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.

F4S in the News

At ofi, we believe our finance teams are well-positioned to help businesses embed sustainability issues into a company’s risk and performance management. Our work aims to re-imagine the valuation approach and integrate the positions of key non-financial capitals in our business decisions. Find out more on how we are driving conversations across different platforms and sharing more about our work.

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 Dec 6, 2022

Interview: Putting Sustainability at Heart of Food Industry

From the farm to the supermarket shelf, the global food industry has a critical role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for all. Dr Christopher Stewart, Global Head Sustainability, ofi (olam food ingredients) discusses what manufacturers can do to ethically source ingredients, reduce their emissions, and bring to market great tasting products that consumers want.

 

Could you focus on one of your ingredients and take me through the supply chain?

We can work with our customers on sustainable innovation. For example, if they’re looking to co-create a snack bar made with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, slivered almonds, and hazelnut paste, or a frappé made with cocoa powder, almond milk, and coffee powder that come with documented traceability, then our chefs, innovation and sustainability teams join forces to match the right flavour, with the right origin and sustainability programme.

 

We could source the almonds from our orchards in California where our teams on the ground are investing in state-of-the-art irrigation systems and creating pollinator habitats. The almonds are then sent to our local processing facility that’s equipped to supply tailored solutions from whole nuts to ingredients. The beans for the coffee powder might come from the farmers we work with in Peru as part of a circular coffee partnership involving a major coffee roaster, Solidaridad, SERFOR and Cooperative Cuencas de Hullega.

 

The way our teams on the ground manage these supply chains is further exemplified in our dedicated product sustainability strategies which include: Almond Trail, Coffee LENS, and Cocoa Compass. And with the data and footprinting calculator on AtSource+, the customer can see the social impact and carbon emissions for each of their ingredients, and then calculate the overall footprint of their product.

 

Read more here on the Fi Global Insights hub

News Aug 17, 2022

How can companies implement effective workforce nutrition programs? 

By Clara Tessler, Nutrition & Health Manager, ofi

 

Malnutrition and poor health around the world continue to negatively impact businesses as result of working days lost to illness and reduced workforce productivity.

 

As well as benefiting employees, investments by companies in health and wellbeing can lead to better employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher performance and productivity.

 

We want to create an environment where employees want to come to work every day – it’s in everyone’s best interest.

 

To that end, at ofi we’ve set a goal that by 2030, everyone in our primary workforce will have access to nutrition support. This is the goal we are working towards to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our employees, driven by our purpose to be the change for good food and healthy future.

 

In 2021, with support from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), ofi began the roll-out of the Workforce Nutrition Alliance’s Workforce Nutrition Scorecard to assess our baseline and develop or strengthen workplace nutrition programs that tackle issues related to malnutrition across our worksites globally. This includes initiatives across four pillars: healthy food at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused and breastfeeding support, and resources for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

 

Discover more from my discussion with GAIN and the Consumer Goods Forum in the Healthier Lives podcast:

Press Release Nov 16, 2022

ofi expands its innovation capabilities with a new Customer Solutions Center in Singapore

olam food ingredients ("ofi"), a global leader in naturally good food and beverage ingredients, has opened its new Customer Solutions Center (CSC) in Singapore. The new facility will enable ofi to better collaborate with brands, grocery retailers and foodservice companies to create their next delicious and nutritious product for consumers. The CSC was inaugurated by guest of honor, Ms. Low Yen Ling - Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).

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