New document chronicles energy savings, food waste reduction, packaging innovations and more

Grower-supplier Oppy has released the second edition of its sustainability report, ’Expect the world from us’, which the company said highlighted its ”substantial achievements” in its commitment to environmental responsibility and social impact.

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The group said the report had evolved from the previous year’s, which consisted of benchmark data related to Oppy’s five ongoing focus areas – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, food waste, water use, packaging materials and impact on people and communities.

The update celebrated numerous sustainability and innovative achievements and set tangible objectives for the future, Oppy noted.

“When I began leading Oppy’s sustainability efforts, I knew we were already doing impactful work,” said Garland Perkins, director of innovation and sustainability.

”Now, with the second report, we are excited to demonstrate the legitimacy and depth of our progress,” she noted. ”Our approach to sustainability reflects our commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ for the environment and our people, while aligning with the business’ needs and realities.”

In the 2024 report, Oppy said it had transitioned from tactical initiatives to focus on more significant, global-impact projects.

The company was now addressing critical challenges within its supply chain, moving beyond quantifying efforts to tackle more complex issues, it confirmed.

Key highlights from the 2024 report included Oppy receiving SmartWay certification in the fall of 2023; generating 119,062 kilowatt hours (kWh) from renewable sources, representing 59 per cent of electricity used to power its offices and warehouse space, and avoiding 162 metric tons of carbon emissions; and the group’s upcycling partnerships for food waste and recycled materials resulting in the reduction of 74 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and 430 mtCO2e, respectively.

Other achievements included increased sales volumes of organic products by 130 per cent between 2018 and 2023, the launch of a home and industry-certified compostable avocado bag in January 2024 called The Earth Sack, and an 800 per cent increase in Oppy employees’ paid volunteer time off.

“As an industry, we are all in this together,” said president and COO David Smith.

“While Oppy’s global presence and unique role in the supply chain has the potential for staggering impact, when it comes to sustainability, we believe in collaboration over competition,” he added. ”Which is why we are committed to working with partners, stakeholders and competitors to create a sustainable tomorrow for all and drive meaningful change.”