President and CEO:
Sustainable growth – fundamental to AAK
Continued progress on sustainability within our
sourcing operations, a solid environmental efficiency
performance, and workplace safety improvements
at our production sites – these are some of AAK’s
sustainability highlights during 2018 that we proudly
share with you in this annual sustainability report.
Sustainable growth is fundamental to AAK’s business
and a key objective of our strategy. For us, sustainable
growth is about our responsibility towards our key
stakeholders – global and local customers, investors,
suppliers, employees, and the communities in which we
All of our policies and codes connected to our sustainability
work are based on the United Nations Global
Compact (UNGC) and furthermore aligned with our
customers’ requirements and values. We also play an
active role in contributing to delivering on the 17 SDGs
(Sustainable Development Goals).
To make continuous progress within sustainability, we
have ambitions within five focus areas: Our Customers,
Our Suppliers, Our Planet, Our People, and Our Neighbours.
During 2018, we have made important progress
within each of these areas.
Our 2018 global customer survey verified that our
customers appreciate us as a partner on sustainability
which, of course, is very important to us. One crucial
area to both AAK and our customers is food safety.
We are therefore very proud that all of our production
sites are certified in accordance with at least one,
often several, internationally recognized food safety
Having successfully implemented our Code of
Conduct with all employees and our Supplier Code of
Conduct with our raw material suppliers, we are now
making great progress with our Code of Conduct for
Agents and Distributors as well.
During the year, we have also continued to develop
our e-learning courses. This is an effective way to
engage and train our colleagues within various sustainability
areas, enabling them to be an even better partner
to our customers.
Sustainable sourcing of raw materials is another top
priority, and also important to our customers. Here we
have made important progress during the year. For
example, we now have smallholder projects within our
shea, palm, coconut and soy supply chains which all
contribute to improved livelihoods for these farmers.
In Burkina Faso and Ghana, we have seen a
continued increase in the number of women engaged
in our direct shea sourcing program Kolo Nafaso. This
means direct engagement with more than 134,000
women. We have also conducted a survey, covering
almost 1,000 of these women. The survey verified that
the women find our support very valuable and it has
given us useful input on how we can further improve our
collaboration in the future.
As for sustainable sourcing of palm oil, we continue
our strong engagement with our suppliers to drive and
ensure sustainability in the supply chain. The upgrade
of the RSPO standard to include, among other things,
a halt to deforestation was an important step forward.
The changed geographic footprint of our volumes
represents an opportunity for us to contribute to driving
change in newer and more fast-growing markets with
less of a tradition for prioritizing sustainability. This is
done through strong engagement with suppliers and
actively supporting local RSPO activities. However, it
also represents a challenge for us to keep up our palm
sustainability standard already evident in more established
Increased transparency is a key tool for AAK in
managing this challenge: on our website we now
publish our universe of mills list as well as a grievance
addendum. It is important for our key stakeholders and
ourselves to openly communicate about and discuss our
continuous improvement journey.
We have seen a solid environmental efficiency performance
during 2018 with improvements for most of our
Key Performance Indicators. However, there have been
challenges in certain areas, particularly related to harsh
For example, the East Coast of the United States,
where we have two production sites, suffered significantly
colder weather than usual, and the region where
our production site in Karlshamn, Sweden is located