For us, sustainability means helping our customers do more with less and succeed in their business. Optimising profitability means taking care of animals and assuming environmental responsibility. We also look at our own operations and see how and where we can improve.
Our vision is to make sustainable food production possible. We look at this from four main perspectives.
Environmental sustainability involves taking a long-term perspective while using the latest scientific insights and technologies to improve the resource efficiency of not only our customers’ operations, but also our own. The aim is that common natural resources and materials are used in a way that create sustainable, safe and healthy lives for all humans.
Social responsibility is about respecting and advancing human rights according to the UN definition. We particularly focus on creating sound working conditions for both our employees and farm workers. Ensuring food safety is another important aspect of social sustainability, in addition to having a positive impact on local communities by providing both employment and nutritious foods.
Farm profitability entails helping our customers maintain a profitable business in the long term through leadership and driving improvements. This underpins steady revenues,cost reductions and cash flow improvements while minimising financial risk. With a profitable business, farmers can implement improvements in productivity, social progress and environmental performance.
Animal welfare relates to extending the productive lifetime of the cow, which is one of the best things we can do to reduce the environmental impact of the dairy sector. By providing better conditions for animals, farmers can improve their milk yield and milk quality.
Our investments in social and environmental sustainability are guided by our vision, code of business conduct, environmental policy, local legislation and by sustainability frameworks. Our materiality assessment helps us focus our efforts where they matter most.
The sustainability areas we focus on have been chosen after a materiality analysis in which stakeholder views and our own have been considered.
We listed 17 potential sustainability topics based on international standards, business and industry knowledge, as well as good practice.
We then asked internal and external stakeholders’ opinions through workshops, one-on-one interviews and research to determine which topics were most important to DeLaval. The external stakeholders included dairy processors, industry associations, global organisations, academic institutions, NGOs and environmental and sustainability managers in other industries. Internally, we carried out a workshop and questionnaire to a wide audience of DeLaval employees. We also spoke to key individuals including Group management, our business areas, services organisation, sales, supply chain, milk quality and animal health division and R&D.
Key conclusions from the analysis are:
Animal welfare, food safety, farm economics and management and customer satisfaction scored highest on a global level. This is in line with our current business focus.
There are strong and growing expectations on the dairy industry for more visibility, transparency, and communication of tangible results related to social and environmental topics.
DeLaval’s primary role is as an enabler of tangible sustainability improvements on farms when it comes to animal welfare, working conditions and the use of energy, land and water.
At DeLaval we need to ensure that our own operations can show steady progress linked to these industry and global goals.