Our CSR Policy
Our activities have both positive and negative consequences for man and the environment. At the end of 2022, the CSR team updated our goals and the new CSR policy and goals have now been set for the next 3 years. In our efforts to minimise our negative and maximise our positive impacts, we see a specific role for Hoogesteger in contributing to the following five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being
Over the past few years, we have seen how important it is to take care of our employees. It is increasingly difficult to recruit suitable employees and, because of the squeeze on the labour market, it is also harder to retain them. Hoogesteger, a great place to work, is therefore included in Hoogesteger’s general objectives; this is also a logical part of our CSR Policy. In the CSR policy, we further define this element as providing ‘a welcoming working environment, with a focus on vitality and satisfaction’.
One of our goals is to ensure our employees reach retirement age feeling healthy, motivated and productive in their work. An important new instrument in this context, that we will implement in 2023, is the HR Cycle. This is a tool for holding structural progress interviews with employees, allowing us to help and encourage employees to develop further and maintain a conversation with us about how they feel. In this way, we can also take structural measurements of employee satisfaction. We have set ourselves the target of achieving a score of 8 in the employee satisfaction survey by the end of 2025.
We also plan to introduce our vitality plan in 2023. Another goal is to reduce the number of accidents both with and without absence. In 2023, we will therefore begin the implementation of the Safety Culture Ladder. We also have a goal with respect to sickness absence, of course, and aim to reduce this figure to 5% by 2025 (it was 12% in 2022). New employees will be drawn to us if we invest in employee training and offer learning/work projects so we would like to realise at least 5 learning/work projects each year.
SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth & SDG 17 Partnerships to achieve the goal
Our suppliers are located across the globe, and some are found in high-risk countries. We, therefore, feel compelled to ensure that our suppliers’ employees are paid fairly and work in decent conditions. With this in mind, International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) is another important element of our CSR Policy. Every year, we conduct an ICSR self-assessment to highlight the actions we must take to mitigate the risks inherent in the chain. Our goal is to achieve a score of at least 80% in this self-assessment by the end of 2025. This amounted to 60% in 2022. We have also set ourselves the target of making unannounced visits to 10% of our raw materials suppliers each year.
We would like to expand our influence via collaborations with other parties. As a relatively small player in the market, we often have limited influence because we buy category 2 and 3 fruit and vegetables and these are usually ‘bycatch’ for the supplier. Ensuring the necessary risk distribution also means that we work with a range of different suppliers. As a result, Hoogesteger’s impact is often too small to bring about real change. With this in mind, we aim to create a collaboration with another party to expand our collective impact or, at the very least, participate in a working group that focuses on this goal by the end of 2025.
SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production
The population is growing; the supply of available raw materials is declining; pollution is increasing. Within this SDG, our goal is to contribute towards reducing food wastage as much as possible, reusing waste wherever possible, and decreasing waste levels for our end-users. Over the last few years, a high proportion of our virgin PET bottles have been converted into recycled PET. In the coming years, we will investigate other packaging options. By doing so, we aim to support the goal, within the raw materials accord, to be 100% circular by 2050. The goals that we have set ourselves for 2025 are listed below.
- Upcycle our residual flows so that 20% is used for more valuable purposes than the current animal consumption.
- Reduce and/or upcycle 25% of our waste in 2025.
- By the end of 2025, all of our packaging will be as sustainable as possible (fully recyclable and the lowest possible use of packaging).
- Reduce our water consumption by 35% from 3.5 litres per litre of juice to 2.3 litres per litre of juice by 2025.
- Reduce waste of production raw materials by 50% per year.
SDG 13 Climate action
As well as investigating the consequences of climate change in our specific context, e.g. crop failure due to drought or extreme (hail) storms, we also believe we must contribute towards the number one challenge of our times: climate change in general. By switching to green power, the footprint of our production location is minimised. In the coming years, we want to work towards a gas-free office and production facility. We would also like to examine whether it is possible to generate 10% of our own electricity using alternative sources. Additionally, we will implement measures to reduce electricity consumption per litre of juice by 10% by 2022. In 2022, we started measuring CO₂ emissions among growers. In 2023, we will agree reduction goals with growers, with the aim of reducing CO₂ emissions by 25%. With respect to the supply of raw materials and packaging, we aim to draft a plan with suppliers to reduce CO₂ emissions from transport.
Are there other CSR topics to which we have paid less attention?
Perhaps you are wondering why the concept of ‘biodiversity’ has not yet been mentioned. Or why we don’t just make organic juices? For the sake of completeness, we will explain below.
Because our raw materials tend to grow on trees, and trees last for a long time, our primary focus is not biodiversity. Responsible crop protection, however, is important in terms of biodiversity and this is a focus area within SDG 8: responsible consumption and production, and we aim to understand and secure the CSR risks in this area.
Organic fruit and vegetables
It would be hard to achieve our mission to make fresh juices accessible to all while retaining optimum flavour if we only sold organic juices. Organic raw materials are currently more expensive and more difficult to source. Of course, we recognise the advantages of natural crop protection methods and whereas we used to only have organic juices in our range in certain periods, we now have five organic products in our range at all times.