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We will drive a food system shift

The way food production is modelled globally today threatens communities, the climate and ecosystem resilience. If we are to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (a.k.a. the UN SDGs) and the international Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we need to transform the global food system, like, right now. In this section you can find out more about our work in 2021 together with farmers, scientists and other partners to drive a shift toward more sustainable, low-emission practices in the areas at the core of our business: oats, our suppliers and packaging.

Ambition

To support the global food system shift, we aspire to create a food system that will give back to nature and communities, by 2029, where we source by restoring carbon, improving biodiversity and boosting farmers’ income.

Learn more about the ambition in Ashley's to do list here.

Hand holding oats

The climate impact from ingredients went up:

11 percent

(% COMPARED TO 2020)

In 2021, our ingredients accounted for about 34% (the largest piece of pie) of our corporate climate footprint, or 0.215 kg CO2e per produced liter, which is an 11% increase per produced liter compared with 2020.

This increase is primarily driven by updated third-party GHG emission data for vitamins and enzymes, we plan to investigate the impact of these new emission factors in more detail. 

As always oats remained our most important ingredient, accounting for 84% of our total purchase volume.

 

Share of 
Ingredients,
 by Type
Oat field divider
Tractor

FARMING PROJECTS

Building from our partnerships with farmers in Sweden and the U.S, in 2021, we began developing an Oatly approach to restorative and regenerative agriculture for oats that works toward reducing and removing GHG emissions, increasing ecosystem function, and building farm viability and resilience. We are also developing an internal Oatly sustainable sourcing protocol for oats that we believe in future years will help us drive consistency in our farm partnership approach across the regions from which we source and feed data, results, experience and learning into a common knowledge bank.

Swedish oat farming

We have refined and expanded our partnership with oat farmers in Sweden. We have also worked with an agronomist to develop a list of sustainable farm management practices and tested them with 11 volunteer farmers. Using this learning, we are refining our list of management practices and recruiting more farmers, with the goal of transporting greater volumes of more sustainable oats to our partner mill.

Harvester

U.S. Oats for Oatly

In 2021, Oatly continued into the third year of our “U.S. Oats for Oatly” program with 15 Midwest U.S. farmers and NGO partners to test the environmental and economic benefits of growing oats in rotation with the more-commonly grown corn and soy. We believe that if we can prove these benefits, we’ll help a wider community of American farmers incorporate oats into their crop rotations, improving soil health, water quality and biodiversity and diversifying farmers’ income opportunities and expanding the supply of food-grade, U.S.-grown oats. We’re continuing to gather data from these partner farms to evaluate the impact oats and cover cropping have had on each farm, and will share preliminary lessons and results in 2022.

Sustainability in the supply chain

Our Code of Conduct reflects our values and expectations on key issues such as human rights, working conditions and anti-corruption. We expect that all our suppliers and production partners either commit to complying with our code of conduct or present their own, with a standard at least equal to ours. 

As we grow, so does the complexity of our supply chain, and we strive to be mindful of the sustainability impacts of our partners within it. In 2021 we teamed up with students from Harvard Undergraduate Consulting on Business and the Environment to learn from the next generation of corporate sustainability leaders. We aim to draw on these insights to update our code of conduct in 2022 — in particular, looking to provide clear accountability and performance evaluation guidelines for suppliers.
 
This includes to both expand the Ecovadis sustainability assessment program to more suppliers and work with select partners on improvement actions they might take, in light of the assessments done so far. In 2021, 41 suppliers of oats, packaging and ingredients delivered to our Oatly sites, participated in the assessment. They were rated across four categories: environment, ethics, labor & human rights and sustainable procurement. The average score for our suppliers indicates a better average performance than the Ecovadis database benchmark. 

We seek to uphold human rights and responsibly source key ingredients for our products. Regarding risks related to human rights in our supply chain, we are prioritizing a review of the small percentage of ingredients that come from high-risk countries where modern slavery or forced labor may be more likely. In our Modern Slavery Statement you’ll find more on how we look to identify and mitigate risks in our supply chain.

Packaging

In 2021, our packaging accounted for about 10% of our corporate climate footprint, approximately 0.007 kg CO2e per produced liter, which is an 11% increase per produced liter compared to 2020. We believe this increase is primarily due to both our ability to gather more data and a weight-increase for some of our packaging.

For packaging, the raw materials – where they come from and how much is used – are important elements of climate impact. While our packaging use continued to grow because of more products produced, we maintained our share of 87% renewable or recycled packaging materials. Of the materials used, 45% was recycled material.

We will work to increase the proportion of renewable and recycled packaging materials. We also plan to further define targets related to packaging made with renewable energy and end-use recycling.

Chart - Our packaging

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A Note regarding forward-looking statements >

This site (the “2021 Sustainability Summary”) contains forward-looking statements regarding our future business expectations and objectives and our environmental, social and governance goals, which involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated depending on a variety of important factors, including without limitation the risks detailed in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In relation to the 2021 Sustainability Summary, we are (wholly or in part) reliant on public sources of information and information provided by our own suppliers and business partners. Therefore, such information is provided on a reasonable efforts basis and is subject to change.