Our company’s long-standing values of responsibility, commitment, teamwork and excellence guide our ESG (environmental, social and governance) actions and way of thinking. This comprehensive approach lays the foundation for our sustainability efforts.
In 2022, we re-evaluated our material topics according to the principle of double materiality, which supports us in setting our sustainability strategy. By adapting our material topics and thus our sustainability strategy, we will be in a position to positively influence our impacts on the economy, society and the environment. Our focus is on reducing our emissions and resource consumption to protect the environment. We want to create a safe and encouraging work environment, where all employees can develop to their full potential. We offer safe and sustainable products to our customers and promote responsible business ethics within the Group as a whole and with our business partners.
Moreover, we have further strengthened our Sustainability Team with increased staffing and capabilities. Sustainability is at the top of the agenda at every Board meeting, executive meeting and in the daily targets monitored at the operational level in our plants. In order to achieve our goals, we have broken them down into specific measures and actions. This gives us confidence that we will achieve our goals.
Reducing the emissions generated in our production processes is one of our main challenges because we manufacture large quantities of natural ingredients every year. Our large-scale fermentation operations, which uses corn as a raw material, require significant amounts of energy and water. In 2021, we committed to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) to drive our efforts and structure our systematic approach to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
We consider ourselves to be one of the world’s leading companies in terms of carbon efficiency per unit produced, with clear medium- to long-term reduction targets. Large investments in energy efficiency, decarbonisation and renewable energy are currently being made, and more are in the pipeline. Over 20% of our future capital investment will focus on reducing energy, CO2 emissions and and water consumption, and on electrifying processes using solar or wind energy. Ongoing investments will cover a third heat pump installation, electricity driven evaporation systems, heat recovery systems and a photovoltaic facility. In December 2022, we approved a new investment of over EUR 40m in a 40 MW free-field photovoltaic installation in Austria. Our ongoing investments in sustainable development will bring us significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years and will put us on track to meet our SBTi targets.
The energy crisis and more erratic weather patterns have brought the topic of sustainability into the global limelight. At Jungbunzlauer this trend, combined with constrained supply chain management, strongly supports our value proposition to be a reliable supplier and one of the most sustainable suppliers by being physically close to our main markets. Having the most sustainable manufacturing setup with short supply chains from raw material to production – and, ultimately, delivery to the majority of our customers – is at the core of our values.
At the same time, we must continue to invest in the knowledge, products and application areas that will allow our customers to provide more sustainable and biodegradable products so that we can help to reduce the use of harsh and non-renewable chemicals. This is the vision that drives our commitment to engage with and operationalise ideas and to convert technologies into real solutions in order to become a more sustainable supplier of natural ingredients.
I hope that this report provides you with a detailed and transparent picture of our tasks, challenges and initiatives. We want to do our part to create a truly sustainable world for future generations.