Fighting deforestation and ecosystem conversion: Jerónimo Martins releases second progress report
- In a continuous exercise of transparency and reporting on progress, Jerónimo Martins has published, for the second year, a report on its performance regarding its commitments to a forest positive future, available here.
- In 2021, the Group was evaluated for the third consecutive year under CDP’s Forests questionnaire as the top performing food retailer worldwide.
The Jerónimo Martins Group has published, for the second year, its “Contributing to a Forest Positive Future” report, in which it discloses its policies, commitments and progress in the crucial fight against deforestation and against the conversion of high conservation value ecosystems. This report is produced under the Forest Positive Coalition of Action (FP CoA), an initiative led by The Consumer Goods Forum which the Group joined in 2019, being the only Portuguese company among its 21 members.
This is a continuous exercise of transparency and reporting on progress that demonstrates, and opens up to public scrutiny, the consistency of the systematic work the Group has been carrying out since 2014, aimed at contributing to fighting deforestation and the conversion of high conservation value ecosystems to other uses. The Group also participates in CDP Forests since 2014, one of CDP’s annual assessment programmes that evaluates four commodities (palm oil, paper and timber, beef and soy) and which, for three consecutive years, has seen Jerónimo Martins ranked as a global leader in its sector.
"We are proud to be working with Jeronimo Martins in our Forest Positive Coalition of Action. As a key retail member, Jeronimo Martins is setting a great example for retailers on how to drive forest positive change throughout the value chain to deliver climate, nature and people positive outcomes for all,” states Didier Bergeret, Director of Sustainability at The Consumer Goods Forum.
“As a listed company that is currently followed by more than 40 ESG analysts, transparency and rigour is at the heart of our work. We are certain that applying these principles in communicating our commitments and the level of achievement of the objectives we set ourselves has contributed decisively to our being, for three consecutive years, the food retailer with the best performance in CDP Forests, and to our being included in more than 100 international sustainability indices”, says Sara Miranda, Chief Communications and Corporate Responsibility Officer at the Jerónimo Martins Group. “Investing in sustainability is an approach in the business world that seeks to respect equilibriums, combine the short and medium-long terms through decisions taken on a daily basis, throughout the value chain. Only by thinking and acting in this way can a brand aspire to endure 230 years, as is the case of Jerónimo Martins, and continue to project itself into the future,” she adds.
In this report, the Group discloses its policies, commitments and progress in 2021 with regard to managing the use, in its Private Brand and perishable products, of the four main commodities associated with deforestation and ecosystem conversion: palm oil, soy, paper and timber, and beef. It also shares other initiatives implemented to contribute to a forest positive future, of which we highlight:
Use of certified palm oil
In 2021, as in 2020, 100% of the palm oil used in the Private Brand and perishable products sold by the Jerónimo Martins banners in Portugal and Poland was RSPO certified.
In Colombia, 95% of the palm oil used in Ara’s products is produced in the country, and the banner has joined the Colombian government's initiative “Voluntary Agreement for Zero Deforestation in the Colombian Palm Oil Chain”. This initiative is also supported by civil society organisations such as RSPO, Proforest, Tropical Forest Alliance, and WWF.
Reduction of soy of unknown origin and from countries at risk of deforestation
Jerónimo Martins brought forward by two years its commitment to reduce soy of unknown origin by 50% to 16% of total direct and indirect soy (the latter used in animal feed), representing a reduction of around 15 p.p. compared to 2020.
Increase in recycled and certified paper and timber fibres
In 2021, 81% of the paper and timber fibres used in perishables and Private Brand packaging were recycled, 11 p.p. more than in 2020. A total of 38,710 tonnes of virgin fibres were used in packaging, of which 70% were FSC® or PEFC certified, up 5 p.p. compared to 2020.
With regard to the virgin fibres used in the Private Brand products, more than 80% were FSC® or PEFC certified sustainable, contributing to the Group’s goal of achieving, by 2030, sustainability certification for 100% of the virgin fibres used in its Private Brand and perishable products and packaging.
Traceability of the origin of beef
Together with its suppliers, the Group was able to trace the origin of all the beef used in its Private Brand and perishable products, at least to the country of production. For over 90% of the beef footprint in the case of countries at risk of deforestation (Brazil, according to the FP CoA), traceability goes all the way to slaughterhouse level. Only 0.5% of the total cattle used by the Jerónimo Martins Group comes from Brazil. Based on this level of traceability, it will be easier to introduce measures to fight deforestation and the conversion of high conservation value ecosystems.
Recovery, preservation and development of the Serra do Açor landscape in Portugal
Launched in 2019, in collaboration with local entities (Arganil Town Council), civil society (local landowners association), the academic community (Coimbra School of Agricultural) and the Jerónimo Martins Group, this project covers an area of 2,500 hectares of the Serra do Açor mountain range (central Portugal) that was devastated by the 2017 wildfires. It is a 40-year intervention, with 5 million euros of funding ensured by Jerónimo Martins, that combines tree planting, recovery and active management of forest ecosystems, local income generation, and biodiversity conservation. The goal is to create a sustainable, fire-resistant forest that balances production with conservation, and contributes to attracting people to an increasingly depopulated part of the country. More than 570,000 trees are expected to be planted over an area of 930 hectares by the end of 2022.
Promote sustainable landscapes in Mato Grosso, a region of high conservation value
Kicked off in 2022 in the state of Mato Grosso (Brazil), this partnership between the Jerónimo Martins Group, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and Nestlé aims at creating a local governance model in four municipalities (Campos de Júlio, Campo Novo de Parecis, Sapezal and Tangará da Serra) and at identifying and assessing forest assets on soy and beef farms, to protect them from potential deforestation in areas where it is legally allowed.