Barilla Reports on New Sustainability Initiatives

It has long since been determined that corporate sustainability reporting is not just a passing trend (and here). And Barilla Group, the Italian food leader in worldwide pasta business and umbrella corporation for several other world brands, proves no exception to the rule. The company just released its 2012 sustainability report “Good for You, Sustainable for the Planet,” laying out its successes of 2011 and future objectives through 2014.

The report is divided into three histories explaining Barilla’s everyday sustainable strategies. The first history discusses the supply chain from “field to fork,” the second the company’s “Total quality is sustainable quality”concept, and the third food and nutrition, which analyzes Barilla’s promotion of healthy living and nourishing behavior. (ReportAlert) Sustainability is the name of the game for Barilla, taking into account economic, social, environmental aspects through the entire supply chain and, according to the family-run business, adding “a greater awareness on the part of those who want food by those who want a food that is ‘good for them’ but is also ‘good for the Planet’, i.e. contributes to a better future for the individual and society at large.”

From the looks of success in 2011, Barilla is well on its way. Key results from last year include:

  • Through agreements with farmer’s associations, 81% durum wheat used in Barilla products is grown locally.
  • The investment of 29 million euro (over $35 million) to improve quality and safety.
  • Reformulation of 70 products to reduce levels of salt, fat and saturated fat.
  • No increase in energy consumption since 2010.
  • A 19% decrease in water consumption since 2008.
  • Increase in workplace safety with a 2% reduction in working accidents.
  • Recyclable packaging increased from 85% in 2008 to 96% in 2011.
  • Received the Good Egg Award of NGO “Compassion in World Farming” by using eggs from exclusively cage-free hens for its Mulino Bianco and Pavesi brands.
  • 11% of palm oil suppliers have been certified by independent institutions and 100% of cocoa suppliers are members of the World Cocoa Foundation.

To maintain and improve upon these efforts, Barilla has set three strategic directions:

1. Building knowledge: contributing to solve the problems linked to food and nutrition, creating knowledge to guide the daily work of those who work in Barilla.

2. Building a Sustainable Company: managing the company by continuously nudging processes and products towards “Total Quality” including aspects of well-being of the People and the Planet.

3. Building Local Relations: contributing to local development with all the skills and resources accumulated over time.

These three directions are further broken down into 23 operational goals and preparatory actions in the categories of nutrition, supply chain, biodiversity in the supply chain, environment, human capitol, people, community, governance and sustainability, and quality products.

Some examples of these objectives include:

  • Reformulating 80 products to increase levels of fiber and whole grains.
  • Extending control in the supply chains of the most important raw materials including soil quality, water requirements, fertilizers, and impacts on climate change.
  • Reducing the direct and indirect global warming potential by 30%.
  • Reducing total energy consumption per finishedproduct by 10%.
  • Creating long-term projects in the communities where Barilla operates.

Barilla contributes to the sustainability and healthy living causes in other ways with its Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, created in 2009. The goals of BCFN coincide greatly with the company as a whole. According to Barilla, “We believe that the urgency regarding food and nutrition policy should have a prominent place on the agendas of opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the planet. So we want to continue working to ensure the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition will be strengthened in its role as collector and connector between science and research on the one hand, and political decisions and other governmental actions. The goal is to create an open dialogue and foster a widespread welfare populations, tackling the challenges of the future efforts to promote change.”

Click here to read the full report.

Photo courtesy of Barilla.

Samantha is a graduate of Boston University with concentrations in English, Biology and Environmental Policy. After working in higher education textbook publishing for some time, she turned to the freelance writing world and now reports on corporate social responsibility, green technology and policy, and conservation for TriplePundit.

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