• OSI Sustainability

Keep the Goal in Sight: Defining Sustainability for OSI’s Far Reaching Supply Chain

April 28, 2021


Sustainability is a broad concept, which makes it essential for any organization looking to ‘become more sustainable’ to assess what it means in relation to their specific activities, identify opportunities for making a difference and to set measurable goals to achieve this.


What Is Sustainability?


Definitions of sustainability all refer loosely to being able to maintain something over time. When applied to the environment this is often taken to mean the avoidance of depleting natural resources, but it can also mean the maintenance of a peaceful community where people have a high quality of life.


OSI has broken ‘sustainability’ down into three core principles: sustainable supply, environmental protection and social responsibility. OSI Europe is continuously making improvements in relation to these principles.


Sustainable Supply


OSI performs a critical role in a complex global supply chain that spans from raw material suppliers to the consumer’s table.


In order to have consistent supply and a resilient supply base, OSI engages directly with our suppliers about sustainability issues and maintains a presence in all our key raw material markets.


Reducing carbon emissions, ensuring animal welfare and antibiotic stewardship are key priority areas within sustainable supply. Improvements in these areas are achieved through rigorous procurement policies and audits, plus initiation and involvement in projects and programmes that work directly with raw material suppliers, engaging farmers right up to our customers.


For animal welfare, OSI's Animal Welfare Policy Commitment and Guiding Principles establish uniform standards and high expectations around the treatment and welfare of all animals we source. All of our vendors undergo regular audits that check for compliance with our policy, which overcomes the challenge associated with OSI having varying levels of direct control over supply chains in different parts of the world.


An example of this is the annual sustainability benchmarking survey which is completed by suppliers. Piloted in 2020 and rolled out this year, the benchmarking exercise involves all suppliers completing a series of questions. This includes the collection of data to understand whether staff are receiving accredited animal welfare training, whether CCTV exists in plants and is covering key areas such as the stun box and checking that CCTV is audited by an external party.


For antibiotic usage, OSI Europe looks at total antibiotics use in the supply chain, and specifically the use high-priority critically important antimicrobials (HP-CIAs). Appropriate use of antibiotics is a crucial sustainability issue to prevent the rate of resistance developing and to maintain antibiotics as an available tool to treat disease when needed in people and animals.


In Germany, Poland and the UK, OSI Europe has aligned with targets established by the ERBS, which calls for a 50% reduction in the use of HP-CIA and total usage of antibiotics below 10mg/Kg PCU by 2023. Work toward these goals is already underway and begins with establishing farm-level data that sheds light on herd health and antibiotic use.


It is essential to recognize that when tackling sustainability issues in the food supply chain, businesses have to work together. As a business with a large stake in meat processing, OSI Europe addresses sustainable supply by working with industry leaders to reduce carbon emissions in the meat supply chain, including involvement with initiatives such as the ERBS and designing projects at market level to trial sustainability initiatives and develop more efficient supply chains. OSI Europe also encourages all suppliers to get involved with their country platforms to drive beef sustainability improvements at all stages of the value chain.


Environmental Protection


Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment.

As a global business reliant on global resources, we consider it our duty to be responsible stewards of the environment in every area of the world in which we operate. For OSI Europe it includes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from OSI sites to address climate change and conservation of natural resources, such as water and forests.


Many OSI Foodworks and Food Solutions sites have already taken action to reduce their impact on the environment through efficient use of energy and water, reduced waste and use of renewable energy to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Some key examples include:

  • Food Solutions sites in Germany no longer send any waste to landfill. 95% is separated into categories for recycling, with the remaining 5% going to an energy from waste facility

  • Pickstock Telford, a Foodworks site in the UK, has an on-site anaerobic digestor, which takes animal waste and uses it to generate heat and electricity to power the site, making it 100% energy self sufficient

  • OSI Europe’s site in Poland has used 100% green energy since 2018, which includes energy generated on-site using solar power and wind turbine technologies

Measurables relating to environmental protection are also included in the sustainability benchmarking which suppliers participate in, enabling OSI Europe to track progress throughout the supply chain.


Social Responsibility

Sustainability also involves taking responsibility for looking after people in the workplace and local communities. This means prioritizing workplace safety, empowering the workforce with the skills needed to succeed and enriching local communities through a volunteering initiative.


As an example, OSI Ukraine has taken strides in supporting the plant’s local community. Members of the team have spoken at local schools and universities, to enrich student’s education and raise awareness of food sustainability issues. The plant has also implemented a community tree planting project, to improve the green spaces in the town and local school. These investments are positive steps towards improving the physical environment and quality of life for people living near the Ukraine plant.


To look after people and promote development in the workplace, all OSI Europe employees are participate in regular training which varies according to their role in the company.


By addressing sustainability issues by focusing on people, the environment and the supply chain, OSI Europe is able to implement projects which support long-term change and make a difference to people and the planet, as we carry out our day-to-day activities.


