
In the coming years, biodiversity will receive increasing attention. Tools and guidelines for measuring biodiversity are being developed, with regenerative agriculture also on the agenda.
“We need and value farmers. Our success depends on them,” Thörnlund concludes.