Savencia and the environment: naturally the strongest of links

Today is World Environment Day.
In this article by Fabienne Boroni, CSR Director of Savencia, our commitments to reduce the environmental footprint of our activities.



Today, on World Environment Day, Savencia confirms more than ever its commitment to #PositiveFood. Because we defend a positive vision of food, which places the accent on natural products, as well as a dietary model encouraged by companies contributing positively to their environment and striving to reduce their environmental impact. That impetus is shared by all Savencia subsidiaries which have been active in this area for years. It is an impetus to which we equally gave form in 2018 via our OXYGEN plan which has structured our commitments and accelerated our transition in favor of sustainability.

“Reducing the environmental impact of milk collection”

The link between Savencia and its environment is naturally a very strong one. First and foremost, our products are essentially composed of agricultural raw materials, with milk at the top of the list. Together with our 12,000 farmer partners, we have implemented actions which reduce the carbon footprint of our milk collection. 217,000 tons of CO² equivalent have thus been avoided between 2010 and 2019. Committed to animal welfare, Savencia also encourages herds’ access to pasture: 85% of its farmers’ herds spend an average of 219 days of the year out in the fields. And finally, convinced that dairy farms help ensure biodiversity, we measure their contribution on that score in the framework of our Sustainable Milk Production diagnosis undertaken in partnership with Céréopa. With an overall size of 113 hectares (about 280 acres), the average farm includes 50 hectares (124 acres) of grassland and 17 hectares (42 acres) of land of ecological interest.

“30% of green electricity consumption at our French sites and 100% at the Spanish sites of Arias”

At all our production sites, we are also very vigilant as to our activities’ environmental impact. Our subsidiaries regularly undertake practical initiatives in favor of greater use of renewable energy sources: at the end of 2020, we thus expect to achieve an average level of 30% of green electricity consumption at our Group’s French sites, and for its part our Arias subsidiary in Spain already uses 100% of electricity certified as of renewable origin in its 5 plants. Many of our sites have already installed wood-fueled boilers, notably in Brazil and in France, in the latter case at our Illoud site in the Haute-Marne department, the home of Caprice des Dieux. In the same way, the new production site for Bordeau Chesnel rillettes, located at Ivré l’Evêque in the Sarthe department, has been entirely eco-designed and is expected to produce substantial reductions of consumption amounting to -35% for water and -40% for electricity. Nor do we leave aside the supply chain dimension of our operations: for example, our Honfleur distribution platform possesses the Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE) certification and does all it can to limit the CO² emissions associated with its road transport activity.

“Already more than 80% of recyclable or biodegradable packaging”

Another area of commitment for Savencia: our products’ packaging, with a lot at stake since our total packaging volume amounts to more than 130,000 tons per annum. So there too we have a role to play, and that is why in 2019 Savencia set out its ambition of approaching 100% of recyclable or biodegradable packaging for our branded products by 2025. With the actions engaged in recent years, we have already achieved 80% of recyclable or biodegradable packaging as of now. All our cardboard packaging is manufactured from recycled material or sourced from sustainably managed forests. And in the case of plastic, we place great stress on its reduction at source by means of eco-design, as exemplified by our Etorki cheese new pack with a material content divided by three, thus producing a reduction of its weight approaching 60%.

“Committed to acting for change together with our employees and other partners and stakeholders”

Committed Together, because together we are stronger. Such could also be our environmental slogan because we are not the sole driver of our progress. We have the good fortune to be able to count on our business partners, and on our milk producers and packaging suppliers in particular, with whom we work in close collaboration. But above all, we know we can count on the mobilization of Savencia’s employees, the protagonists and driving forces of our approach, who first and foremost are themselves citizens committed to preserving the planet. Throughout the world, we act day by day to make our planet a sustainable, ethical and solidary one.