Set the example as a future company
The UN has called on businesses to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable future that addresses climate change, inequality, health and well-being. To us, this means putting people and the planet first. In the following sections, we have summarized the impact our 2021 operations had on our energy use, water use and transportation, how we managed our waste and the corresponding climate impact. You’ll also see our continued efforts to make sure Oatly is a welcoming and safe place to grow personally and professionally — or in other words, a great place to work.
We’re working to deliver on two major ambitions by 2029: Reduce our climate footprint per liter of Oatly produced by 70% and align that ambition with a 1.5 °C climate pathway. And create our products in Oatly facilities that are sustainable, efficient, safe and inclusive (meet a “Future Factory” criteria) while supporting our production partners along the journey.
Learn more about the ambition in Ashley's to do list here.
The climate impact from energy increased:
(% COMPARED TO 2020)
Energy used at production sites and offices accounts for about 17% of our corporate climate footprint, or approximately 0.107 kg CO2e per produced liter, an increase of 36%. The two drivers of energy-related climate impact are energy intensity and type of energy sourced.
Our energy consumption almost doubled (+92%) in 2021, mainly because we opened three new production sites in Singapore; Ma'anshan, China; and Ogden, U.S. and greater production means more energy consumption. We also expanded capacity at our factory in Vlissingen, Netherlands, installing new oat base and packing lines. We anticipate that the new sites and forthcoming new lines will achieve greater energy efficiency as they reach full production capacity over time. If we look at the amount of energy used per liter of product, it increased approximately 13% between 2019 and 2021.
We are working to source 100% renewable energy by 2029. While sourcing renewable heat energy continues to be a challenge, we made progress in sourcing more renewable electricity. We continued to source 100% renewable electricity at Landskrona and Vlissingen, and for the first time, our two factories in the U.S. sourced 100% renewable electricity. Including all Oatly operated sites and production partners we sourced approximately 76% renewable electricity in 2021.
Combined, our total percentage of renewable energy decreased from 49% in 2020 to 36% in 2021. This was primarily driven by our new factories in Ma’anshan and Singapore who do not yet source renewable energy (electricity or heat), and our third new factory in Ogden does not yet source renewable heat energy.
Because some production sites produce oat base only, while others also produce finished products, it’s difficult to combine site-level water usage into a consolidated metric or compare the sites to each other. Our goal is to reduce our water withdrawal per liter of Oatly produced by at least half between 2019 and 2029.
2021 Oatly Factory water use (l/l output)
The 74% reduction of water use since 2019 in our Millville factory is the perfect example of how we strive to be better. First, we make sure that we can produce to supply the demand for liquid oats, then we start improving. Better planning and efficiency resulted in less water needed for cleaning at Millville.
In Landskrona, we installed a recirculated cooling water system that increased the amount of water reused onsite, which helped to reduce our total water use by 18% since 2019.
And in Vlissingen our new production capacity was built with a continuous operating production process system (in contrast to a batch system) that uses less water, which helped to reduce our total water use by 53% since 2019.
We anticipate that our new sites in Ma’anshan, Ogden and Singapore will improve their water efficiency as well, as they reach full production capacity over time.
OF OUR LEFTOVERS REPURPOSED!
Our aim is to eliminate production waste sent to landfill. We work to repurpose our oat fiber residue byproduct (a.k.a. “our leftovers”), reduce waste generated and compost, recycle or convert the rest to energy. We even recycled most of the text from the last report for this section!
In 2021, all global Oatly-operated production sites combined generated about 79,226 tonnes of oat fiber residue, 100% of which was repurposed. More than half of our oat fiber residue was used to create energy such as biomethane or electricity. The rest was used either to feed animals or as a soil improver.
We also strive to keep the small proportion of our waste that is not oat fiber residue out of landfills by instead sending it to partners for recycling or incineration, with energy recovery. To that end, in 2021, only about 0.3 percent of the total production waste generated by our global Oatly-operated factories was sent to landfill.
TRANSPORT AND A POSITIVE CANCEL CULTURE
Transportation accounts for about 33% of our corporate climate footprint, or approximately 0.207 kg CO2e per produced liter, an increase of 0%. (yes, that’s zero percent). We transported more ingredients and products in 2021 than ever before but the climate footprint per produced liter stayed at the same level as in 2020, meaning we’re starting to move, or maybe transport, this metric in the right direction. Yay!
But let’s not pretend transportation isn’t the second biggest piece in our corporate climate footprint pie, because it is. Causing the most emissions in this area is the distribution of finished plant-based products, with more than half of the emissions related to the distribution of products to- and within Asia, usually via ocean freight, primarily from Europe. We expect our transportation-related emissions to go down, as our three new production sites reach full production capacity. As we open new factories we are working to optimize our strategic network design to minimize the distance between production sites and customers.
Even though air freight only represented approximately 0.02% of transportation based on tonne-km, they have an oversized emissions intensity, representing 1% of transportation emissions. To minimize this impact, our Global Logistics Team has since “cancelled” routine air freight. We now require detailed analysis and approval by upper management every time there’s a proposal to ship product by airplane.
In the second year of our partnership with Einride, we more than doubled the amount of tonne-km transported by electric truck. In 2022, we plan to expand this program in the U.S.
Our internal Health and Safety policy helps us in creating a culture of safety where everyone performs at their best and goes home to their family or friends without harm every day. We are continuously looking at opportunities to improve our safety programs with preventative measures and transparent reporting systems, like the Safety Incident Insights process we launched to transparently share learnings globally following incidents.
A FEW OF THE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACTIVITIES WE COMPLETED IN 2021:
- Conducted Health and Safety Leadership excellence workshop with 28 leadership teams
- Defined the 5 Lifesaving Rules — high risks that if not managed effectively can lead to fatalities or life-changing injuries, with all locations also having both conducted a self-assessment and built implementation plans for improvement areas.
- Updated Health and Safety committees, with all locations participating in engagement and consultation.
Diversity, equality & inclusion
We aim for diversity to be an essential aspect of our culture, because we believe it’s also key to our success as a business. We think teams make better decisions and innovate more boldly when they’re made up of people with diverse perspectives and are supportive of new ways of thinking. Oatly should feel like home to everyone who works here, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, disability, age or whatever else makes you, you. We introduced or expanded the following global and regional programs in 2021 to help employees feel psychologically safe and enable the diverse perspectives they represent.
By the end of 2021, 360 leaders had participated The Oatly Leadership Program, that teaches people to lead in an inclusive and empathetic way.
In collaboration with The Fem League, we have created space for various Oatly communities to connect, build an inclusive culture and sense of belonging, and learn from collective intelligence. The communities are for different needs or different groups, and with different goals like, breaking isolation and foster wellness or create spaces to freely share experiences and concerns.
Issues raised in the communities that require attention and action are currently escalated to the global People & Transformation team via our partner, the Fem League.
Each region has implemented a number of steps adapted to specific local needs in their recruitment process to make sure we are inclusive and approachable to a wide candidate pool. Some examples are: an anonymized recruitment process in the initial phases. The use of psychometric tests to see potential beyond previous experience and university degrees, and working with agencies and sites specialized in diversity
We continue to be committed to having balanced gender representation across our company and still have some work to do. In 2021, our proportion of women on the parent company board remained the same and the proportion of women on the parent company leadership team decreased.
Code of conduct
Our code of conduct expresses our ethics as a company, and it is critical that all employees respect and act in accordance with it. It includes key issues like bribery, corruption, and discrimination. In 2021 we also included our business conduct and ethics guidelines in all employment contracts and conducted mandatory training for all employees and executives on our code of conduct and on anti-bribery & corruption. We have also included compliance clauses in our commercial agreements and other contracts with third parties.
Our whistleblower service enables reporting any behavior that goes against the code of conduct. In 2021 we enhanced our whistleblower system to allow reporting through multiple channels with global support, several language options and a better process to ensure anonymity for all of our employees and consultants.
Sustainability a core value
Basically, we want every one of our 1,615 employees at Oatly – yes that’s a 104% more people than 2020 – to feel like they’re part of the sustainability team. Because it’s through the everyday decisions of our employees that we make our sustainability ambitions come true.
WE MEASURE EMPLOYEES’ COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY VIA A COMMITTED CO-WORKER INDEX — IT’S BASED ON THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS:
- Do you know how you contribute to Oatly’s work on sustainability in your role and daily work?
- Do you feel that your engagement with sustainability is developed at Oatly?
- What ambition do you think Oatly should have for our work with sustainability?
Since we started measuring this index five years ago, the results have varied between 80 and 88% of employees; in 2021, it was 85%. 59% said that sustainability was an important reason why they applied to work at Oatly, which provides a good foundation for us to implement the actions listed in Ashley’s To-Do List and continue to:
- Maintain sustainability as our core value, helping our co-workers feel committed and understand how they contribute toward sustainability.
- Incentivize our leaders to prioritize sustainability by making it part of their performance expectations.
Empower a plant-based revolution
A Note regarding forward-looking statements >
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.