Ethics, governance, transparency and compliance all play essential roles in the integration of sustainability across our global operations and our value chain.
Integrating sustainability into the operations of an agribusiness and food company has become an imperative in today’s business environment, where demand for more sustainably produced products is on the rise. Gaining new business can depend on a company’s sustainability performance and verification, making these a matter of competitive advantage. What’s more, integrating sustainability into our sector is the right thing to do — for the environment, for our customers and consumers, and for the people who work in our industry.
Integrity • Teamwork • Citizenship • Entrepreneurship • Openness & Trust
Our Code of Conduct sets minimum requirements for Bunge’s workforce. Employees are required to acknowledge the Code of Conduct and participate in related training.
Our Global Ethics and Compliance function is responsible for day-to-day administration and oversight of the Code of Conduct, including periodic training. Our Executive Committee and our Board of Directors also monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct.
In addition to our Code of Conduct, our values of Integrity, Teamwork, Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, and Openness & Trust guide our approach to sustainability. Finally, our Blue Book expresses who we are, how we work and the benefits we bring to society.
As Bunge has transitioned to a more proactive approach to sustainability, we’ve added new policies and global oversight bodies. At the Board level, we created our Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee (SCRC) in 2014. The committee is made up of independent directors, and acts as Bunge’s highest sustainability governance body. More details on this committee’s role can be found in the SCRC charter.
The past year has been notable on a few levels. First, it is clear that management throughout Bunge is integrating sustainability into the strategy of the business, globally and within specific operations. There is a roadmap and a set of programs in place to manage the operations better, to minimize impacts and to generate value from sustainability.
The company is thinking more holistically and more boldly in terms of goals and policies. I believe this reflects the insights and passion that are growing within the team. It is clear that there is much to be done, but as a Board member I am buoyed by what I see.
The sustainability challenge is rooted in the same dynamics as commercial and logistics challenges: how to link upstream and downstream and how to ensure an efficient food production chain. In the case of the former, building greater traceability into the value chain, so customers and consumers can have confidence in the origin and sustainable qualities of the commodities Bunge sources is one of the biggest, immediate challenges. Reducing deforestation and navigating the effects of climate change on agriculture are two priorities that speak to the ongoing health of the business and industry. Bunge’s work with farmers and others on deforestation has been compelling, and it has been great to see management dig deeper into the science and scenarios around climate. Trade can be one of the best adaptation tools, and I expect Bunge to play a role in ensuring that it is.
I think that being transparent is the best way: showing the progress you’re making in addressing the challenges your company faces. Showing what you can do, what you cannot do, and how you will get things done going forward. There’s no room for green washing; the challenges are too complex and too important. Companies need openness and a willingness to mobilize in the face of these challenges.
Global Sustainability Council
Business leaders and subject-matter experts are part of Bunge’s newly established Global Sustainability Council, which reports directly to our CEO. This council is responsible for affirming, evolving and overseeing the implementation of our global Sustainability Policy and strategic directives for the company.
We are integrating sustainability into our strategic plan, operations and commercial activities with the intention of generating greater value, opening new markets, improving our risk management and enhancing our reputation.
Executive bodies that also play a role in overseeing sustainability across our five operating companies are the Global Corporate Affairs Committee and the Productivity, Quality, Safety and Environment (PQSE) group. The Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs reports directly to the CEO and interacts with all governance bodies cited above. The structure of local dedicated teams varies, but business leaders throughout our company share in the development and oversight of sustainability measures.
Going forward, we aim to continually enhance our organizational oversight of sustainability to ensure that we are moving toward economically viable, 21st-century value chains.
Bunge is considered to be a good partner by stakeholders within our value chains, a professional team with whom organizations can engage in dialogue around sustainability. We are respected for being honest about what we are doing and for reporting our progress in sustainability in a balanced way.
We publicly disclose our efforts and progress through several sustainability reporting mechanisms, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework at the global and regional levels, and through CDP programs. As part of this year’s Global Sustainability Report, we are also posting our first “Communication on Progress” to the UN Global Compact.
Bunge issued our first global citizenship report in 2008. In 2011, we launched our Citizenship website. Bunge’s 2014 Citizenship Report was our first GRI-based report at the global level, and this year’s Global Sustainability Report is our first global report in compliance with the Core indicators of the GRI G4 framework.
We have been reporting on sustainability longer at the regional level: Bunge Brazil released its 13th report this year — its third GRI Comprehensive report. And Bunge Southern Cone , which has been reporting on its performance since 2009, published a GRI G4–based report for operations in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia this year.
Bunge also discloses its sustainability performance to three CDP programs: CDP Water, CDP Climate Change and, for the first time in 2016, CDP Forests. 2015 was the fourth consecutive year that we disclosed information to the CDP Water program. In 2015, we also became a signatory to the CEO Water Mandate.Charters and Principles
Bunge belongs or is a signatory to several charters and principles–based frameworks, including the UN Global Compact and Brazil’s Soy Moratorium.2016 Palm Policy Updates
In 2016, we published two progress reports related to the implementation of our Global Palm Oil Sourcing Policy. The reports describe our efforts and include traceability data. (See Sustainable Agriculture for more details.)