SunOpta reported strong progress across four areas – products, planet, people and governance – as it seeks to double plant-based business by 2025
Sustainable food and beverage company achieved zero waste to landfill at three plant-based facilities
MINNEAPOLIS—April 25, 2022—SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a U.S.-based, global pioneer fueling the future of sustainable, plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages, is proud to release its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. This annual update outlines progress made in the 2021 fiscal year, and the steps the company is taking to identify a path forward across four key areas: products, planet, people and governance.
In 2020, SunOpta committed to reduce electricity by 40%, natural gas by 30% and water use by 25% over an eight-year period. The company in 2021 achieved zero waste at three plant-based beverage manufacturing facilities and enlisted internal staff and external consultants to track energy reduction goals. SunOpta seeks to double its plant-based business from 2020 to 2025, and will create real change responsibly, while transparently sharing ESG efforts.
“SunOpta was founded as a sustainable company and sustainability has always been at the core of what we do. We have created actionable next steps and a clear path forward to continue on our journey,” said Joe Ennen, CEO of SunOpta. “In addition to being a global pioneer in the sustainable categories of plant-based and fruit-based food and beverage and reducing our carbon footprint with less water, land and emissions compared to dairy-based alternatives, we are also making progress on other initiatives including upcycled ingredients, zero waste and local and regional production as we continue to fuel the future of food.”
Highlights from the 2021 report include:
- 44 of SunOpta’s branded products are enrolled in The Non-GMO Project.
- SunOpta manufactures more than 300 organic products, including 29 of its own branded products.
- Due to its close proximity to customers across North America, SunOpta’s fourth plant-based production facility in Midlothian, Texas will help eliminate an estimated 15 million freight miles annually, reducing carbon emissions.
- Three facilities achieved zero waste to landfill in Allentown, Pa. and Alexandria, Minn.
- 97.7% of all packaging by weight sourced by SunOpta was recyclable.
- 261.25 tons of carbon emissions were saved by optimizing transportation.
- SunOpta improved energy efficiency by 6% compared to its 2019 baseline.
- SunOpta’s new headquarters and innovation center utilizes 13,000 square feet of renewable bamboo flooring, 920 LED light fixtures and four electric vehicle charging stations; solar panels will offset more than 30% of electricity once operational.
- The percentage of female leaders at the director level and above rose to 37%, with a goal of 45% by 2025.
- The percentage of racially diverse salaried employees was 24% in 2021, with a goal of 30% by 2026.
- 33% of SunOpta’s Board of Director members are female.
- For accountability on sustainability practices, SunOpta created a Sustainability Steering Committee to gather and analyze data and explore opportunities for ESG improvements.
About SunOpta, Inc.
SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is a U.S.-based, global pioneer fueling the future of sustainable, plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages. Founded nearly 50 years ago, SunOpta manufactures natural, organic and specialty products sold through retail and foodservice channels. SunOpta operates as a manufacturer for leading natural and private label brands, and also proudly produces its own brands, including SOWN™, Dream™, West Life™ and Sunrise Growers™. For more information, visit www.sunopta.com and LinkedIn.