Being a sustainable business is a modus operandi that takes into account people, planet and profits (the Triple Bottle Line approach). We drive this approach to sustainability by focusing on material (priority) areas including livelihoods, water, climate change, labour, food security, and food safety. Our sustainability strategy and goals, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), guide our actions to help create a better world.
As part of our Olam Healthy Living programme, we provide health education and screening for thousands of people at our worksites and in remote villages. In 2017, we reached 50,000 people with HIV education and free medical check-ups in rural areas. Olam built 5 water pumps providing access to clean water to over 5,000 people; and repaired over 250 km of rural road, improving cotton transport and access to markets. We operate 25 literacy centres educating 2,000 farmer students.
In 2018, we organised our second ‘Take Your Children to Work Day,’- an annual event geared at educating and empowering youths about how their parents spend their work days and about their potential future careers - attended by 383 children in 5 sites.
We are increasing our use of renewable energy through biomass boilers in cashew (cashew shells) and cocoa (cocoa husks) factories and solar energy in offices. We improve the urban environment through town cleaning and greening initiatives. We promote climate-smart agricultural practices among our farmers.
In 2017, we trained 36,000 farmers on sustainable water management, over 50,000 farmers, managing 190,000 ha on sustainable soil fertility management, 20,000 farmers on forest and ecosystem protection, and 17,000 farmers on integrated pest management methods. Topics include water quality conservation, agroforestry, forest conservation, avoiding bush fires and maintaining a buffer zone near waterways and protected areas. Good practices are facilitated through Farmer Field Schools, shade tree nurseries, and composting demonstrations.
Célestine lives in Zouhounou, a village in Eastern Côte d’Ivoire with her husband and their 6 children. She splits her time between the production of cocoa and other agricultural crops. Two years ago, she joined Olam and has seen her life taking exciting turns. Célestine is one of the 7,000+ women cocoa growers working with us and has been farming cocoa for 15 years. Today she is proud to say that her revenues have increased, enabling her to open her first bank account and put 4 of her children in school so far.
Olam recognises the crucial role that women play in the production of agriculture. We work with 14,000 women and train them on Good Agricultural Practices.
Supporting them create a positive ripple effect for their families and communities. We are working to close the gender gap in all the communities where we operate.