IFFCO, the leading FMCG multinational headquartered in the UAE, has allocated AED 77 million to sustainability initiatives over two years, with ten programmes comprising 156 projects in the pipeline. The company has identified six crucial areas in which it aims to make tangible efforts to boost its environmental performance – climate change, energy management, water management, forests, circular economy, and biodiversity.
To contribute to the global fight against climate change, IFFCO has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its own operations and energy consumption by 17% by 2025, in comparison to its 2021 figures. The company has analysed its corporate footprint, determining hotspots and key measures to be taken. It will announce detailed targets for 2030 at COP28 (the 28th UN Climate Change Conference), scheduled in Dubai.
“In line with our vision to become the preferred provider of sustainable value-added products and services for everyone, everywhere and every day, we have adopted a holistic approach to sustainability. This means considering the impacts and opportunities at every stage of the value chain – from raw material sourcing to product disposal – and continuously improving our practices to reduce business impact on the environment, optimise the use of natural resources and enhance quality of life. By embarking on this journey, we demonstrate our dedication to building more sustainable food systems,” said Shiraz Allana, Supervisory Board Member at IFFCO.
On the energy management front, IFFCO is pursuing a 4.8% GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions reduction due to energy efficiency projects and 3.7% due to renewable energy initiatives between 2021 and 2025. Solar panels are in the pipeline for 11 out of 26 business units in scope, with five units already generating electricity from solar power. Three energy efficiency projects in the UAE, are ongoing in partnership with Siemens. In Ghana, the company is piloting an innovative solution to generate energy from responsibly sourced biomass, which will help reduce GHG emissions by a minimum of 70% compared to conventional fuels.
To ensure access to clean water and sanitation facilities for all employees while optimising water use, IFFCO has adopted WASH4Work, the highest global water, sanitation and hygiene standard for production sites. The company has identified gaps in the standard and seeks to take 405 actions across 25 production facilities to reach 100% standard compliance across its five business groups in 2024.
As part of its Zero Deforestation ambition, IFFCO has achieved 100% traceability to mill (TTM) and 85% traceability to plantation (TTP) for palm oil products. The company has completed a satellite monitoring project to detect deforestation and peat drainage risks for 40% of its palm supply base with a GPS point radius of 15 km, spanning 6 million hectares. This forms the basis for the next steps in its supplier engagement roadmap. IFFCO aims to cover the remaining 60% in the near future.
In the UAE, the company launched the first plant-based meat alternatives factory in the Middle East under the THRYVE™ brand. This 100% greenfield investment aligns with IFFCO’s mission to lead the much-needed diet shift towards more sustainable plant-based proteins.
The company is also working to reduce waste generation and introduce packaging with a reduced environmental impact.
As the first step in limiting the impact of its operations on biodiversity, IFFCO is piloting a programme at its olive oil plantation and will be using the learnings gained from them to inform its future projects in this important area.
IFFCO has issued its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report under the theme ‘Fostering a Sustainable Legacy for Future Generations’, tracking its performance in 2022. The company continues its efforts to integrate sustainable practices across its operations and products, leveraging advanced technology and innovation to enhance its environmental performance.