July 20, 2022

SVZ adds a new chapter to its sustainability story with yet another gold rating from EcoVadis

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A fundamental respect for people, the planet and the prosperity of the global community sits at the heart of everything we do at SVZ. Every day we work in close collaboration with our partner farms and customers to not just reduce environmental harm, but actively support the ecosystems, local communities and hardworking individuals that feed the goodness of our fruit and vegetable ingredients. It’s this drive to going the extra mile that has allowed us to achieve yet another ‘gold’ score from the sustainability review platform EcoVadis. SVZ has yet again been recognised for making excellent progress across the four score criteria – environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement – placing us in the top 5% of most environmentally responsible businesses in the food and beverage industry.

The proof behind the prize

Securing this coveted gold standard yet again is a testament to the dedication of our teams, as well as the success of our various interventions over the past year. In 2021, we especially prioritised maintaining an open dialogue with our customers and growers. This meant sharing advice on how to implement best practices at farm level, while highlighting the importance of choosing sustainably sourced materials when formulating a new food or beverage product. With traceability and supply chain transparency still a hot topic, we also supported our partners with various research projects. These studies investigated the potential of initiatives like biological control, compostable mulching, adopting regenerative agriculture standards, among many others. On a more practical level, our interventions ranged from the simple yet effective – building insect ‘hotels’, planting flower borders alongside crops and providing roosting space for bats – to more extensive projects like securing SAI Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) certification for our Serbian blackberries, or our current process of conducting a water-use audit at our Rijkevorsel production facility in Belgium.

The next step in the journey

“It’s been another incredible year for SVZ’s sustainability goals and we are immensely proud of all the hard work our teams have done to make this latest gold standard a reality,” comments Inge van Disseldorp, Sustainability Manager at SVZ. “Compared with last year’s assessment from EcoVadis, we have improved our overall score by 14%! This is an remarkable achievement, but we already looking into how we can push this progress further. We are firm believers in complete transparency at SVZ – and that means bringing our partners along for the ride with a step-by-step look at our future sustainability plans. In terms of specific areas we will focus on, in the coming year we want to establish a comprehensive reporting system for our water use metrics, as well as widening the scope of our greenhouse gas emissions monitoring. We are also looking to establish quantitative objectives for diversity, equality and inclusion on the social impact end of the spectrum, to ensure our business has a positive impact on people, as well as the planet.

Building a more sustainable business is all about incremental improvements, constant monitoring and taking a step back from time to time to see how far we’ve come. The destination is of course important – SVZ aims to be 100% sustainable sourced by 2030 and we are making healthy progress on this already. But we must not forget that it’s on the journey that we learn the most valuable lessons.”

Are you ready to start your sustainability journey? Get in touch to learn more about partnering with SVZ and how we can all grow better together: https://www.svz.com/contact

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