Kraft Heinz is getting more serious about corporate social responsibility and about communicating its goals—a major move by the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands.
Following a spate of shareholder resolutions presented at its annual meeting earlier this year expressing concerns about Kraft Heinz’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and addressing social activists’ other concerns, Kraft Heinz has issued its first CSR report with this statement of intent:
“Our vision at Kraft Heinz is to be the best food company, growing a better world. We believe ‘Growing A Better World’ means working to improve our planet, its people and the communities where we work and live.”
Among its specific goals, the report said that Kraft plans to transition to 100% cage-free eggs in all global operations by 2025, sourcing 100% RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil, ending the use of “fish aggregating devices” for all tuna-sourcing activities in Australia, and achieving 70% compliance with its stiffer internal nutrition guidelines by 2023.
“We’re focused on addressing the most critical environmental and societal challenges affecting our industry and global communities, and finding ways to drive meaningful change,” CEO Bernardo Hees said in a press release.
Kraft Heinz said it plans to focus in four areas where it can have the greatest impact:
Better Supply Chain: Creating a sustainable, global supply chain by establishing responsible farm-to-market ingredient and material-sourcing policies. On its way to the 100% cage-free commitment, so far Kraft Heinz has transitioned one-third of its global egg supply to cage-free. It also has delivered training and resources to more than 2,000 Honduran coffee farmers to help them increase their yields and incomes.
Better Environment: Promoting environmental sustainability by managing and reducing the company’s resource needs to minimize its impact on the planet and preserve natural resources. Among other things, the company pledged to reduce its wastes sent to landfills by 15 percent by 2020; it already achieved a 9.5-percent reduction.
Better Products: Meeting the needs and demands of today’s consumers by improving the nutritional and wellness profiles of Kraft Heinz products. The company has already reformulated Oscar Mayer hot dogs to remove nitrates and artificial and preservatives and has pulled artificial dyes and preservatives from its Kraft macaroni and cheese.
Better Communities: Strengthening communities around the world by making a sustainable difference in the fight to end global hunger and malnutrition. 9.5% and to support the donation of one billion meals to people in need by 2021; it already delivered 124 million such meals last year.