As one of the world’s largest raw milk producers, the group said it wants to live up to its responsibility and help develop standards for sustainable action in the production of milk and dairy products.
With the help of a materiality analysis, the project team identified the most significant sustainability topics for the company based on their relevance for business and taking into account the results of a stakeholder survey conducted in summer 2020 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Under the new corporate claim “The Responsible Way of Modern Farming,” the management board has adopted four statements: ‘An attractive rural area is our foundation,’ ‘Only healthy animals produce healthy food,’ ‘Our employees make Ekosem-Agrar successful’ and ‘Making responsible use of natural resources.’
By the end of 2021, the company, which employs some 14,000 people, plans to implement the corresponding organizational structures for sustainability management and to draw up a climate strategy as well as a water strategy; it has also committed to reporting in accordance with the internationally recognized GRI standards. The first Sustainability Report is already scheduled for publication in June 2021.
Stefan Dürr, chairman of the management board of Ekosem-Agrar, said, “Being one of the leading food producers and a major rural employer in our Russian home market, we want to help improve the living conditions for the local people and gradually reduce the adverse impact of our business activity as a large agricultural company by taking innovative measures. We will, for instance, develop a special standard for our milk and implement a defined number of construction and development projects in the communities in which our farms are located.”
The company has set itself a total of 13 specific sustainability targets by 2026.
Wolfgang Bläsi, member of the management board of Ekosem-Agrar, said, “Economic success and the forward-looking use of natural resources have long since ceased to be a contradiction in terms. Right on the contrary, by reviewing our strategy with a view to sustainable development, we also refine and develop our business model. This helps us identify new business opportunities, reduce risks and thus secure our long-term competitiveness.”