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New Benchmarking Results Show Increased Engagement with Sustainability Strategy in Europe

August 13, 2021

Following a successful pilot scheme in 2020, OSI Europe has implemented a sustainability benchmarking exercise with all beef suppliers to understand progress towards OSI’s global sustainability targets. With data collated for two consecutive years, OSI Europe can now analyze results to see how individual suppliers have changed and view wider industry trends.

Looking at the data collectively, the 2021 results show improvements to key areas of sustainable production including the usage of antibiotics, environmental protection and social responsibility.

Antibiotic use

Tracking antibiotic use in the supply chain is a key factor in supply chain sustainability. Industry alliances such as the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) are setting goals and supporting reduced use of antibiotics in the beef sector and rely on having reliable data to track progress towards their goals.

The benchmarking results show that 84% of OSI Europe suppliers are now measuring highest priority critically important antibiotic (HPCIA) use in the supply chain, an increase from 69% in 2020. In addition, 48% of suppliers are going a step further and measuring all antibiotic use in their supply chain. With time, OSI Europe envisions thorough measurement of antibiotic use being the norm across all our suppliers.

Waste management

How suppliers manage waste is a key element in understanding their overall environmental impact. WRAP estimate that globally, around a third of food produced is wasted contributing to 8% to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions[1]. OSI Europe aim to reduce the amount of food which is wasted before it reaches our customers, by monitoring waste from our own plants and suppliers.

The benchmarking update reveals encouraging results, as the percentage of suppliers with food waste reduction targets increased from 55% in 2020 to 69% in 2021.

Similarly, the percentage of suppliers with landfill reduction targets increased from 71% to 82%. The gold standard to keep waste out of landfill is to recycle wherever possible. Find out more about OSI Europe’s approach to waste management here.

Carbon footprint

Carbon footprint is a key sustainability measure as it takes into account all the greenhouse emissions associated with an organisation’s activities. In 2021, 61% of OSI Europe’s suppliers calculated their carbon footprint. 65% of these included scope emissions in their calculation - the emissions from sources up and down the supply chain that are controlled or owned by the supplier. This level of monitoring helps build an understanding of where supply chain greenhouse gas emissions are coming from, paving the way towards emissions reduction.

The benchmarking results also reveal an increase in the number of suppliers setting science-based targets for emissions reduction. In 2020 this stood at 27% but increased to 42% in 2021. By joining the science-based targets initiative, suppliers are provided with a more clearly defined path to reduce carbon emissions, helping to make emissions reduction in the supply chain a reality.

Water use

Alongside carbon footprint and waste management, water use efficiency is another key factor at play when measuring environmental sustainability in the beef supply chain. The number of suppliers with water use reduction targets increased by 10% in just one year and is now at 89% in 2021.

In addition, the benchmarking exercise revealed an increase in the number of suppliers getting an external environmental audit, from 77% in 2020 to 81% in 2021. This adds assurance that supplier data can be trusted and OSI Europe can in turn assure our customers that supply chain environmental sustainability data is accurate.

Social responsibility

Finally, 69% of OSI Europe suppliers have local community initiatives in place. This is a key area of focus in our sustainability targets. OSI plants look for opportunities to benefit their local community, through schemes such as tree planting initiatives or providing sustainability education at local universities.

Overall, the results from the 2021 benchmarking exercise show increased engagement among our suppliers with OSI’s sustainability strategy. This is very promising, and OSI Europe will continue to monitor progress towards the sustainability targets at supplier level as part of tracking progress towards 2025 goals.


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