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From words to action: how does Bonduelle commit to our Planet

No pesticide residues in agriculture

In 2019, our efforts to reduce the use of phytosanitary products culminated in the launch of a new range of products without pesticide residues, consisting of ready-to-eat lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach and iceberg lettuce as well as canned sweetcorn . But what does “no pesticide residues” mean? It means that no measurable quantity of an active substance, in this case a chemical pesticide, was found in the product.

This commitment hinges on a partnership with our growers and a system of controls throughout the production process. It is founded on several principles:

  • An agricultural model that is based on the selection of varieties, the adaptation of growing methods and treatments: farmers decide which treatments to use based on observation and fact-based conclusions. The use of active chemical substances is limited to that which is strictly necessary;
  • Analyses by an external accredited laboratory on 100% of the parcels of land on which the products in our no pesticide residues range are grown: the concentrations of pesticide residues in these products must be lower than the default limit of quantification (0.01 mg/kg) that applies for analytical methods. We test any molecules that are susceptible to occurring as a residue, i.e., more than 300 molecules for ready-to-eat salads and over 500 for our canned sweetcorn;
  • Adapting the production processes in the factory.

From 2020, other Bonduelle products will be added, in cut and washed, frozen and canned foods. By 2025, Bonduelle will offer consumers a wide range of branded products without residues. More information.

Packaging materials that are designed to be recycled and reused

Reducing plastic packaging is a priority and our responsibility. We are currently looking at alternatives and substitutes and the first, very specific measures that we took have already increased the share of recycled plastics in our packaging materials. In Europe and the United States, the eco-design of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging for our fresh deli ranges was improved by increasing the share of rPet (recycled PET) and by eliminating non-essential plastic lids. In Europe, the share of rPET for some packaging increased from 12 to 50% in 2018-2019.

All these efforts enable us to save 32 tonnes of plastics every year. Our ambition for the future? 100% recyclable packaging at Bonduelle by 2025.

Innovation for agroecology and sustainable development

In 2018-2019, in France, we partnered with agricultural contractors and road haulage companies in the Nord Picardie Region and a Lille-based start-up for the development of a harvesting machine management tool . This tool, which was tested on peas in 2019, was also used on our green bean crops.

Energy transition for green growth

Alternative energy options help make our factories less energy-guzzling. At our Santarém site (in Portugal), a detailed analysis of our energy expenditure led to the installation of 3,030 solar panels (total surface area: 5,000 m2) on the factory’s roofs and on parking shelters. This measure really made a difference, facilitating electricity self-consumption, generating 7 to 8% of the plant’s needs and reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions by 570 tonnes a year. This project will be replicated to increase the use of solar energy across the group. The first solar kilowatt-hours were generated at the end of 2019.

 

 

 

Sustainable and integrated water management

The cooling of cans is the step in the production process that consumes the most water. In Saint-Césaire (Canada), the addition of recirculation loops for cooling water reduced the plant’s water consumption by 12% or 30 million litres of water. The Bordères site (in France) has devised a way to solve the problem faced by local farmers, who lack water resources in the summer, by recycling 100% of its purified water, which was originally discharged in the river, into agricultural irrigation. This project, which can be replicated across the company and which promotes circularity and preserves river biodiversity won the 2018 Bonduelle CSR CAPEX Prize.

 

Zero loss of energy in our industrial activities

Our Irwindale plant (California, United States) reduced its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions  by installing an energy-efficient cogeneration system. By the end of 2019, it supplied electricity to the plant while using the waste heat to provide chilled water to the facility through an absorption chiller.

Reducing food waste

Every year, just under 250 tonnes of food are sent to food banks in Russia. Our Russian factories in Novotitarovskaya, Timashevsk and Moscow have s et up initiatives, to donate food products with short best before dates or damaged packaging , but that are still safe to eat and are labelled for consumers, to food banks.

Want to find out more about the goals and results of our commitment to our Planet?

Discover “The B! Pact”!

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