When our shareholder partner, Avril Group, signed the United Nations Global Compact in 2017, it brought us in line with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals aim to bring together and mobilise governments, businesses, and civil society to achieve its Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030. It is a call to action for businesses to improve people’s lives globally.
At Oleon, we focus on four SDGs we believe will have the biggest impact on our ability to deliver high performance solutions while keeping sustainability front of mind.
1. Decent work & economic growth
To improve the quality of life for our supplier communities, we support small palm oil farmers. To date we have assisted with a landscape project in Indonesia where farmers are trained on the principles of No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation. We also support the Mariposa project in Honduras, which aims to inculcate sustainable practices while Solidaridad, an initiative based in Guatemala, supports 105 smallholders to bring them in line with RSPO certification.
2. Green innovation
Our continued focus on our natural product portfolio’s performance means we are constantly looking to increase the renewability and sustainability of our molecules. We do this by optimising our current capabilities and developing new molecules and processes. Our participation in INCITE (INnovative Chemoenzymatic InTEgrated processes), a European project involving eight European partners from Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France, allows us to work on the development of solvent-free temperature-sensitive synthesis of the ester isopropyl palmitate, by making use of lipases in the cosmetics industry, which will offer great benefits to the industry.
3. Responsible consumption and production
We make use of 3 000 suppliers worldwide and it is vital to understand the environmental and social risks in our supply chain. In 2019, we launched our Supplier Monitoring Project – a collaboration between our Trading, Purchasing and CSR teams. The program focuses on three main activities which allows us a better view of risks in our supply chain and enables us to start creating awareness on the importance of sustainability by guiding our suppliers to better sustainability practices. Our suppliers today are achieving a better view on their EcoVadis scoring, giving them the opportunity to benchmark themselves to their competitors. Finally, we strive to influence them to incorporate sustainability into their corporate values and identity.
4. Climate action
We realise the importance of implementing sustainable operations at all our plants and our sites work according to the ISO 50001 standard while independent external auditors regularly check our European sites. In May 2021, Oleon and the Avril Group announced its new Corporate Energy Policy which sets out our energy objectives for 2021-2030. We have set our objectives to reduce our own GHG emissions (scope 1 & 2) by 30% by 2030 (reference year 2019) and reduce our emissions per ton of products (scope 3) by 30% by 2030 (reference year 2019).
At Oleon, one of our mantra’s is “Serving the Earth” and in keeping with our focus on and commitment to the Earth, we have introduced a new sustainability scoring tool work that works in line with the 12 principles of green chemistry.
The tool helps to further embed the eco-design of our products in the initial stages of our innovation process and considers the impact of raw materials, the energy efficiency of our production process, the impact of the product at the end of its life cycle and more.
By already looking at these elements in the pilot stages of development, we can make more sustainable choices and steer our processes further by means of detailed carbon footprints and even full life cycle analyses!