In the most recent edition of ESM, as part of our Sustainability 2022 feature, we spoke to a number of top executives working across the global retail and consumer goods landscape about how they are seeking to set a high bar when it comes to sustainability.
Jean-Francois Pascal, Vice President Sustainability, Beiersdorf
We expect that the importance of sustainability initiatives by companies and brands for shoppers, and their influence on purchase decisions, will further increase over the next years.
However, it is important to note that our engagement is not only connected to this expected shopper behaviour but to our firm belief that we have a responsibility as a global company, and that our engagement for sustainability is simply the right thing to do.
Beiersdorf has fortunately been able to pursue its sustainability goals with unwavering commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, the challenges of climate change and the limited resources on our planet as well as the common efforts of humanity needed to cope with these challenges have not changed.
In addition, as part of our sustainability agenda, 'Care Beyond Skin', Beiersdorf initiated the largest globally-coordinated humanitarian aid program in the company’s history, in March 2020, taking quick action at the very beginning of the crisis. The company provided €50 million to particularly support people in epicentres of the pandemic and in regions with weak public health systems and infrastructures.
Our global cooperations focus on mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on girls and young women, who are among the most vulnerable in the pandemic.
We expect that the importance of sustainability initiatives of companies and brands for shoppers and their influence on purchase decisions will further increase over the next years.
However, it is important to note that our engagement is not only connected to this expected shopper behaviour but to our firm believe that we have a responsibility as a global company and that our engagement for sustainability is simply the right thing to do.
C.A.R.E.+ As A Cornerstone
Our business strategy C.A.R.E.+, which we have pursued since 2019, defines sustainability as a cornerstone of our business. We attach great importance to reconciling environmental protection, social responsibility and economic success.
This reaffirms which has always been a core element of our self-understanding and one that is firmly anchored in our business processes. The launch of our Sustainability Agenda Care Beyond Skin has further strengthened our commitment.
It has been in place since 2020 and comprises seven focus fields, based on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Climate positive future, fully circular resources, sustainable land use, regenerative water environments, inclusive society, employees along our entire value chain, inclusive society, consumer health and wellbeing.
Climate Positive Future
We want to live up to our responsibility as a manufacturing and globally-active company and are consistently aligning our actions with our vision of a ‘Climate Positive Future’. When it comes to reducing our emissions, we have a lever for this at our production sites.
Quick wins in this regard are, of course, energy efficiency measures, which we are implementing all across our supply chain network worldwide, and the purchase of green electricity, which we have been sourcing for all production and office sites worldwide since 2019.
The switch to biogas is another step that will help us to reach our goal of operating all production facilities in a climate-neutral manner by 2030. From 2022, the company will stop using fossil fuels at its Berlin plant and switch to biomethane. Our newly built factory in Leipzig will follow next.
The implementation in further plants will be done step by step over the following years, depending on the plants prerequisites and the availability of biogas that does not compete with food production or nature conservation.