CHICAGO — The Bel Group announced that it is strengthening its carbon reduction target to help limit global warming to below +1.5°C.1 This particularly ambitious commitment for a mainly dairy company will involve a net reduction of one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions throughout Bel’s entire value chain by 2035,2 and the integration of carbon tracking as a tool for steering its activities.
Committed to a profitable and responsible business model, the Group is thus entering a new stage in its transformation where carbon reduction is a driver of its financial and extra-financial performance.
In 2017, the Bel Group joined the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), thus demonstrating its will to help achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and keep global warming below +2°C. To this end, the Group had defined clear objectives and initiated its initial actions on its own area of responsibility: its industrial capacity. Thanks to the efforts made, the Group has set the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its plants by 2025, marking a first definite step in its action.
For many years, Bel has been working to reduce its carbon footprint throughout its value chain and is working hand in hand with its dairy farmers to develop more sustainable farming practices. In recent months, the Group has announced the launch in 2022 of two new initiatives:
- A new premium of €5/1000L in France for the Group’s 750 APBO partner farmers, guaranteeing 100% European cow feed from October 2022,
- A pilot program on cow feed aiming to reduce methane emissions from herds, starting in spring 2022 in France and Slovakia and conducted in collaboration with the company DSM.
Today, faced with the alarming findings of the IPCC, the Group is accelerating and redefining its ambition to limit global warming. It thus intends to become an exemplary player in its sector by acting with all its stakeholders.
Towards a single impact indicator to empower every stakeholder
The Group has chosen to deploy a carbon impact analysis tool at all levels of decision-making within the company. Bel is already among the pioneering companies that are systematically measuring their carbon footprint using performance indicators that are as methodical and integrated into the company’s logic as accounting metrics.
Monitored with monthly data, it provides a consolidated, precise, and regular perspective of the Group’s carbon footprint in all its markets, brands, segments, and products. In practice, the Group has already put in place environmental and social impact assessment grids for all of the company’s strategic decisions and is also working to define “carbon” budgets in the same way as financial budgets.
The carbon indicator is planned as part of an innovative and global positive impact indicator that consolidates 7 criteria, including accessibility and the contribution to regenerative agriculture. The work carried out by the Group on its impact should become transparent to bring together as many players in the sector as possible. Eventually, sharing this information publicly across the sector could contribute to better consumer information.
Healthy, diversified, and accessible products as a force for positive impact
Each Bel brand and product contributes to this transformation. The Laughing Cow® unveiled a new simplified recipe with only four dairy ingredients for its 100th anniversary in 2021 and is now working on launching a 100% plant-based recipe. This new recipe will join a family of 110 The Laughing Cow® recipes available around the world, thus giving consumers a wider choice and the opportunity to diversify their diet to help reduce its carbon footprint. It is expected to be launched by the end of 2022 in France, followed by the US.
“Some of our brands are over a hundred years old. They have accompanied several generations of consumers around the world in the evolution of their eating needs and habits. It’s up to us to make them a force for consumers’ commitments by endowing them with positive values that are consistent with people’s expectations,” says Antoine Fiévet, Chairman and CEO of Bel Group.
“400 million people around the world consume the 20 billion portions we produce per year. Our new +1.5°C trajectory will have a significant impact, for everyone. It involves our employees as well as all our stakeholders, from our upstream dairy operations to the consumer. Together we want to build the food for tomorrow and that is why we are mobilizing around the crucial issues of the environmental impact and the value of food,” says Cécile Béliot, Executive Vice President of Bel Group.
About Bel Brands USA:
Bel Brands USA strives to promote healthier, responsible and accessible food for all consumers worldwide. Bel is a major player in the healthy fruit and dairy single-serving portion snacking, as well as a producer of entertaining and plant-based cheese options to meet a range of consumer needs. Bel produces more than thirty local and international brands that are sold in more than 130 countries around the globe. Beloved USA brands include Babybel®, Boursin®, The Laughing Cow®, Nurishh®, and popular cheese spreads marketing under Kaukauna®, Merkts® and Price*s® labels. Bel Brands USA delivers fun snacks to over 400 million consumers globally. www.belbrandsusa.com
1 The Bel Group joined the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017 and defined its objectives to limit global warming to +2°C in 2019.
2 Vs 2017, and taking into account the Group’s growth.