Conserving raw materials via strategic sustainable sourcing. We will need to do this in close partnership with our suppliers and farmers to ensure we have a positive impact on the biodiversity and health of our soil.
What have we done so far?
They’re small, but without them we would face serious problems. Bees are among the world’s most prolific pollinators. Our bee careful initiative focuses on this very important though small creature for our ecosystem. We have done research to develop a toolkit that creates bee-inspired ecosystems aimed at improving biodiversity and enhancing yields.
Strong direct relationships with our farmers
We are also building strong direct relationships with our farmers to increase the percentage of raw materials directly sourced. Over the last five years , we have moved from 50% to 75% for our factory in Schwartau, and we are close to 50% in Spain.
These partnerships allow us to work together to positively impact biodiversity through sharing best practices in sustainable farming.
Sustainable farming fosters practices that help preserve our environment while producing better crops, better raw materials, and better food. Our sustainable farming principles provide a definition based on what we believe we can achieve in our food system. They form the foundation of how we work with our suppliers and farmers across the Hero Group.
“Our sustainability strategy is derived from our mission, and we commit ourselves to become climate positive in the future. This means that we will up our game.”
Chief Executive Officer Hero Group
Supporting sustainable agriculture in LDCs*
Additionally, in the last year, we have built up a value chain for mango, pineapple, and banana leading to develop LDC (low developing country) suppliers and supporting producers working under recognized certifications, such as Smeta, Rainforest, and Ecovad, or directly with the FAO.
For example, we are working closely with mango suppliers in Mexico, Mali, Colombia and India, fruit and vegetable suppliers in Spain, and banana suppliers in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Our suppliers actively support smallholder farmers and involved in local communities. We partner with our fruit suppliers and collaborate for on-farm productivity, social engagement and environmental benefits.
* Low developing countries
Our sustainability pillars
Conserving raw materials, packaging and finished goods via strategic sustainable sourcing to ensure we have a positive impact on biodiversity, healthy soils, and local farms. We will need to do this in close partnership with our suppliers and farmers.
Net neutral production
Conserving natural resource is via carbon neutral production on all our products.
We will do this by reducing and optimizing our use of energy, water, and waste within our production facilities, but also work with our co-manufacturers to drive this ambition together.
Naturally healthy food
Conserving nature's goodness via naturally healthy food. We will leverage our brands to educate and collaborate with consumers on a holistic diet good for us and for the planet. We will enhance our portfolio to give consumers more naturally healthy options – more of the good like nuts and whole grain and less of the bad like refined sugar and red meat.
Growing and developing our people. Hero is a values-led family company, and that's reflected in our culture. We invest in training and development, and are committed to providing our people with what they need to thrive. Hero is an equal opportunity employer with programs in place that aim to make our workforce diverse and our workplaces inclusive and safe.
Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains.
Sedex is shared by many of our industry peers, enabling suppliers to complete their site assessments or audits and share them with customers. The Sedex assessment criteria – including business ethics, environment, labor, and health & safety – have become the accepted standard in the industry.
More than 90% of our suppliers are covered by Sedex, and we aim to keep working to raise that figure even higher.
Code of Conduct Supplier & Business Partner
Our mission to ‘delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature’ can only be achieved with the support and co-operation of those with whom we work. This Code of Conduct outlines Hero’s requirements for suppliers and business partners. It incorporates ingredients, packaging, transportation, third party manufacturers, service providers, and sub-contractors employed within the Hero supply chain.
Our packaging principles
Packaging constitutes around 10% of waste globally. Each EU citizen generated an estimated 175kg in 2018. At 77.5 million tons in a year, that’s a lot of waste, with a significant environmental impact. Improving our approach to packaging is crucial for our sustainable sourcing transformation. The principles provide a framework for thinking and assessing packaging in a more sustainable way.