Everything we eat and drink has an ecological impact. How our food is cultivated, sourced and produced affects our soils, our air, our natural habitats and the climate. The current food system challenges the limits of our planet.
Vandemoortele is aware of its ecological responsibility as a food company. We want to do business in a way that allows us to sustain our activities for years to come. That’s why we help tackle the big ecological challenges of today and tomorrow.
We make our contribution by improving the way we source our ingredients, by striving to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, by banning food waste and through a focus on circular packaging, in order to minimise the use of single plastics.
Our ingredients are the cornerstones of our tasty and qualitative products. But taste, quality and sustainability go hand in hand for Vandemoortele. We feel responsible for what happens in our supply chain and want to deliver tasty food that benefits our consumers and the planet, respects local farmers and does not put animal welfare at risk.
That is why we commit to sourcing our commodities as sustainably as possible. We make conscious decisions on how we source our basic ingredients like palm oil, soy, eggs and wheat.
Zero carbon emissions
Greenhouse gases have far-ranging environmental and health effects. They cause climate change by trapping heat, and they contribute to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution. With these adverse effects in mind, we strive to evolve away from fossil fuels to ramp down our carbon emissions.
In 2020, we calculated the carbon footprint of the entire Vandemoortele company for the first time. Our company-wide CO2-eq emissions amount to approximately 2 million tons per year. Roughly 4% comes directly from our production plants and offices, mainly from the use of electricity, heating and company-owned vehicles. The lion’s share, around 96%, is related to goods transport and the raw materials that we purchase.
We commit to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by lowering our energy intensity, using less natural gas, introducing best-in-class ammonia-cooling technology and improving our manufacturing processes. Since 2020, all the electricity we use in our European plants and offices originates from renewable sources with a Guarantee of Origin. To reduce our carbon emissions from transportation, we improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. We use a wide variety of systems and technologies, from new engine technologies to trainings in fuel-efficient driving and efficient loading techniques. We are also exploring the potential of multimodal transportation.
Zero food waste
Roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption worldwide is wasted. There are various reasons for this: bad weather conditions, processing problems, poor production planning, confusion about expiration dates … As a result, farmers and food producers need to supply even more food to meet the demand. Food waste is responsible for 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and generates a huge economic, environmental and social cost.
By optimising our operational efficiency and valorising our remaining waste, we try to waste as little food as possible. We are also raising awareness within our company: all our associates need to realise how important food waste reduction is. By 2025, we aim to reduce our food waste to zero.
Vandemoortele packages its products to keep them fresh and safe. In recent years, however, packaging and plastic pollution have become an important issue of societal concern. We strive for an optimal balance between preservation – to avoid food waste and guarantee the quality of our products – and sustainable packaging. Our designers aim to minimise weight and wasted space without jeopardising the food safety of our products.
Out of concern for the climate and the preservation of our natural resources, we advocate the circular economy. We contribute to various research programmes and projects that make packaging more circular. Our aims and commitments for 2025 include the use of only 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packages and an increase in the amount of recycled content in the PET materials we use. We also work with our suppliers to minimise the packaging of our ingredients, for example by using bulk deliveries instead of individual bags.