AB Sugar targets water, carbon and plastics under new sustainability commitment

Global sugar company AB Sugar has launched its first ever group-wide sustainability report, outlining bold new commitments to cut carbon emissions and water use by 30% and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or bio-degradable by 2030.

AB Sugar, which employs 40,000 across 10 counties including the UK, launched the 2030 sustainability commitments with the aim of become the world’s leading sustainable sugar business. AB Sugar claims to be the first in the industry to launch group-wide commitments on sustainability.

The 2030 targets form part of a broader “global mind, local champion” CSR framework and will strive to work with its 25,000 growers to reduce end-to-end water and carbon footprints by 30%.

In response to recent consumer concerns on plastics pollution, AB Sugar will also ensure that 100% of its plastic packaging throughout the supply chain is reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2030.

AB Sugar’s group chief executive Mark Carr said: “Our ambitious 2030 commitments are an industry first and the next step in our journey to becoming the world’s leading sustainable sugar business. Working across all 10 operational markets our ‘Global Mind, Local Champions’ sustainability framework will help us lessen our footprint and to grow a sustainable future for those around us.”

Best practice approach

The company’s first group-wide sustainability report outlines plans to share best practice in supply chains to train professionals growers, having already improved net income for Chinese growers by 166% in the last five years.

More than 25 million people across the globe will be equipped with scientific information on sugar, diets and health by 2030 under the commitment, while AB Sugar will move to champion the circular economy.

UK subsidiary British Sugar, for example, contributes £700m to the national economy and supports 9,500 jobs. It also produces the second highest amount of bioethanol in Europe, through a partnership with Vivergo Fuels. A £15m anaerobic digestion plant in Bury St Edmunds enables British Sugar to produce and use 35,675 MWh of heat.

Matt Mace

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