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Corporate responsibility and sustainability

In 2012, we formalised our long‑standing sustainable approach and made ‘Growing Responsibly’ Olam’s Core Purpose. We are committed to achieving profitable growth in an ethically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

This means that Growing Responsibly is not merely a sustainability initiative – it is fundamental to our overall business framework. It goes beyond protecting the environment and supporting farmer communities to encompass our business approach in its entirety. Making this happen requires everyone at Olam to be held accountable for delivering the following:


  • Strong governance
  • Transparency
  • Reliable systems
  • Risk management


  • Being good stewards of the environment
  • Protecting the natural capital essential to our business


  • Improving the livelihoods of those communities where we work
  • Providing a fair, safe and healthy workplace for our people

Key facts 2015

Sustainability Key Facts

Highlights in 2015

Helping rural communities to thrive so farmers want to stay farming

  • 215 ongoing community‑based initiatives globally supporting productivity, education, health and rural infrastructure
  • Fifth year of the award‑winning Olam Livelihood Charter

Using technology to assist smallholders and reduce risk

  • Roll‑out of the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS) enabling production of individual farm management plans for 40,000 cocoa smallholders
  • GPS mapped almost 200,000 smallholder hectares (134% increase on 2014). Provides better understanding of the agri‑landscape, and identifies where schools and healthcare facilities are lacking.

Promoting agricultural research and innovation

Supporting economies by responding to food security and nutritional needs

  • Over 24 billion servings of micro‑nutrient fortified foods manufactured and sold across West Africa
  • One of Africa’s most ambitious outgrower models launched with the Republic of Gabon for palm, banana and food crops

Preserving natural resources for the future and for others

Land and forest

  • Updated our Sustainable Palm Oil Policy with our Commitment to Forest Conservation
  • First company globally to complete a High Conservation Value assessment according to the HCV Resource Network for palm


  • 2020 water targets for Olam plantations and farms achieved by end of 2015 (>10% improvement in blue water intensity)
  • California almond operations continue to improve soil health to increase water retention

Mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts

  • Achieved Olam’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) intensity targets for plantations / farms, and processing
  • Co‑Chair with Pepsico, Kellogg Company and Monsanto on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) ‘Low Carbon Technology Partnership initiative for Climate Smart Agriculture’. Olam leads on supporting smallholders

Taking a leadership role at an industry level

  • Completed two‑year term on Steering Committee of UN CEO Water Mandate
  • Became a board member of the Sustainable Coffee Platform
  • Contributing to the development of an Industry Rubber Standard
  • Participated in the RSPO Climate Change Working Group to review and update the principles and criteria
  • Participated in events at Paris Climate Talks
  • Supporting governance and business management skills in emerging markets with launch of Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for Change Catalysts in Africa

Sustainability Goals

In 2011, we set an ambitious vision of achieving end‑to‑end sustainable supply chains by 2020. This will be a key competitive advantage for Olam and will enable us to meet growing global demand for sustainable products from our customers. At the same time, it guarantees we will have the requisite supply to meet this demand.

We have made significant progress towards our target during the year in review through the hard work of employees and partners on the ground. Our business has continued to evolve, with entry into new product platforms and the integration of significant new assets.

In view of these developments, we have reviewed and reassessed our goal, and now believe that a more realistic target date for all 47 of our products to be sustainable across the supply chain is 2022.

For more information on our Sustainability Strategy, progress on Goals and focus areas, please go to our 2015 web‑based report at

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