Thriving Nature

Our commitment to net zero and achieving a forest positive supply chain
Thriving Nature

Thriving Nature

Our commitment to net zero and achieving a forest positive supply chain
By 2025, we will be forest positive. By 2030, we will have decarbonized our footprint in line with global efforts to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. By 2050, we will be a net zero company.
Forever Chocolate_Thriving Nature_barry callebaut

The challenges of climate change for cocoa farmers

The Agriculture sector contributes significantly to climate change, but is also one of the sectors most affected by its consequences. At the same time, impacts of climate change, poor soil quality, suboptimal agrochemical use, and a lack of natural inputs, such as shade cover and pollinators, are putting additional pressure on cocoa farmers, who are already struggling with declining cocoa yields.

Focusing on reducing our carbon footprint and achieving a forest positive supply chain

As part of our commitment to ecosystem protection and stability, Barry Callebaut strives to achieve a forest positive supply chain and reduce our carbon footprint. Therefore, our ambitions go beyond deforestation-free supply chains and sourcing activities, but also to the long-term and large-scale conservation of forests. At the same time our aim is to empower communities, helping farmers prosper by increasing the long-term productivity of cocoa farming in environmentally suitable areas while mitigating the impact of climate change, preserving ecosystems and restoring natural biodiversity on existing farmland.

Our goal is to inset our carbon emissions through agroforestry and other decarbonization initiatives across our factories and value chain. Our approach is aligned with the emissions reduction trajectory of the Paris Agreement for 2030, and will help us become a net zero company by 2050.

Ecosystem protection Barry Callebaut

Our journey to net zero

We aim to be a net zero company, meaning, we will decarbonize our emissions through reduction and removals to a minimum and then neutralize residual emissions. We are committed to assessing the carbon impact created by our own operations (scope 1), the impact generated by the energy we use (scope 2), and the impact of our supply chain (scope 3), which includes the production and processing of all the raw materials we source, and related Land Use Change (LUC). In 2019, we released our first science-based targets (SBTi). These decarbonization targets have been externally assessed and support the global decarbonization trajectory required to limit global warming to +1.5°C. We are currently reviewing and refining our methodology approach, elevating our GHG inventory procedure to best practice with the GHG-P LSRG guidance and intend to release the outcomes of our updated GHG inventory approach, alongside our Net Zero Roadmap and quantified 2030 SBTi Targets soon.

Tackling emissions from Land Use Change (LUC) 

Land Use Change (LUC) emissions, which refers to carbon emissions resulting from the transformation of forest land to agricultural land, form the biggest part of our carbon liability. We therefore focus our activities on monitoring deforestation and preventing produce from deforested land from entering our supply chain. 

Deforestation monitoring through traceability to farm level and yield control

Our deforestation-free protocol, describes the processes for assessing risks of deforestation within our supply chain. In order to monitor and prevent deforestation it is crucial to know exactly where ingredients are produced. Mapping the location of the farmers we are sourcing from is a first step to ending deforestation. Mapping allows us to assess the proximity of farm and forest overlaps, including areas of protected forests. Especially for cocoa, our efforts combine mapping with polygons with geo-localization based on satellite images. In addition, in order to manage the risk of cocoa being associated with deforestation or illegal production, we also monitor the volumes we source from the mapped areas compared to credible yield assumptions. We continuously work on improving our due diligence collaboration with cooperatives and farmers in areas with high risks of deforestation, and cease or scale back our sourcing activities where necessary. 

Forest conservation at landscape level 

Our commitment to being forest positive extends beyond exercising due diligence on and around farms and drives us to proactively support forest conservation. Our focus centers on collaboration in multi-stakeholder partnerships that develop landscape initiatives promoting community-based management models for forest conservation and restoration. Currently, we are engaged in active restoration efforts in the Agbo 2 Forest in Côte d’Ivoire, in which, although designated as protected, many hectares of forest have been lost over time to illegal slash-and-burn, logging and poor agricultural practices.

Agroforestry benefits farmers, companies and the planet

Our Agroforestry efforts focus on tree growth and survival to maximize permanent carbon removals and climate resilience on cocoa farms while at the same time diversifying farmer income and supporting livelihood improvement.

Agroforestry insetting also allows for the removal of carbon within our own supply chains and those of our customers (see example of partnership with Nestlé in Côte d’Ivoire). In collaboration with the Gold Standard Foundation and SustainCert, Barry Callebaut achieved an industry first insetting certification allowing us to verify annual removals since 2017/18.

In partnership with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation and major customers, we keep extending the area covered by our intensified agroforestry approach with a focus on long term success through training, extended monitoring and payments for ecosystem services (PES). PES means that farmers get paid on a yearly basis for the survival of the planted trees as a reward for carbon removals.

Agroforestry Barry Callebaut
Agroforestry is a technique that helps farmers to develop cocoa farms that are more resilient to drought and diseases, have better soil quality, produce better and higher yields, and that can provide them with additional sources of income. Cocoa grown under shade trees is also linked to increased biodiversity, carbon removals, and improved soil structure.

Decarbonization for other ingredients

Next to our emissions from LUC greenhouse gas emissions associated with our dairy sourcing, followed by emissions from the sourcing of other ingredients are also significant. We therefore strive to reduce the environmental impact of not only cocoa but also of the various ingredients that we source. Our sourcing model focuses on securing low-carbon ingredients throughout our supply chain, with special emphasis on the dairy, palm, and sugar sectors. Our approach is focused on establishing a standardized framework that aligns climate-smart practices and enables consistent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions across all our suppliers. To incentivize the adoption of these environmentally friendly practices, we offer a premium to our suppliers that is directly linked to their implementation of low-carbon practices. By providing this financial incentive, we aim to encourage the widespread adoption of sustainable approaches within and beyond our supply chain.

Innovations in energy efficiency and renewables

Reducing emissions begins by improving the energy efficiency of our operations and changing the sources of energy that we use. We do so by: 

  • cutting gas consumption by installing heat pumps
  • installing shell boilers that transform cocoa shells into energy
  • progressively replacing fossil fuels with green electricity
  • Implementing and expanding solar power
  • introducing electric transportation
Cleantech Solar’s project at Barry Callebaut’s cocoa factory in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia
Cleantech Solar’s project at Barry Callebaut’s cocoa factory in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia

Systemic change together with all supply chain actors

To ensure the stability of ecosystems, the entire agricultural industry must be committed to reducing its carbon footprint and achieving a deforestation-free supply chain. Barry Callebaut welcomes the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR).

Together with trade associations, other companies and civil society, Barry Callebaut has been a vocal proponent of EU legislation setting a due diligence obligation on all companies that place cocoa or cocoa products on the EU market. We are happy to see that our vision is yielding results and supporting the development of a level playing field for all companies.
We strongly believe that in order to be effective and achieve its main objectives of fighting deforestation, this piece of legislation has to be accompanied by enhanced cooperation and technical and financial support for producing countries. Specifically, support should be directed towards implementing government-mandated end-to-end traceability systems and establishing a registry for cocoa farmers. Additionally, a thorough review of existing land tenure policies is necessary to improve supply management and ensure compliance with national forest and agricultural policies.

We work with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, our industry partners and other stakeholders to protect and restore forests, support sustainable cocoa production and thriving communities, and build a forest positive future. Barry Callebaut was one of the leading signatories behind the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI). We actively engage with governments through steering committees, working groups, and regular meetings in cocoa growing countries and set targets for CFI 2.0 (2023-2025).

Our progress and measured impact

We report every year on the progress of our time-bound, measurable targets, and these reports are verified by an independent, third-party assurance provider.

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