Finance for Sustainability

One of the six principals of ofi and Olam’s Strategic Plan is to focus on Long-Term Value.

This depends in part on the active management of six non-financial capitals, which we report against in our annual reports. These capitals are not universally assessed in current reporting frameworks, despite driving a significant portion of a company’s market value, so we challenged ourselves to re-imagine business reporting.

 

Olam first began reporting against these capitals in its 2017 Annual Report. A task force has been setup since, to evaluate Olam’s approach to multi-capital accounting and establish a numerical link to sustainability using multi-capital accounting methodologies. This led to the development of the Integrated Impact Statement (IIS).

“Sustainability is at the heart of ofi. The IIS gives finance and business teams the needed numerical link between actions on the ground, as well as their impact and dependency on the Capitals. This will help in both improving the understanding of the Capitals and in taking necessary steps towards increasing the long-term value for the company.”

Rishi Kalra | Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer, ofi

Testing our methodologies

In 2018, Olam piloted the initial IIS tool with three business units – Dairy (Russia), Cocoa (Côte d’Ivoire) and Palm (Gabon) – covering Natural, Social and Human capital. The tool was also independently validated and shared with experts for their input and further refinement.

Making it business as usual

In 2019, a dedicated Finance for Sustainability (F4S) department was created to further develop the multi-capital accounting methodologies, to act as a centre of excellence and to help embed capitals accounting within the organisation. F4S will leverage the expertise of Finance and Accounting to help address the most pressing supply chain sustainability issues. To enhance business decision-making, the IIS is also being deployed at profit centre level.

Taking the initiative forward

F4S will uncover hidden costs and benefits not previously reported, support the leveraging of sustainable financing to address the most pressing supply chain sustainability issues and help support the business to “be the change for good food and a healthy future”. Our vision is to be a best-in-class business partner, responsible for maximizing long-term intrinsic value for all our stakeholders using non-financial drivers of value.

 

In 2021, we performed a monetary valuation of material natural capital (NC) impacts and dependencies by assigning an approximate monetary impact value. The outcomes are illustrated in our NC Profit and Loss statement (NC P&L) and NC Balance Sheet (NCBS) under the IIS.

Inspiring the Finance Leaders of Tomorrow

As part of the Valuing nature and people to inform business decision-making online training course in collaboration with The Capitals Coalition, Ria Bakshi, Lead Finance for Sustainability at ofi, shares more about the pathbreaking work the Finance for Sustainability (F4S) department has spearheaded around Natural Capital Accounting and how it has woven that into the organisation’s business decision making process in a simple, meaningful, and transparent manner.

 

The objective of this course is to transition from accounting for profit to accounting for business value delivered for the planet. It seeks to ignite businesses to contribute, collaborate and create methodologies which value impact from a lens that is not calibrated to just financial implications. 

Internalization of externalities

F4S will internalize externalities via ourproduct platforms, supporting strategic financial business decisions and influencing significant stakeholders, bringing finance and sustainability concepts together.

Accountants’ culture and mindset change

With no formal framework for measuring these capitals, we needed a better way to measure, quantify and report our long-term “invisible” value. F4S will create partnerships and collaborations to grow this mindset. 

Common numerical language

We use a common numerical language – where applicable – that everyone can understand, evaluate and articulate. IIS allows ofi to explain the impact of our actions on the ground to all internal and external stakeholders.

Embedding multi-capital accounting

The IIS takes a systems approach that captures the complexity and reality of today’s diverse and intertwined “eco-agrifood” systems, providing a holistic picture to business decision-making, avoiding the risks and limitations inherent in simplistic metrics such as “productivity per hectare”, which ignores Natural Capital stocks, flows, outcomes and impacts. The IIS approach will increase business resilience, allowing ofi to make changes on the ground, to mitigate the risks associated with carbon taxes, biodiversity loss or procurement concerns. Uncovering these risks and opportunities will enable us to better prepare and respond to the challenges of tomorrow. 

 

We believe the IIS will positively change and differentiate the way we operate and with whom. We are better informed about our Natural, Social and Human capital impact and can provide actionable management information to better understand key impact areas (by farmer group, by country, by product, and devise more appropriate plans to address externalities and enhance positive impacts. ofi endeavours to become a resilient and more reliant partner for all our stakeholders by ensuring the creation of long-term value.

How olam is putting natural capital accounting into action 

In a new research paper by Eco-Business on the financial mechanisms to protect biodiversity, the Olam and ofi teams explain how we’re accounting for our impacts on the healthy future of our planetthrough our IIS. 

Better decision making by knowing the true value of food

The Olam team was pleased to contribute to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) latest publication on the True Value of Food, aimed at guiding business leaders in accounting for the real value of food in their decisions and action.

FAQs

What is the Integrated Impact Statement?

The Capitals drive Long-Term Value and underpin a significant portion of a company’s market value. The Integrated Impact Statement (IIS) is a decision-making tool, which allows ofi to manage Long-Term Value. This tool will help embed sustainability concepts – such as multi-capital accounting – into the heart of our business, through finance.

 

The IIS tool is made up of 3 elements: Profit and Loss; Balance Sheet; and Risk and Opportunity Statement; and covers three Capitals;

 

Natural Capital: The land, water, biodiversity and other ecosystem services required for food, feed and fibre production. This includes the accounting for renewable and non-renewable environmental resources which ofi depends on for its long-term sustainable operations and associated externalities.

