Article appeared in issue 6, 2021

Movingtarget

 

Kerry accelerates sustainability targets in line with Paris Agreement

 

Earlier this month, leading taste and nutrition company, Kerry Group, announced details of its accelerated sustainability targets to align with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increases by 1.5°C. The company has increased its targets for Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions reduction from 33% to 55% by 2030. 

This ambitious goal strengthens Kerry’s Beyond the Horizon sustainability strategy and commitments, including a target to halve its food waste and reach over two billion people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030. The company has also revised its social sustainability targets with the aim of achieving the highest levels of inclusion, belonging and engagement with equal gender representation at senior management by 2030.

The revised targets will require the introduction and acceleration of several initiatives across the organisation including:

 

  • Moving to 100% renewable electricity within 12 months. 

  • Implementing energy efficiency programmes reducing on-site fuel consumption.

  • By 2030, emission intensity will be reduced by 30% across the supply chain. 

  • 100% of priority raw materials will be responsibly sourced by 2030. The company’s packaging commitments will ensure that by 2025, 100% of all plastic used will be reusable, recyclable or compostable and that virgin plastic use will be reduced by 25%.

 

Kerry’s increased commitments are in line with the findings of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which reinforced the urgency of achieving emissions reductions in line with limiting global average temperature increase to 1.5°C before 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Commenting on the announcement, Edmond Scanlon, chief executive officer of Kerry, said: “Kerry is committed to not only working to reduce its impact on the environment but also to collaborating with its suppliers and food and beverage companies globally to help support them achieve their sustainability targets. Through the creation of technology solutions, the expertise of our people and innovative ways of creating tasty and nutritious food and beverage products, we are working with our customers to help them move along the sustainable nutrition spectrum so they too can reduce their carbon emissions, food waste or water usage. The range and complexity of challenges our industry is facing right now is unprecedented with every product requiring its own specific Kerry solution.” 

CASE STUDY:

Success is Sweet

When local legislation changed to allow for the use of hybrid sweeteners, a beverage customer engaged with Kerry to enable them to significantly reduce added sugar in their soda while maintaining the same taste profile. Kerry partnered on the creation of a new beverage formulation, which used TasteSense, a taste modulator. The selected recipe reduced added sugars by over 40% while delivering the same taste and mouthfeel as the original product. This label change appealed to consumers, who want beverages with reduced added sugars. Meanwhile the new formulation actually improved sustainability and production cost. These changes came from the significant reduction in sugar usage, which reduced expenditures on raw materials and transportation as well as the carbon footprint of the product. The customer gained market share by launching a healthier version of its proven product while also reducing carbon footprint and cost. According to Julie Gattaz, Kerry strategic marketing director: “The significant reduction in sugar is a big win in terms of nourishing life – being able to deliver a soda with the same great taste and 40% less added sugar is great for consumers. And the customer´s RD&A team says the new product seems even fresher than the former one.”

CASE STUDY:
Brand boosting

A start-up in the plant-based space wanted to deliver a high-quality and clean label plant-based poultry product for the retail channel. Armed with a great concept but lacking some of the necessary resources and expertise, the customer partnered with Kerry to create a poultry alternative that delivered on taste, nutrition and functionality.

Kerry scientists and chefs collaborated to create a high-quality poultry alternative using Radicle by Kerry, a portfolio of plant-based ingredients and solutions, to pioneer a plant-based product that delivered optimal taste and texture and helped the brand create a name for itself in the poultry alternative space. Early rate-of-sale at the store level has been so encouraging the customer is expanding distribution. Nicky Dear, Kerry business technical development director, plant protein, commented: “This launch is another great example of how Radicle by Kerry can help our customers win in plant-based meat alternatives. We are now embarking on a co-creation project with this customer to develop a new range of taste solutions led by our RD&A team, using a chef-to-chef approach.”