ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) on June 17 published its 2018 Sustainability Report, highlighting the breadth and depth of actions to embed sustainable practices across its activities and engage with partners to do the same.
“I am pleased with the progress we are making and the outcomes we are achieving,” commented Ian McIntosh, LDC’s Group CEO. “By integrating our long-standing sustainability efforts with the company’s purpose of fair and sustainable value creation, we continue to break new ground and build positive momentum across the agricultural supply chain”
The company first published its Soy Sustainability Policy in June 2018. It was shared with its major suppliers and is being built into all supplier contracts. The policy consolidates LDC’s existing actions and commitments, including as one of the founding signatories of the 2006 Soy Moratorium in Brazil. The initiative was described by The Nature Conservancy as “the first move by a major trader toward a zero-conversion approach.”
LDC said it also innovated in a very different area, reporting the full carbon profile of its freight activities for the first time. The move is part of its efforts to set a data-driven benchmark, as it seeks to charter a more energy-efficient fleet and to optimize vessel operations to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Data showed a 5% year-on-year decrease in overall emissions from its freight activities.
At the same time, LDC said it fell short of its ambitious environmental targets, while still improving its environmental performance at a number of assets. This included energy and electricity consumption reductions in Brazil, solar power investments in Brazil and Kenya, recycling solid waste in Indonesia and improved wastewater management in the United States. LDC remains on track to meet its 2022 targets, including new capital expenditure.
As world coffee prices continued to fall, LDC redoubled its efforts to support the largely smallholder farmer community that produces coffee beans and stem the exodus of farmers from coffee to other more lucrative activities. Working with partners, LDC agronomists trained thousands more smallholder coffee farmers during the year across Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, and Vietnam, helping to improve their agricultural techniques and facilitate access to market. The training has increased the productivity, incomes and sustainable practices of participants and, in some cases, incited farmers to return to coffee.
“We are convinced that only by working together to find shared solutions to common global issues can we create a future that is sustainable and fair for all. Partnership among the myriad actors — governments, civil society, intermediaries, transporters, farmers, etc. — is the only path forward,” McIntosh said.
Looking ahead, LDC will break new ground again in 2019 by reinforcing its sustainability governance processes with the creation of two oversight committees, one on the environment and the other on human rights. These will include members of LDC’s Senior Leadership Team and its Sustainability function, as well as acknowledged external experts to guide and challenge the company.