Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Twitter Chat Follow-Up: Mondelēz on Cross-Sector Partnerships Post-COP21

Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to TriplePundit’s recent #PartnersNow Twitter chat with Mondelēz International, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and World Resources Institute (WRI). In case you missed it, you can catch a recap here.

By Mondelēz International

So, the U.N. climate talks in Paris are over. Now what? To address this point head on, TriplePundit hosted a Twitter chat on Feb. 1 with Mondelēz International, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and World Resources Institute (WRI) to discuss cross-sector partnerships and their importance post-COP21 as key to making things happen.

Strong collaboration between international businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is imperative to positively transform the way agricultural commodities are produced and traded. Global snacking company Mondelēz International has partnered with UNDP’s Green Commodities Program (GCP) and the WRI-coordinated Global Forest Watch (GFW) to identify and implement solutions to deep-rooted sustainability challenges across entire sectors.

Our chat discussed these vital partnerships and each organization’s thoughts on sustainability. As a follow-up to the chat, Jonathan Horrell (@HorrellJonathan), director of sustainability for Mondelēz International (@MDLZ), elaborated on some details of the company's sustainability approach and answered a few additional questions from the chat.

Q1: What’s different about the Mondelēz International approach to sustainability?

Jonathan Horrell: Our unique agriculture programs, Cocoa Life and Harmony, focus on impact at scale and help set us apart. Cocoa Life is committed to empowering 200,000 farmers and reaching a million community members in six cocoa-growing countries by 2022 (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Brazil, Dominican Republic and India). Harmony ensures the majority of our Western European biscuits are made with sustainably-sourced wheat (75 percent at the end of 2015). We’re using our position as the world’s largest snack company to be a catalyst for change.

Q2 from @SustranaTalks: #PartnersNow panelists – Do you have goals for 2050? Have you thought about #goals for 2100? (Seem long way off, but we must plan!)

JH: We like the ambition! At the end of 2015, Mondelēz released our 2020 sustainability goals – an end-to-end approach to reduce our carbon footprint. The goals include:

  • Implementing a science-based goal to reduce absolute manufacturing CO2 emissions by 15 percent

  • Reducing water usage by 10 percent in manufacturing sites where water is scarce

  • Reducing total manufacturing waste by 20 percent (roughly reducing 83,000 tons of waste per year)

  • Eliminating another 65,000 tons of packaging materials

2050 may feel far away, but our science-based manufacturing CO2 goal is designed to put us on a trajectory toward a substantially decarbonized economy by that time. More broadly, our sustainability goals and cross-sector partnerships are designed to achieve decades of positive impact. Our work with UNDP’s Green Commodities Program (GCP), Global Forest Watch (GFW) and REDD+ are great examples of this. The evolution of these programs as well as advancements in technology will all factor into future company goals and impact.

Q3 from @BuyBetterMall: How can the average Joe contribute to the collaboration between @MDLZ @UNDPcommodities & @globalforests? #PartnersNow

JH: Together, Mondelēz International, UNDP’s Green Commodities Program, and WRI’s Global Forest Watch are partnering to monitor and address deforestation. But we can’t do it alone. It is vital the public stay informed on the issues of forests and climate change. Stay abreast on efforts to help with deforestation. Share learnings with your personal and social media networks; and become a catalyst for transformation.

Everyone has a voice, capable of creating change and supporting the companies and organizations that are making sustainability a priority. Together, we can create great change working together!

Q4: from @PeggyatKC: How big is your internal organization doing all of this great work? #PartnersNow

JH: You’d be surprised how few of us solely work on sustainability. Where possible, we embed the work in our day-to-day business to help drive our growth strategy. That way it will become more lasting – become more part of our DNA rather than seen as a “nice to do.”

We have a cross-functional team that includes manufacturing, raw materials procurement, packaging and finance. The team works across the company with business partners to help deliver our goals. This collaboration within the business and with external, cross-sector partners allows for us to deliver our growth strategy, as well as achieve reductions in our environmental impact.

These efforts are an integral part of Mondelēz International’s Call For Well-being, where we work with our suppliers and external partners to develop new approaches that have a positive impact on the well-being of our planet.

Q5 from @HelpedHope: Government leaders have made many promises... do you believe #COP21 will actually be implemented? Why? #PartnersNow

JH: Collectively, we reached the tipping point in the process of setting a global agenda to address climate change with COP21. I do believe we can impact climate change; it’s all about how we approach it.

During COP21 and at the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Hubert Weber, executive VP and president, Europe, for Mondelēz International, outlined how the private sector should address climate change at origin. We recommend engaging with national and local governments to set a shared agenda, pave the way to achieving the mutually desired results, and drive meaningful policy changes. Companies can work with international organizations and national development agencies to help move forward shared agendas with the local governments. By working in this way, change becomes systemic and lasting, for the benefit of everyone.

We’ve learned from our Cocoa Life program that other concrete actions are needed: focus on impact, not just compliance, with specific practices; to engage suppliers, choose partners and advisors with varying insights and perspectives; include local stakeholders and work with industry partners who can help achieve your climate goals.

No one actor can affect the change we need, which is why we’re challenging the private sector to actively engage with governments and NGOs in this process. The most substantial actions against climate change will result from thriving partnerships and strong working alliances; because the resulting whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

3p Contributor

TriplePundit has published articles from over 1000 contributors. If you'd like to be a guest author, please get in touch!

Read more stories by 3p Contributor

More stories from Energy & Environment