MEDIA blogs from previous years


MEDIA blogs from previous years


23 April 2018

Redefining sustainability in the sugar industry: our 2030 ambition

Redefining sustainability in the sugar industry: our 2030 ambition

A blog by our CEO, Dr Mark Carr

As one of the world’s largest sugar producers, our sense of responsibility to continuously improve the socio-economic and environmental impacts of our operations is always at the forefront of our minds. As such, we remain committed to creating long-term value across our end-to-end supply chain and in the communities we work in.

As Group Chief Executive, I am proud of the work we have achieved to date within our sustainability framework of Global Mind, Local Champions since its launch in 2016. Alongside our group of businesses, we have continued to deliver across our three global priorities of building rural economies, thriving and healthy communities and consuming resources responsibly.

In celebration of this journey, I am pleased to share our first annual review of our sustainability framework; ‘Our commitment to growing a sustainable future’. This review demonstrates how we are responding to emerging demands, reducing our environmental footprint and delivering value across our supply chain from our growers to our customers and the communities we work in. In it you will also find case studies demonstrating how each of our businesses delivers our framework within their local markets, highlighting our progress and achievements to the year ending 2017.

Global aspirations

Building on this success, and to be responsive to the changing world around us, we must continue to be forward-thinking and ambitious in what we want to achieve over the coming years. In taking the next step on our sustainability journey, we are launching Group-wide commitments into our Global Mind, Local Champions framework.

These 2030 aspirations are bold in their approach, far-reaching and challenging but for a business such as ours we must continue to strive to be better than we were yesterday. These industry-leading goals sit within our three sustainability pillars; economic, social and environmental; and we and our businesses aim to collectively achieve these across the supply chain by 2030. They are:

  1. Build vibrant, diverse value chains that increase the prosperity of our communities
  2. Build thriving and healthy communities. To do this, we are committed to providing 25 million people worldwide with science-based information on sugar, the diet and health
  3. Reduce our end-to-end supply chain water and CO2 footprints by 30% and ensure all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable

Our three aspirations are broad in their approach, reflecting the diverse local markets of each of our businesses. They build on work currently underway and will drive us to achieve even more. Our sugar and health aspiration also extends what we have already achieved as part of our Making Sense of Sugar campaign.

We have designed our aspirations to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their objectives for 2030. In doing so, we will look for opportunities to continue to develop our highly-efficient[1] processes for ways in which innovation can create new value streams for our businesses, as well as the relationships we build with those around us. There are many challenges we will have to tackle to realise our ambition and we know we can’t do this alone. We are committed to working with our industry peers and stakeholders to achieve these aspirations, as we build on our journey over the next decade.

Over the coming months and years, we will continue to build our story against our Global Mind, Local Champions framework and our 2030 aspirations; demonstrating the work we are undertaking and how it contributes to our wider ambition. We will also use our submissions as part of the wider annual Associated British Foods (ABF) plc Corporate Responsibility Report and our own digital and social channels to share our progress and achievements.

I feel privileged to be leading AB Sugar through this exciting period as we look to make the next step on our journey to become the world’s leading sustainable sugar business; and we look forward to sharing our progress with you soon.

[1] LMC 2017 Report: Sugar & HFS Production Costs Global Benchmarking

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