Announcement coincides with new sustainability report defining ambitious Biodiversity Action Plan
Ecotone, Europe’s leading champion in organic, plant-based and Fairtrade food, has released its latest sustainability report and Food for Biodiversity action plan.
The report coincides with Ecotone’s B Corp re-certification, becoming the world’s highest scoring global food business with 116.5 points – surpassing its previous 91.7 score achieved in 2019.
The average score for B Corp assessments is 50.9 with a certification minimum of 80. The benchmark reflects Ecotone’s commitment to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability across the company and its family of purpose-driven brands. These include Bjorg, Bonneterre, Alter Eco, Clipper Teas, Whole Earth, Isola Bio, Ecocesta, Allos, and Zonnatura.
Speaking about the business’s latest developments, Christophe Barnouin, CEO of Ecotone, says: “Make business a force for good: that’s the path Ecotone has chosen as mission-driven company focused on Biodiversity preservation, and our industry role as a B Corp.”
The re-certification is a testament to Ecotone’s devotion to transforming the food industry, which is widely recognised as one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss and climate change. Its sustainability report reinforces how global shifts in food choices can – and must – reduce environmental impact through mainly two strong and simple pillars: organic and plant-based.
The comprehensive document outlines the progress Ecotone has made on its Food for Biodiversity mission, across all areas of its operations, including a reduction in carbon emissions, advanced Agri chain practices and diversifying ingredients outside of the world’s current nine overconsumed plant species.
Guided by this mission, results include:
- 96% of its €724 turnover is now plant-based. Since 2019, the business invested €35m in plant-based drink, organic tea and organic breakfast cereals manufacturing capability and extension.
- A 79% organic portfolio with a focus on removing harmful pesticides and herbicides from other agricultural practices
- A 9% reduction in ‘Scope 3’ carbon emissions through value chain initiatives which tackle carbon output across raw materials and transport
- Zero Scope 2 carbon emissions through renewable energy sourcing
- 64% alternative ingredients in its recipes including experimentation with ancient grains.
These advancements have seen Ecotone’s turnover grow by 12% since 2019, with the business now spanning multiple countries in Europe and beyond with 1,600 employees – launching more than 100 new product innovations.
Continuing its focus on sustainable growth, the report also sets out Ecotone’s ambitious plans for further developments by 2025 and 2030. Key targets include:
- 90% organic portfolio by 2030
- 1/3 of strategic raw materials sourced from agri-chains fostering biodiversity
- 66% alternative ingredients for more nutrients and more biodiversity
- More than 95% plant-based of turnover
- Further 16.6% reduction in Scope 1,2,3 emissions; 100% renewable electricity in offices and production sites by 2025; 100% biogas across production sites by 2030
- CDP Forest ‘A’ grading by 2025 – with a zero-deforestation policy released in 2023
- Working towards reduction targets for nature within the Science Based Target Networks (SBTN) framework.
- A move to 100% re-usable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025
Speaking about the importance of Food for Biodiversity, Christophe Barnouin said: “This is a pivotal time for us to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change. At Ecotone, we are dedicated to challenging the conventional and standardised food system. We focus on organic and vegetarian food; we know pesticide-free and plant-based is an everyday proven contribution to biodiversity protection. Our purpose is to help move the industry towards a reimagined global model that will benefit human health, wellbeing, and the restoration of vulnerable eco-systems.
“We are proud of our achievements to date, but we still have more to do We will continue to collaborate closely with our stakeholders, customers, partners, and policy makers to take urgent and impactful action now.”
This comes at a time where Ecotone, as a leader on Organic food production, unveiled the first Avoided Pesticide Index (API) in collaboration with the Solagro Association in June 2022.
Developed as a tool for businesses, similar to carbon measurement, the new indicator allows companies across the food sector to easily measure their pesticide footprint and develop appropriate reduction plans.
Encouraging food businesses to take a more holistic approach to measuring their environmental impact, Ecotone has called for pesticide footprint measurement to be added to the next European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Kaylie Finn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecotone is the European leader in organic, vegetarian and fair trade food. Its mission is to nourish biodiversity, through strong and committed brands: Allos, Alter Eco, Bjorg, Bonneterre, Clipper, Destination, Danival, El Granero, Isola Bio, Kallø, Whole Earth and Zonnatura.
In 2019, Ecotone was the first European food company to obtain the B Corp certification. Its family of companies is present in seven European countries and has its headquarters near Lyon, France. It employs 1600 people and achieves a €724 turnover. Through its Foundation, the company supports ecosystem restoration and conservation projects.