Sustainability is becoming more and more important for all of us. However, just talking about it doesn't help – we need to do something about it, too. And after all, we can all do our bit. With a plant-based diet, we can all make our everyday lives more sustainable. It's very easy and it tastes really good as well. We at Simply V have set ourselves ambitious goals for the future. Because sustainability is an integral part of our corporate philosophy.
For a greener planet
Our sustainability goals
As a plant-based product, Simply V is already more sustainable than cheese, but that's not good enough for us. Because sustainability is close to our hearts, we have a whole team dedicated to it. As we want to progress continuously, we have set ourselves ambitious goals for 2025, which we are working hard to achieve. We would like to
- reduce our carbon footprint by 30%.
- reduce plastic output per package by 25%.
- increase the share of recycled or bio-based plastics to 75% of the packaging.
- make the packaging of our products fully recyclable
CO2 Emissions: avoid - reduce - compensate
CO2 emissions are one of the main causes of climate change, so we need to keep these emissions as low as possible. We at Simply V, want to help keep the Earth a planet worth living on.
Avoiding CO2 is our primary goal. In order to analyse and optimise the energy efficiency of all company processes, we have had an energy management system in place for quite some time. For example, we have been using exclusively "green electricity" generated by hydropower since 2019. This has enabled us to completely avoid the indirect emissions caused by grid-based energy.
In order to keep our direct CO2 emissions from heat generation, refrigerants and our vehicle fleet as low as possible or to reduce them further, there are various measures we have taken. For example, we use energy-efficient drives and pumps, almost halving our direct emissions in 2020 in this way.
However, we cannot completely avoid emissions. For this reason, we are actively engaged in Brazil and here in Germany to compensate entirely for our unavoidable CO2 emissions.
Forest protection in Portel, Brasil
Tropical forests are one of the largest CO2 reservoirs of all and also play a crucial role in species protection.
"Our" project is located in the Amazon region in northern Brazil in the state of Pará. In order to prevent the rainforest there from being cleared for soy plantations, the necessary land rights are officially obtained for the local residents. This is of fundamental importance because, under Brazilian land law, anyone can appropriate, clear and cultivate (supposedly) unused land. Even conservation projects are considered unused land in Brazil! However, if the residents hold the relevant land titles, the area is no longer considered unused.
In this way, we contribute to the protection of the rainforest on the one hand, while on the other hand improving the living conditions of local residents by providing alternative sources of income and educational opportunities.
The forest protection project in Portel is all the more close to our hearts because it was already clear to us during the development of Simply V that we would avoid using soy since rainforest is being cut down for this purpose. The project is certified according to international standards (Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in combination with the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCBS)).
Orchard meadow in the Allgäu Region
We are also actively involved "on our own doorstep". In autumn, we planted a meadow orchard in the Allgäu region with old tree varieties that are threatened with extinction. Even though the meadow orchard is not an officially certified project, we are still creating new habitats for animal and plant species, contributing to biodiversity and at the same time binding CO2. An important issue for us.
Packaging - reduce & recycle
Of course, we would prefer to be able to do without plastic altogether. Unfortunately, that is not possible. But it goes without saying that we make our packaging as environmentally friendly as possible. That is why we are continuously working on reducing plastic and improving recyclability. One good example is our Gourmet Slices.
With significantly thinner foils, we have been saving around 18% of plastic since March 2021. At the same time, 30 % of the new Gourmet Slices packaging is made of recycled plastic. This measure alone saves as much CO2 as a car emits over one million kilometres.
The packaging for the Simply V Gourmet Grated is also thinner now. We were able to save a whole 20% of plastic. The next step is to change the packaging to mono-material, which is 100% recyclable. In this way, we are working to make all packaging more environmentally friendly, bit by bit.
Raw Materials - Carefully selected
We want to use only the very best ingredients for our products and therefore select them with great care. Our favourite is the Californian almond. Only this type is 100% sweet and contains no bitter substances, which is crucial for the taste of our products.
But we start before that - with the selection of our suppliers. We only work with companies that are members of the Almond Board of California. The Board has been setting up sustainability programmes since 2009. Caroline, our Managing Director, and Dirk, our Head of Product Development & Technology, visited the suppliers to ensure the quality of the almonds and the conditions in which they are grown.
Our high standards also apply to all other raw materials. Our coconut oil, for example, comes from selected plantations, and its traceability is guaranteed.
Creating transparency and providing clarity
We have our ecological footprint calculated by ClimatePartner. The calculation includes both our direct and our indirect emissions, which are generated along our supply chain, for example, or by our employees' travel or waste disposal, to name just a few items. This allows us to identify potential savings and develop measures to achieve our sustainability goals.
In addition, we have had the ecological footprint of Simply V products assessed by the Swiss environmental organisation Eaternity.
Eaternity rates products in four categories with a maximum of three stars, namely
- Animal welfare
Simply V products always received the best rating for "climate", "animal welfare" and "rainforest": three stars each. With "Water" it was a little different because of the almond content: while the Gourmet Slices received three stars, the other products - Gourmet Spread and Gourmet Grated - received one star.