The Kraft Heinz Co., with offices in Pittsburgh and Chicago, has announced its expanded commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) through sustainability targets that it says protect the planet and benefit people and society at large.
The new CSR goals support the company’s vision “To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World” and initially focus on three areas in which Kraft Heinz believes it can make the greatest impact: global hunger and malnutrition, supply chain sustainability and the environment.
While the commitments announced offer a snapshot of the company’s CSR approach, Kraft Heinz says it will publish its broader strategy later this year in tandem with its first CSR report.
“As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we hold ourselves to a high standard for driving social and environmental change,” says Bernardo Hees, CEO at Kraft Heinz. “Our global CSR initiatives focus on improving our planet, its people and the communities where we live and work and are critical components to our continued growth strategy.”
1. Global hunger and malnutrition - To make a sustainable difference in the fight to eliminate global hunger and malnutrition, Kraft Heinz says it will donate 1 billion nutritious meals to people in need by 2021, working in collaboration with several nonprofit organizations, including its signature philanthropic partner, Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), and other national partners such as Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Red Cross.
“Together, we believe it’s possible to end global hunger in our lifetime,” Hees says.
Central to this goal is The Kraft Heinz Co. Foundation’s signature program, the Kraft Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (KHMC). Launched in 2001, the KHMC supports children’s health and development by manufacturing and donating micronutrient powders – developed by Kraft Heinz food science and nutrition experts – that provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that delivers food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations, became the KHMC’s exclusive micronutrient distribution partner in 2013. Since then, Kraft Heinz says it has provided micronutrient powders to fortify more than 167 million hunger relief meals delivered to countries in need across the globe.
“We are profoundly grateful for our partnership with Kraft Heinz and are inspired by the company’s commitment to provide 1 billion meals to people in need, which is a reflection of their dedication to nourishing lives,” says Rod Brooks, chief executive officer of Rise Against Hunger. “We commend their efforts to empower communities around the globe to end hunger.”
2. Supply chain sustainability - Kraft Heinz says it is committed to creating a more sustainable supply chain by establishing responsible farm-to-market ingredient and material-sourcing policies and practices.
Kraft Heinz recognizes that poorly managed palm oil cultivation can have adverse environmental and social impacts, such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, forced and child labor and human trafficking. Therefore, the company’s new policy states it will procure palm oil products in an ethical, transparent and sustainable mannerand will only purchase palm oil and derivatives 100 percent certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
Kraft Heinz also actively is working with its global suppliers to achieve palm oil traceability, prohibit the use of child and forced labor and protect existing forests and habitats.
Kraft Heinz says it is committed to the humane treatment of animals and prioritizes continuous improvement in animal welfare. The company’s new policy is guided by the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, a set of core principles for animals under human care. This includes freedom from hunger and thirst; environmental discomfort; pain, injury and disease; fear and distress; along with the freedom to express most normal behaviors. In support of these Five Freedoms of animal welfare, Kraft Heinz also requires its suppliers to have a zero-tolerance policy for willful acts of animal abuse and neglect.
The policy also reinforces and introduces several supplier guidelines for humane sourcing, including commitments to use eggs only from hens living in cage-free and/or enriched environments and the transition away from traditional gestation stall housing for pregnant sows by 2025.
3. Environment - Kraft Heinz says it will decrease its environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste in its operations by 15 percent globally by 2020 (versus a 2015 baseline). Efforts are currently underway to maximize efficient energy and water consumption and reduce or divert waste at each of the 86 company-owned manufacturing plants.
“Integrating sustainability across our entire business is a top priority,” says Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz. “We developed these goals based on input from consumers, customers, investors and employees, among others, and we look forward to a continued dialogue with all stakeholders about how we see our values coming to life in our business and our brands.”
For more information on Kraft Heinz efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition, visit: www.kraftheinzcompany.com/community-involvement.html.
For more information on sustainable business practices at Kraft Heinz or to view the new animal welfare or palm oil policies, visit: www.kraftheinzcompany.com/sustainability.html.