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AB Sugar commits to sustainability with 2030 targets

With the aim to become the world's leading sustainable sugar business, AB Sugar has launched a set of commitments to improve sustainability. The company has committed to ensuring 100% of plastic packaging throughout its supply chain is reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2030. The company will also work with its 25,000 partner growers to reduce end-to-end water and CO2 footprints by 30%.
The 2030 targets are part of AB Sugar’s broader Global Mind, Local Champions sustainability framework, which is committed to consuming resources responsibly, building rural economies and creating thriving and healthy communities. Dr Mark Carr, group chief executive of AB Sugar, commented:

“Our ambitious 2030 commitments are an industry first and the next step in our journey to becoming the world’s leading sustainable sugar business. Working across all 10 operational markets our Global Mind, Local Champions sustainability framework will help us lessen our footprint and to grow a sustainable future for those around us.”

AB Sugar has committed to:

• Build vibrant, diverse value chains that increase the prosperity of our communities. The company is already working in areas of modernising outdated ways of working, sharing best practice and using technology and innovation to create a more modern sugar industry

• Build thriving and healthy communities. To do this, we are committed to providing 25 million people worldwide with science-based information on sugar, the diet and health by 2030

• Consume resources responsibly through a 30% reduction in CO2 and ensuring responsible stewardship of water, by reducing 30% of end-to-end water use, by 2030

• AB Sugar operates a circular economy model where outputs from the sugar making process are turned into co-products, including bioethanol and animal feed

Progress on the 2030 targets

As part of the commitments, AB Sugar has launched its inaugural Global Mind, Local Champions review. The report details progress in delivering the 2030 ambition made across each of AB Sugar’s 10 operating markets.

Highlights on promoting sustainable agriculture and reducing overall environmental footprint include:

UK: One of the most efficient sugar processors in the EU - contributing £700m per year to the UK economy, supporting up to 9,500 jobs through British Sugar. Through Vivergo Fuels, we produce the second highest amount of bioethanol in Europe.

China: Transforming beet sugar agriculture in China through AB Sugar China - setting up a ‘Technical Academy’ to train professionals, village leaders and growers in agricultural best practices, leading to 166% growth in growers’ net income over the last five years.

US and Europe: Germains Seed Technology, organically combating bacterial disease -189 billion sugar beet and horticulture distributed seeds processed by Germains worldwide.

Spain: Inspiring the next generation - commitment for 100% of the energy in Spanish cane refineries to be self-generated through Azucarera.

South Africa: Supporting indigenous farmers and Fairtrade through Illovo South Africa (Pty) Ltd - 94% of cane comes from independent farmers and 25,330 jobs supported in the country.

Malawi: A vital employer in Malawi - one of the biggest employers in the country, with almost 10,000 direct employees and supporting another 2,000 jobs indirectly through Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc. 150 female employees attended managerial leadership training in 2017.

Mozambique: Support for smallholder farmers - 2,153 jobs supported through outgrower farmers and 4,100 people provided with water through Maragra Açúcar SA.

Swaziland: Partnering to create economic and social value - 96% of energy consumption provided by renewable sources and R3.1bn total economic impact in the country through Ubombo Sugar Limited.

Tanzania: Safeguarding employee and grower well-being through Kilombero Sugar Company Limited - approximately 3,500 outgrower employees are estimated to benefit from the hospital on the company’s estate which also benefits over 35,000 paying community members.

Zambia: Boosting rural economies - 580 nursing students trained, whilst a R5.3bn total economic impact in the country through Zambia Sugar Plc.
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