THE EURALIS CSR POLICY
4 priorities for sustainable development
Euralis has a calling to be the first-choice partner for those working in agriculture and the food industry. Euralis has a mission to support the profitable and sustainable development of those working in agriculture and the food industry by offering innovative products and services. For more than 80 years our cooperative group has built its reputation on solid, lasting foundations, and values which form the very DNA of our group. In accordance with its values, our group has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since 2005. Through that commitment, Euralis supports the 10 principles on human rights, workers’ rights, respect for the environment and action against corruption. Our practical approach is based on real achievements, experimentation and innovation.
Our CSR policy is based on four priorities: improving the performance of our members’ farms, producing more and better with less, providing quality products and services, and finally ensuring our employees develop their skills and are safe and happy at work.
In practical terms, it takes the form of “CSR-approved” actions whose results are regularly assessed.
The Food Division has signed up to ISO 50001 certification
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Energy management is a major concern for the Euralis Food Division: it accounts for more than 40% of the Group’s total energy expenditure. In 2014, the General Management and the whole of the Division’s Management Committee committed themselves to the sustainable management of our energy consumption and the continuous improvement of our energy efficiency to enhance our competitiveness. In an excellence-driven approach, we have progressively committed our main energy consuming sites to certification in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard:
– Yffiniac site by early 2015
– Herbiers and Maubourguet sites in 2016
Firstly, on the Yffiniac site, we are determined to meet the expectations of ISO 50001, particularly the identification of energy sources (electricity, gas and domestic heating oil) and Significant Energy Uses (SEUs): refrigeration, motive power, lighting, hot water and steam. The Energy Management System (EMS) and ISO 50001 offer our sites opportunities to improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental impact.
Energy savings for our Yffiniac site alone are 18.4% (2,700 MWh for electricity and 2,300 MWh GCV gas/year, or 631 tonnes of CO2 avoided). In terms of energy efficiency, the payback on our investments has come through the generation of energy saving certificates (white certificates), which have doubled on our Yffiniac site thanks to our ISO 50001 certification. Over the financial year 2013/2014, we recorded a drop in electricity consumption within our Delicatessen business of nearly 5% per tonne produced, and a slight (2.6%) increase in gas consumption: the result remains positive, and the efforts we are making will enable us to improve those ratios from 2015.
Objectif CO2, a progress charter signed with Ademe
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A partnership with Ademe to transport grain
Euralis, which has a fleet of 16 articulated lorries and grain transporters, embarked on the “Objectif CO2” project in 2011. This is a progress charter signed with Ademe (the French environment and energy management agency), aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 33 drivers were trained in ecodriving in 2013/2014. “Idling” times were reduced by nearly 30%, with a saving of 2 litres per hour, making around 4,000 litres per year.
In 3 years, we have reduced our emissions by 436 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 3.6 million kilometres. Since 2011, Euralis has been involved with other cooperatives in the South-West in a voluntary scheme to reduce the costs of their grain collection arrangements. The savings made through pooling and bulk operations have allowed an increase in profits for farmers and a significant reduction in greenhouse gases by optimising logistics (kilometres avoided) and energy use (new drying units). Each collection point delivers to the nearest dryer. To date, the new arrangement has saved 3,600 lorries driving 1.44 million kilometres, which is 36 times Earth’s circumference!
Jean Stalaven reduces its CO2 emissions by 60 tonnes
In addition, since 2011, Jean Stalaven Proximité with a fleet of 107 small 3.5 tonne vehicles, has also signed up to the “Objectif CO2” project. Here again, results are positive over the first 2 years, with a reduction of about 2.5% in consumption, equivalent to 14,000 litres of diesel, or 60 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The 3-year target is to save 85 tonnes of CO2.
In 2013/2014, the optimisation of our fuel consumption enabled us to save 2.8%, i.e. 15,500 litres or 66 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Preserving and improving the quality of water and soils
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To meet these targets, the cooperative has actively invested in the majority of Regional Action Plans. These include the Gave de Pau, Landes, Adour and Garonne Sud regional action plans. Euralis is committed both to improving knowledge (trials etc.) and supporting individual members as they improve their work practices. To date we have 33 individual agreements and the average area covered by them is 20 hectares, making 600 to 700 hectares committed in all.
A partnership with the water agency
In 2011, Euralis signed a 3-year agreement with the Adour Garonne water agency (covering 25 départements). The partnership has enabled: experiments aimed at improving agricultural practices to reduce their impact on water quality. Testing and introduction of tools to manage irrigation, establishment of action plans around catchment areas aimed at maintaining profitable agricultural activity whilst helping protect those areas. Since 2010, we have seen a slow but steady reduction in nitrate levels in water.
Reducing water consumption on our production sites.
Over the past 12 years, reduction targets have been defined every year for each of our units, with savings of 20% per tonne production over the last 10 years. In the 2013/2014 financial year, our consumption per tonne has stabilised.
Making human resources development a driver of personal development for the individual and of performance for the company.
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As an integral part of the work contract, our ethical charter commits Euralis to respect common basic guidelines: respect for the law, fairness and transparency, health and safety in the workplace, employees’ rights and the environment.
In 2014, we recruited 264 employees on permanent contracts (including 64 managers, and 98 moving from fixed-term contracts), making an increase of 25% compared with 2012.
In addition, due to the highly seasonal nature of its business (grain collection, seed maize detasseling, and also foie gras production as the festive season approaches), Euralis offers employment to hundreds of seasonal workers who are then trained for its work. Our policy is aimed at increasing loyalty among seasonal workers, with return rates increasing over recent years.
To attract new workers who are geographically mobile and to facilitate a balance between work and family life, Euralis has turned to a service company which has been entrusted with helping improve integration arrangements. This service provider helps the worker at all stages of that change in their working life, and particularly their personal life: helping the spouse or partner to find work, finding a home, a school etc..
Thanks to this partnership, which integrates family life into that change, each change is dealt with more effectively and becomes a real whole-family project.
Every year, Euralis is involved in a number of forums (5 or 6 a year) dedicated to young people and employment. Our young people are generally taken on after they have proved themselves, particularly as seasonal and/or fixed term contract workers. 40% of those taken on are young people aged less than 26 (including seasonal workers), more than half of whom are given permanent contracts. Whilst the highly seasonal nature of the Group’s business explains the use of seasonal workers on fixed term contracts, those jobs, for which a large proportion of young people apply, serve as a “seed bed” for permanent contract recruitment in the longer term. In 2013, 25% of our short-term contract workers aged less than 26 benefited from being transferred onto a permanent contract.
At the start of 2013, an intergenerational agreement was introduced into our Group, the aim being to develop active age management procedures. That contract encourages the sustainable integration of young people into work, enables the protection and return to work of older workers, and facilitates the transmission of skills through a mentoring-based approach.
Since the introduction of that agreement, our target of having at least 1% work experience students in each legal entity has been reached, because we now have an average of 1.48%.