Greenyard Outlines Transition to Healthier, More Sustainable Supply

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Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium-headquartered Greenyard’s vision and commitment for a fully integrated sustainability strategy published on November 5. This third edition of the company’s Sustainability Report puts its purpose and ambitions firmly in the spotlight, and outlines planning for its forward trajectory through a set of resolute commitments in four areas: climate action, water stewardship, responsible sourcing and achieving zero waste.

Promote Healthy and Sustainable Diets

As a major provider of frozen and non-frozen fruit and vegetables, Greenyard is intent on continuing to play an important role in the transition to a healthier and more sustainable future, as this food category has a lower environmental impact than most others. Nevertheless, there are still many opportunities for the sector to reduce its footprint. New technologies allow the company to make better use of natural resources such as agricultural land, water and energy. Bringing production closer to consumption reduces the need for transportation and helps lessen waste.

Focus on Climate, Water and Packaging

Greenyard, which employs approximately 8,500 people in 24 countries and rings up about €4 billion in sales annually, undertook a group-wide exercise to understand the factors driving Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions in its own operations as well as Scope 3 emissions in the value chain. The company is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the end of 2025 compared to 2019. In addition, it is taking part in the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), committing to carbon reduction targets in line with keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5°C both in its own operations and the supply chain.

In addition to investing in water use reduction in its own operations, the company is committed to mapping the water risk for its entire grower base by 2025. It is also redoubling efforts to achieve the optimal balance between sustainable packaging and longer shelf-life. All of its consumer packaging will be recyclable by 2025.

Stimulate Sustainable Trade

Safeguarding social standards at every point along the value chain is also vital. Greenyard explicitly aims to conduct business only with suppliers who demonstrate they comply with international and national labour laws, particularly in risk origins. By 2025, the company’s aim is that 100% of its grower base in risk areas are social compliance certified.

Increasing transparency over the impact of operations and the value chain is important. In 2020, Greenyard began disclosing environmental impact information through the CDP (formerly known as Climate Disclosure Project), a worldwide reference in tracking climate action be externally verified by 2022.

As food chains become increasingly lengthy and complex, the company believes that close collaboration with all its stakeholders – from fork to field – is critical to achieving its ambitious sustainability commitments. Greenyard leverages long-term integrated relationships with retailers and growers to realize improvements along the supply chain – from better agricultural practices to food waste prevention. Through alliances with industry bodies, NGOs and regulating authorities, Greenyard has its sights set firmly on more sustainable food chains worldwide.

“The world is waking up to the fact that we need to change the way we produce and consume food. Stimulating greater fruit and vegetable consumption is a key element in the transition towards healthier and more sustainable eating habits. We want to make fruit and vegetables more accessible, more convenient and more affordable, so everyone can enjoy their many benefits,” said Marc Zwaaneveld, the company’s co-chief executive officer.

Fellow CEO Hein Deprez added: “We realize this is not a path we can take alone. Collaborating closely with our stakeholders has been a major part of our DNA ever since our inception. Over the years, we’ve built strong partnerships with growers and retailers allowing us to achieve sustainability improvements along our entire value chain, while developing a product portfolio to appeal to today’s customers and inspire healthy lifestyles.”