The importance of the food sector in sustainability


Written by Karen Vega, Business Development Specialist.

 


1. SDG ADVANTAGES IN THE FOOD SECTOR.

Sustainability should not be confused with terms such as ecological, biological or organic product. Sustainability is a step beyond and covers multiple aspects that are part of the company’s context such as reputational image, concerns of its stakeholders, use of natural resources, protection and conservation of biodiversity, among others.
In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which require joint action by governments, private sector companies, civil society and all citizens in order to achieve them. The SDG are an ambitious plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity, and companies play an important role in achieving them.

In the face of the current growing relevance of SDG, companies in the food sector are beginning to align their strategies with the 17 SDG, integrating many of these issues into their business model, supply chain and stakeholder relationships; investing in sustainable sourcing, processes, materials, machinery and products throughout the value chain.

We are in a challenging time for corporate resilience and although it presents many challenges it also opens a range of opportunities for those companies that have the vision and commitment to lead the changes that are coming.

The SDGs can be used to guide, direct, communicate and report on their strategies, objectives and activities, allowing companies to capitalize on a variety of benefits and create added value to their business. Some of these opportunities and benefits are:

  1. Obtain a broader vision of the sector, its environment and its needs, allowing the identification
    and even creation of future market niches.
  2. The SDG aims to realign global public and private investment flows by reorienting them to meet sustainability objectives. Allowing small businesses and entrepreneurs, committed to sustainable and inclusive business models, to connect with capital to grow their business;
  3. Decrease business and reputational risks by reducing their climate impact and adopting fair and inclusive labor practices.
  4. Building resilience to the costs and/or requirements imposed by future legislation.
  5. Strengthen relationships with stakeholders and remain at the forefront of new policies.
  6. The SDG brings together priorities and purposes in all its dimensions (social, economic, environmental) allowing the use of a common language that can help create synergies with governments, NGOs and other businesses.

2. HOW TO START THE PROCESS TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COMPANY.

The process of becoming a sustainable company includes knowing its impact on natural resources, generation of waste and spills, generation of direct and indirect emissions, as well as the interrelations with its stakeholders. ALLCOT helps companies to determine this starting point through its services of environmental footprint calculation and mapping of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Once this baseline has been identified, it is necessary to know then how to take actions that will make our company improve its focus on sustainability and be aligned with global agreements on the issue, the demands of our stakeholders and the requirements of Agenda 2030. All companies, regardless of their size or sector, have a responsibility to comply with all relevant legislation, respect internationally recognized minimum standards and uphold universal human rights.

ALLCOT helps companies to meet their obligations and guide them to take initiatives beyond these minimum responsibilities to advance social and environmental goals.

From ALLCOT, we quantify, evaluate and help design your strategy for mitigation and sustainability through: