Action for Sustainable Agriculture: COFCO International publishes its third annual sustainability report

GENEVA, Switzerland - COFCO International today publishes its third annual sustainability report, Action for Sustainable Agriculture, disclosing 2019 progress towards its strategy to meet tomorrow’s demand for food responsibly.

The report covers the company’s efforts to work with its partners and employees towards a positive difference and build supply chain resilience in the face of social and environmental challenges and economic uncertainty.

In particular, COFCO International outlines its performance against the five strategic priorities of its sustainability strategy: connecting supply and demand, taking care of its people, managing its environmental impact, building strong communities and upholding standards.

2019 highlights include:

  • $2.3 billion sustainability-linked loan as its main financing facility, with interest rates linked to ESG performance and commodity supply chain traceability.
  • Full farm-level traceability set as new target for all directly sourced Brazil soy by 2023.
  • 100% farm-level traceability for all directly sourced Brazil soy in 25 priority municipalities of the Cerrado biome.
  • 5.2 million+ hectares of soy farms in Latin America mapped and assessed for environmental and social risks.
  • 240,000 trees planted on the company’s dedicated 850-hectare conservation area.
  • 23% of global coffee sales certified or verified as sustainable.
  • 48% and 31% reduction in lost-time incident frequency for contractors and employees.
  • 74% of wastewater reused as irrigation water and natural fertiliser.
  • 10% water efficiency improvement by 2025 set as a new environmental target.
  • 87% of global energy needs met by renewable energy.
  • 25,000+ beneficiaries of its community programmes worldwide.
  • Global grievance mechanism – Integrity Hotline – rolled out globally and established as the company’s primary means of resolving grievances.

Collaboration remains vital to driving sustainability progress within the company and the wider food and agriculture industry. In particular, COFCO International has worked closely with NGOs, peers and multi-stakeholder initiatives to advance towards its goals and promote sector-wide transformation.

“Our world is facing unprecedented change,” says David Dong, CEO of COFCO International. “As a global agri-business, our future success depends on our ability to help transform the food system, conserve biodiversity, build resilience and create value across the supply chain. We have laid the foundations for change in 2019. And while there is still much to be accomplished, we remain optimistic in the face of the challenges ahead and determined to make a positive difference.”

“In 2019, we continued to make good progress on our sustainability journey, while sharpening our focus with new goals spanning every aspect of our strategy,” says Wei Peng, COFCO International’s Head of Sustainability. “These efforts will guide targeted action to improve supply chain traceability, health and safety, resource efficiency and community engagement in 2020 and beyond.”

“I would like to thank all our employees, suppliers and partners for their dedication and support in a challenging year,” Mr Dong continues. “I look forward to our continued collaboration towards a more sustainable future.”

The report has been prepared according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. It supports the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on which COFCO International has the greatest opportunity to contribute as well as the Environmental and Social Performance Standards of International Finance Corporation, a shareholder of COFCO International.

The COFCO International Sustainability Report 2019 is available on the website: cofcointernational.com/sustainability/