Sustainability is a broad concept, which makes it essential for any organization looking to ‘become more sustainable’ to assess what it means in relation to their specific activities, identify opportunities for making a difference and to set measurable goals to achieve this.


What Is Sustainability?


Definitions of sustainability all refer loosely to being able to maintain something over time. When applied to the environment this is often taken to mean the avoidance of depleting natural resources, but it can also mean the maintenance of a peaceful community where people have a high quality of life.


OSI has broken ‘sustainability’ down into three core principles: sustainable supply, environmental protection and social responsibility. OSI Europe is continuously making improvements in relation to these principles.


Sustainable Supply


OSI performs a critical role in a complex global supply chain that spans from raw material suppliers to the consumer’s table.


In order to have consistent supply and a resilient supply base, OSI engages directly with our suppliers about sustainability issues and maintains a presence in all our key raw material markets.


Reducing carbon emissions, ensuring animal welfare and antibiotic stewardship are key priority areas within sustainable supply. Improvements in these areas are achieved through rigorous procurement policies and audits, plus initiation and involvement in projects and programmes that work directly with raw material suppliers, engaging farmers right up to our customers.


For animal welfare, OSI's Animal Welfare Policy Commitment and Guiding Principles establish uniform standards and high expectations around the treatment and welfare of all animals we source. All of our vendors undergo regular audits that check for compliance with our policy, which overcomes the challenge associated with OSI having varying levels of direct control over supply chains in different parts of the world.


An example of this is the annual sustainability benchmarking survey which is completed by suppliers. Piloted in 2020 and rolled out this year, the benchmarking exercise involves all suppliers completing a series of questions. This includes the collection of data to understand whether staff are receiving accredited animal welfare training, whether CCTV exists in plants and is covering key areas such as the stun box and checking that CCTV is audited by an external party.


For antibiotic usage, OSI Europe looks at total antibiotics use in the supply chain, and specifically the use high-priority critically important antimicrobials (HP-CIAs). Appropriate use of antibiotics is a crucial sustainability issue to prevent the rate of resistance developing and to maintain antibiotics as an available tool to treat disease when needed in people and animals.


In Germany, Poland and the UK, OSI Europe has aligned with targets established by the ERBS, which calls for a 50% reduction in the use of HP-CIA and total usage of antibiotics below 10mg/Kg PCU by 2023. Work toward these goals is already underway and begins with establishing farm-level data that sheds light on herd health and antibiotic use.


It is essential to recognize that when tackling sustainability issues in the food supply chain, businesses have to work together. As a business with a large stake in meat processing, OSI Europe addresses sustainable supply by working with industry leaders to reduce carbon emissions in the meat supply chain, including involvement with initiatives such as the ERBS and designing projects at market level to trial sustainability initiatives and develop more efficient supply chains. OSI Europe also encourages all suppliers to get involved with their country platforms to drive beef sustainability improvements at all stages of the value chain.


Environmental Protection


Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment.

As a global business reliant on global resources, we consider it our duty to be responsible stewards of the environment in every area of the world in which we operate. For OSI Europe it includes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from OSI sites to address climate change and conservation of natural resources, such as water and forests.


Many OSI Foodworks and Food Solutions sites have already taken action to reduce their impact on the environment through efficient use of energy and water, reduced waste and use of renewable energy to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Some key examples include:

  • Food Solutions sites in Germany no longer send any waste to landfill. 95% is separated into categories for recycling, with the remaining 5% going to an energy from waste facility

  • Pickstock Telford, a Foodworks site in the UK, has an on-site anaerobic digestor, which takes animal waste and uses it to generate heat and electricity to power the site, making it 100% energy self sufficient

  • OSI Europe’s site in Poland has used 100% green energy since 2018, which includes energy generated on-site using solar power and wind turbine technologies

Measurables relating to environmental protection are also included in the sustainability benchmarking which suppliers participate in, enabling OSI Europe to track progress throughout the supply chain.


Social Responsibility

Sustainability also involves taking responsibility for looking after people in the workplace and local communities. This means prioritizing workplace safety, empowering the workforce with the skills needed to succeed and enriching local communities through a volunteering initiative.


As an example, OSI Ukraine has taken strides in supporting the plant’s local community. Members of the team have spoken at local schools and universities, to enrich student’s education and raise awareness of food sustainability issues. The plant has also implemented a community tree planting project, to improve the green spaces in the town and local school. These investments are positive steps towards improving the physical environment and quality of life for people living near the Ukraine plant.


To look after people and promote development in the workplace, all OSI Europe employees are participate in regular training which varies according to their role in the company.


By addressing sustainability issues by focusing on people, the environment and the supply chain, OSI Europe is able to implement projects which support long-term change and make a difference to people and the planet, as we carry out our day-to-day activities.