Our CSR policy
Our activities have consequences—both positive and negative—for people and the environment. In our endeavour to minimise our negative impact and maximise our positive impact, we at Hoogesteger recognise that we have a role in contributing to the following three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
SDG 8 Fair work and economic growth
Our suppliers are located all over the world, including in high-risk countries. We feel that it is our duty to ensure that our suppliers’ employees receive fair wages and work under good working conditions. Our objective is therefore to gain the best possible insight into this matter. This is part of the aforementioned objective of identifying all CSR risks and converting them into policy. To this end, we aim to have paid unannounced visits to 50% of our suppliers by the end of 2023, in addition to our regular audits and visits. We also aim to increase our influence through cooperation. We often cannot do this alone. We procure Class 2 fruit and vegetables, which actually constitute a kind of ‘bycatch’. In addition, the necessary risk spread ensures that we work with many different suppliers. As a result, our influence as Hoogesteger alone is often not sufficient to bring about a change. We have therefore set the goal of entering into discussions with at least two parties before the end of 2021 in order to increase our joint influence, or to participate in at least one working group in which this goal has been set.
Closer to home, we obviously also find it important for our own employees to feel good about themselves and to feel like they belong. In addition to our continuing focus on safety and personal development, we intend to focus on vitality and sustainable employability in the coming years. We will be paying particular attention to these aspects in production, where the work also involves night shifts and places heavy physical demands on our employees. In view of the ageing of the population and the increase in the retirement age, it is important for our ageing employees to be able to find suitable work in the near future as well. We therefore aim to ensure that, by the end of 2023, 90% of our older workers will have reached their retirement age in good health and working.
SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production
The population is growing, the amount of available raw materials is decreasing and pollution is increasing. Within this SDG, our objective is to contribute to minimising food waste, reusing waste as much as possible and minimising waste through our end users. We hope that the results of our efforts will include contributing to the target of being 100% circular by 2050, as specified in the raw-materials agreement. The following are our own objectives that we have set for 2023:
- To use our residual flows even more efficiently, with 80% being reused through human and animal consumption
- To recycle 85% of our other waste
- To minimise the use of PET per bottle by 20% (by using thinner plastic)
- To use 50% recycled plastic (rPET)
- To switch to 25% bio-based plastics or similar new solutions
- To provide information on 50% of our labels that contributes to sustainability, as with regard to the shelf life of the product and/or waste separation (depending on the customer and the country)
- To reduce our water consumption to 3.5 litres per litre of juice produced (as compared to 3.9 litres in 2017 and 4.2 litres in 2016).
In addition, we have set the goal of properly charting all CSR risks in the chain relating to responsible consumption and production within a year and including these risks as criteria in our code of conduct and audits.
SDG 13 Climate action
In addition to experiencing the effects of climate change (e.g. harvest failures due to drought or extreme rain or hail), we believe it is important to contribute to resolving what is perhaps the most important challenge at the moment: climate control. It is therefore our goal to reduce our footprint from 2017 (see annual report) by 90% in the coming five years. In order to reduce CO₂ emissions within the chain, we have set a target of increasing the load factor of our transporters to customers by 15% by 2023, in addition to resolving to work only with transporters using at least Euro 6 engines. To this end, we will start by charting the current CO₂ policies of our transporters. We also intend to chart the CO₂ emissions for the rest of the chain (i.e. the ‘Scope 3 emissions’), so that we can use them as a base for expanding and refining our reduction objectives.
Based on the objectives stated above, we at Hoogesteger have formulated the following CSR pillars on which we will focus in the coming years:
- Energy and climate
- Contributing to a circular economy
- Human rights in the chain
- Vitality & sustainable employability
In addition, we ensure that our other CSR themes will receive attention and be in order as well. .
Are there any CSR themes to which we pay less attention?
Perhaps you are wondering why you have not yet come across the term ‘biodiversity’, or why we do not produce exclusively organic juices. For the sake of completeness, we are happy to explain this below.
Because most of our raw materials come from trees, and because trees have a long lifespan, our primary focus is not on biodiversity. Responsible crop protection is obviously important for biodiversity as well. This is the focus of SDG 8: responsible consumption and production. Our objective is to know and safeguard the CSR risks in this area.
We are obviously committed to preserving biodiversity as well, as it also affects our business. To this end, we donate part of the proceeds from our ‘Roots and Good’ bottles to the ‘Bees Are life’ foundation.
Organic fruit and vegetables
Our mission to make fresh juices accessible to everyone, while maintaining optimal taste, would be difficult to achieve if we were to sell only organic juices. For the time being, organic juices are often more expensive and not particularly easy to obtain.
We obviously see the advantages of natural crop protection, however, and we therefore have organic juices in our range of products for certain periods of the year. This is not yet feasible on a continuous basis. Our primary focus is on responsible production through various certifications and our own audits, as well as by mapping and monitoring risks in an increasingly specific manner.