 

Social Capital: The relationships we forge and nurture for long-term commercial success. This includes the accounting for external stakeholders in society – community, institutions and ofi’s contributions to those relationships through its community-based programmes.

 

Human Capital: The talent, skills, dedication and inspiration of our workforce and management, and our responsibilities towards them. This includes the accounting for all internal stakeholders, our workforce and management – which ofi relies upon and contributes to, through training and capacity building – and safe and healthy workplaces where rights are respected.

 

Like a control tower, the IIS decision-making tool effectively reports and allows ofi to manage long-term value.

 

The IIS leverages existing frameworks by  Accounting for Sustainabilitythe Capitals Coalition and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEBAgriFood).

 

 

Source of framework: Capitals Coalition (https://capitalscoalition.org/)

 

What is the IIS Natural Capital scope and results?

F4S in 2019 developed the IIS for the Cocoa business. A summary of some insights from Cocoa’s IIS on key aspects of Natural Capital is presented in Olam’s Annual Report 2019.

 

The insights from IIS can positively change and differentiate the way we operate and with whom we operate. We are now better informed about our Natural, Social and Human Capital impact, and can provide actionable management information to enable our Business Units to better understand their key impact areas (by Farmer Group level, by country, by commodity), and devise more appropriate plans. This way ofi endeavours to become a resilient and more reliant partner for all our stakeholders by ensuring the creation of Long-Term Value.

 

The IIS Natural Capital valuation scope is detailed in the table below.

 

 Indicator 

Valuation Scope

Main Data 
 Inputs

Valuation 
 Approach

 Cost /
 Benefit

Country
 Specific

Watershed
 Specific

Biome
 Specific

 Land Use

 

 

Y

 Farmed
 Area 

 Gain in biome specific   benefits (Ecosystem
 services) 

 Benefit

 GHG
 Emissions

Y

 

 

 Total GHG
 emissions

 Social cost of carbon

 Cost

 GHG
 Sequestration

Y

 

 

 Carbon  Sequestered

 Benefit of sequestered carbon

 Benefit

 Water
 Consumption

 

Y

 

 Water 
 consumption

 Human and ecosystem damage cost

 Cost

 Water
 Pollution

 

Y

 

 Fertiliser 
 chemicals and components

 Human damage cost

 Cost

Capital accounting transparency (Caveat)

The ofi IIS is not related to financial results or financial reporting. All underlying methodologies are based on well-established databases and frameworks, but as they depend on formula and third-party expert studies, they can only ever be an approximation. The results are for internal purposes only. In the coming years, results could be readjusted according to further methodological refinements. Taken together however, the IIS is a valuable sustainability tool that can help uncover issues and provoke questions necessary to be the change for good food and a healthy future.

Read ofi news

Blog Jun 23, 2022

ofi supports breastfeeding workplaces throughout Vietnam

According to the World Health Organization, “Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival…and women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.”1 At ofi, we want to ensure working mothers have the opportunity to continue breastfeeding when they return to work. Without having to choose between one or the other. As such, breastfeeding support is an essential part of the workforce nutrition programs we are developing.

 

In 2021, with support from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, ofi began the roll-out of the Workforce Nutrition Alliance’s Workforce Nutrition Scorecard to assess our workplace nutrition programs and tackle issues related to malnutrition across workplaces globally. Last year, ofi’s cashew teams in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Vietnam reviewed their collective experience and set a target which is now stated in their global sustainability strategy Cashew Trail; by 2030, “100% of ofi employees in processing facilitates have access to support related to nutrition programs”. This includes initiatives across four pillars: healthy food at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused and breastfeeding support, and resources for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers”.

 

In Vietnam, where less than one quarter of infants aged 0 to 5 months are exclusively breastfed2, our Nuts teams launched an initiative last year focused on improving conditions for breastfeeding. All 11 of our Nuts processing facilities have been equipped with private, dedicated lactation rooms with milk pumps and freezer storage.

 

Since then, the initiative has grown and the team is now partnering with NGO and subject-matter experts Alive & Thrive, on a comprehensive workplace lactation program. In the first year, activities will support over 2,500 female employees and their families especially the pregnant and breastfeeding mothers with counseling sessions, sensitization and education opportunities, expert assistance, and workshops.

 

The Alive & Thrive team is currently collecting baseline data and will conduct an assessment in 2023 to assess the program’s impact over the next 3 years. Among the many anticipated benefits, the program is expected to improve health outcomes for both mother and child, increase knowledge and uptake of breastfeeding best practices, improve employee retention, reduce absenteeism, and increase overall employee satisfaction.

 

 

1 https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding
https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/nutrition-profiles/asia/south-eastern-asia/viet-nam/
News May 13, 2022

ofi outlines sustainability focus at new Tokoroa plant

  • Plant construction on track as new senior team member joins in key sustainability role.

 

ofi (olam food ingredients) today announced a range of actions to support its sustainability goals across its New Zealand operations, including building its sustainability team and enhancing a sustainably minded approach at its plant.

 

Plant construction is progressing well, and the plant remains on track for opening at the start of the 2023 season.  

Press Release May 20, 2022

ofi’s nuts team recognized for industry excellence and innovation at INC Congress

ofi’s nuts team was awarded the Corporate Golden Nut Award, by the International Nut and Dried Fruit

Council (INC) Congress. The Golden Nut Award is the top international recognition of excellence in the nuts industry. The team also received the Innovation Award for Cashew Nut Oil Dipping Sauces & Dressings, which use minimally processed cashew oil to address consumer interest in the plant-based market.

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