For most of us, 2020 is a year we would rather forget and yet, over the past 12 months, we’ve achieved so much that’s worth remembering – and celebrating! Despite very challenging times, our colleagues across the world have worked hard to keep each other safe and well, and to continue to serve our customers so they could support the millions of people they feed.
Our purpose of Improving Lives for Generations has guided us in everything we have done in 2020 – here are a few examples:
We helped our local communities get through tough times
Through our local United Way partnerships and employee-led drives and outreach, we’ve helped an estimated 20,000 community members receive essential health services or supplies, while also helping colleagues, their families and people in our communities by providing PPE and hand sanitiser in response to the pandemic. We’ve supported thousands of school children with on-site and virtual education programmes and also donated over 700,000 nutritious meals to families in need including 500,000 meals in April and May when the Covid-19 pandemic was hitting our communities particularly hard.
We provided our customers with new tools to develop healthier food and drink
In the summer we launched SWEETENER-VANTAGE™ Expert Systems, a set of new and innovative sweetener solution design tools, together with an education programme, which are helping more formulators create sugar-reduced food and drink using low calorie sweeteners. The launch builds on our successful TEXTURE-VANTAGE® education programme, with a webinar series that has attracted thousands of registered participants since its 2018 launch.
More health claims were approved for our PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre
Two new health benefit claims were approved for our PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre. A gut health claim was approved by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and then Anvisa, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, approved a calcium absorption claim, making it the only fibre to have such a claim approved in Brazil.
We ventured into plant-based beauty
At the start of the year, we announced our entry into the personal care category with the introduction of TEXTURLUX® Personal Care Additives, a range of bio-based specialty polymers for skin, hair and suncare (available in North America). With this move, we are helping beauty and personal care brands to meet growing consumer demand for products made with ingredients that are recognisable, responsibly-sourced and bio-based.
We made new commitments to tackle the climate emergency
We set ambitious new environmental targets for 2030 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using less water, beneficially using waste and supporting sustainable agriculture. These included a commitment to deliver an absolute reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and our Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2030. During the year, these targets were approved as science-based by the Science Based Targets initiative, meaning they are in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We also made a commitment to eliminate the use of coal in our operations by 2025.
We helped farmers accelerate their conservation efforts
Through our sustainable agriculture programme, we’re helping farmers in the Midwest US understand the impact sustainable practices will have on their crops. The initial year-on-year results on acres enrolled in our pilot programme the first two years (2018-19) are promising, including a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to 1,254 fewer cars on the road each year.
We expanded our presence in speciality texturants by buying a tapioca business
We signed an agreement to acquire a tapioca business in Thailand through our purchase of an 85% shareholding in Chaodee Modified Starch, an established tapioca modified food starch manufacturer. By expanding further our presence in Asia Pacific and our plant-based ingredient portfolio, we can meet customers’ needs for better tasting and clean label foods in our specialist food and beverage categories, particularly in this market, where tapioca is the texturant of choice.
We acquired Sweet Green Fields, an exceptional stevia business
We acquired Sweet Green Fields (SGF), a leading global stevia solutions business. The acquisition expands our stevia business, one of the fastest growing low calorie sweeteners globally, and strengthens our position as a leading global provider of sugar reduction and clean-label solutions.
We published a new booklet all about our purpose
We underlined our commitment to our purpose with the publication of a new booklet entitled ‘Improving Lives for Generations: Introducing our Purpose.’ It describes our purpose, what it means to us, how it’s being lived and our commitments and targets for the next 10 years.