Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) is continuing its efforts to achieve sustainability by connecting its finances with its environmental performance, equipment investment and working with outside experts to provide views and insights.

“We work hard to achieve our goals and to engage stakeholders across our value chains, and I am proud of the progress we have made in this work, which is essential to the long-term success of our mission to provide sustenance for millions of people worldwide,” said Ian McIntosh, chief executive officer of LDC.

LDC connected its financing model with sustainability goals, with incentives to improve environmental performance. According to LDC’s 2019 Sustainability Report, the company exceeded its year-on-year reduction goals for all four of its key performance indicators. These include CO2 emissions (down 11%), electricity and energy consumption (down 10%), water usage (down 14%) and solid waste sent to landfills (down 57%).

“In 2019, we significantly out-performed global annual reduction targets across all our environmental metrics, thanks to investments in modern equipment, efficiency savings and process improvements around the world,” McIntosh said. “This puts us back on track to meet our global goals to reduce each indicator by 5% between 2018 and 2022. As a leading industry player, it is essential for LDC to help reduce the environmental impact of our sector.”

In 2019, LDC created an environmental and human rights committee to identify, monitor and address issues as they arise.

“Our new environmental and human rights committees comprise LDC senior leaders and experts to drive forward our activities, but also invites external experts and stakeholders to provide outside views and insights,” said Guy Hogge, head of sustainability for LDC. “We believe the balance of internal and external perspectives will enable us to have a greater impact in addressing today’s global challenges. This collaborative approach is an important element of our sustainability efforts.”

Through partnerships and across multiple platforms LDC worked with suppliers and others to expand its sustainability efforts including:

  • The company worked with certification and verification bodies to encourage cotton and sugar suppliers to adopt LDC’s standards and practices
  • In rice, the company worked with the International Labour Organization as part of investigations into supplier practices in Thailand and Vietnam, following concerns about labor-related human rights issues.
  • LDC also pursued its three-streamed coffee sustainability efforts, designed to avoid supply chain exclusion of smallholder farmers without access to resources, knowledge and certification.
  • Individually incentivized Brazilian soy farmers to conserve native vegetation through preferential financing, alongside fellow Soft Commodities Forum members.

“Our commitment to promote transparency and traceability in our supply chains is at the heart of our sustainability approach,” Hogge said. “In soy, as in palm, traceability and reporting are fundamental factors to encourage more sustainable production practices, and to help protect native vegetation and high conservation value natural habitats.”

Moving forward LDC remains committed achieving its sustainability goals by setting traceability targets for soy and palm oil, increase third part supplier engagement in juice, reduce freight emissions and connects its remaining regional Revolving Credit Facilities (RCFs) with improvements in environmental performance.

“Our company purpose to create fair and sustainable value will continue to guide our work to achieve these goals — through our own initiatives, and by engaging others to find shared solutions to common challenges,” McIntosh said.