Live Long

B Corp: A Guide to Building Tomorrow.

The last few months have taught us a lot and, above all, have shown us that in the face of challenges, we can transform ourselves quickly. But once the current situation has ended, let us not forget that our greatest transformation as a company is still to come. Let’s not wait for the climate crisis and the sharp rise in inequalities to push us, as a matter of urgency, to rethink our economic models, our operations and our ways of working together. At Valrhona, we are aware that companies have a crucial role to play in our evolving world. Let's take advantage of the upcoming recovery to accelerate our transformation, rethink our business model and reinvent the way we work. To be stronger tomorrow, our organizations will no longer have to strive to be only the best in the world, but also the best FOR the world. 

B Corporation® certification

B Corp: a guide to transforming us
To guide us in this transformation, we set out to join the community of B Corporation® certified companies, and we are proud to announce that Valrhona has achieved this prestigious certification! Following the audit, we obtained a B Impact score of 88.3 points out of a possible 200 and changed our statutes to legally state that we will take into account all stakeholders, as well as the planet in all companywide decisions.
This accolade is certainly a recognition of our sustainable approach, but being a B Corp has never been our end goal. For us, becoming a B Corp means joining a growing community of firms committed to exchanging ideas and challenging each other to take action a better world. It serves as a guide to help us continue to challenge the status quo and have a positive impact.

A certification that is a mark of credibility for Valrhona
This certification highlights our strengths:

  1. Long-term partnerships with our cocoa partners, our "living income" approach to ensure a fair income for cocoa farmers, and the community support projects that we have been running for many years, such as school construction, access to drinking water and more
  2. Our significant efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, having reduced our carbon footprint at our Tain l'Hermitage chocolate factory by 57% since 2013
  3. The actions we take to promote gender equality and the well-being of our employees in the workplace, including a 55% proportion of women employees and our status as a Great Place to Work since 2012
  4. Our corporate mission, which puts at the heart of our raison d'être our actions for a fair and sustainable cocoa industry and push the boundaries of the gastronomy industry toward more responsible practices.

A map for the road ahead

This certification is an opportunity for us to accelerate our roadmap to rethink our business model. Our priorities for the future of Valrhona include:

  1. Fighting climate change: We must ourselves for the consequences of climate change and transform ourselves to comply with the Paris Agreement is a priority for the months and years to come. Our areas of work to achieve this: 
    • Carbon neutrality: reducing the environmental footprint of our chocolate factory as much as possible is a first step, but we must go further. By the end of 2025, we want our entire value chain, from the plantation to the plate, to become carbon neutral. To make this as meaningful as possible, we are opting for insetting* within our supply chain by involving our producer organizations, for example, through reforestation or forest protection actions.  
    • Rethinking our flows: buying cocoa from the four corners of the planet to process it in France and then send it back around the world poses a real challenge for reducing our carbon footprint. If we receive all our cocoa by ship, which causes much less pollution than other forms of transport, for example, by adding production facilities closer to our customers. This is a challenge that we are ready to take on.
  2. Reinventing our packaging: We have reduced the weight of our chocolate packaging by 30%, but we have not yet found a recyclable material that properly preserves the quality of our chocolate. We are actively working with our suppliers to find a material that is sustainable and responsible while maintaining the flavor and consistency of our products. However, our vision for tomorrow goes beyond sustainable packaging. Our long-term goal is to develop a system for delivering our chocolate with minimal to no packaging. In 2020-2021, we are launching a test in France to deliver products to our customers in washable, reusable bins. This test will allow us to develop best practices that address the issues of scalability and eliminating health risks.
  3. Agroforestry for all our cocoa farmers: We believe in agroforestry, a model of cocoa cultivation that respects the integrity of the soil by mixing different tree species and allows producers to diversify their income by cultivating varied crops. We are currently testing the model in the Dominican Republic through the Cacao Forest Project, and we have planted agroforestry plots in Haiti and Madagascar. But we don’t stop there – we work hand in hand with our cocoa partners to transform the plots. We aim to assist 100% of our 18,208 producers in the transition to agroforestry practices by 2025. While it’s a great undertaking, we are convinced that agroecology is the future of cocoa. 
  4. Our role for a more inclusive and responsible gastronomy: We know the power of our ecosystem at Valrhona. By teaching and empowering our customers to have use responsible practices, such as sourcing local, sustainable ingredients, we will be able to move the lines of gastronomy with them! In the coming months, we would like to involve them even more by offering tools and training to enable them to launch their own initiatives.
  5. Greater diversity for greater resilience: The diversity of voices, cultures and origins is a factor for success in an increasingly uncertain and volatile world. Strengthening our diversity policy, as part of hiring and career development practices, is a key area that we are committed to improving throughout the company.

There is still a long way to go, but we are convinced that companies like ours have an essential role to play in rethinking tomorrow's world. Valrhona will not succeed alone. It is together with our fellow B Corporations that we will really move the needle. Do you have any solutions to help us move these issues forward? Don’t’ hesitate to contact us at Rse@valrhona.fr.

Together, let's do good with good.

Passionately, 
Valrhona
 

*Insetting: unlike offsetting, the carbon offsetting that a company achieves through projects outside its value chain, insetting consists of offsetting its carbon footprint by instituting projects within its own value chain, for example, by working on reforestation projects hand in hand with its raw material producers.

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