Sustainability plays a key role in our purpose. In 2021 the theme came to the fore more than ever in society, business, investments, and new regulations all across the globe. Continuously looking to the outside world to understand current and future trends, we initiated a leadership discussion to redefine our sustainability targets and review the scope of our efforts. This profound debate will be completed early 2022, and an update on our scope will follow.

We have also started to prepare ourselves for new EU legislation - the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. CSRD makes it mandatory for businesses to provide independently-verified reports on the environmental and social impact of their activities in an effort to increase transparency. The directive will be fully unveiled in Q3 2022 and then implemented in 2023. In preparation, we have put in place a cross-functional taskforce representing legal, audit, finance, and sustainability functions and identified the necessary actions required.

We expect the CSRD to include disclosure of Green House Gas emissions – an area in which we have already been hard at work. Over the year we have focused on harmonising and improving our infrastructure to collect company-wide emission statistics based on accurate data rather than estimates. The size and diversity of our business means this remains an ongoing process, but CSRD-compliant figures should be ready by 2023.

Beyond an overall group perspective, sustainability also runs deeply through every company in the SHV family and 2021 saw this progress continue.

SHV Energy supplies over 30 million customers worldwide with the energy they need for domestic heating, industrial heating, cooking, and transportation. They include a significant number not yet connected to the gas grid. These households or businesses are often based in rural areas and rely on high-carbon, more polluting sources such as coal and oil. The provision of cleaner, safer, lower-carbon energy is an essential step towards de-fossilisation and an integral part of the company’s approach to driving the energy transition. At the same time, SHV Energy strives to minimise its own impact on the environment, all without compromising on the highest standards of health and safety.

The company emphasises its commitment to ‘Advancing Energy Together’ by involving all key stakeholders, rather than just colleagues and customers. Only by collaborating with the energy industry as a whole can the energy solutions of the future become a reality.

Back in 2020, SHV Energy took an historic step with the acquisition of EM3, an industrial energy efficiency specialist. Energy efficiency services represent an important milestone on the journey to more sustainable energy. A number of highlights followed in 2021, such as a first step into solar power with the acquisition of a majority stake in SunSource Energy. As a leading provider of distributed energy for commercial and industrial customers across India, SunSource also has a presence across South-East Asia.

SHV Energy launched the Open Innovation Challenge, designed to identify transformative new opportunities in sustainable bioLPG production. 2021 also saw rDME successfully positioned as a pivotal, cost-effective solution for de-fossilising the LPG industry. A new joint venture with UGI International, a subsidiary of UGI Corporation, is being established to make rDME widely available. And finally, the company integrated a new carbon counter into the global SHV Energy website, allowing all businesses to seamlessly integrate relevant data into their own local websites, along with real-world comparisons that make the results more tangible.

Makro focused its strategy on the three pillars of people, profit, and planet. With regards to the planet, the strategy has concentrated on waste management, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and increasing the efficiency of stores.

As part of a zero-landfill project to minimise waste, Makro piloted two new stores aimed at diverting all waste away from landfill towards more sustainable methods of disposal such as recycling, composting, waste-to-fuel etc. The chain also implemented Why Waste in Brazil, an app that tracks the expiry dates of products, making it easier to consume more efficiently. In 2021, volunteer tree-planting programmes were also carried out across the business to contribute to the rebalancing of the ecosystem.

ERIKS, in partnership with sustainability consultants Sustainalize, asked employees, customers, suppliers, and SHV-wide colleagues for their views on where the company should focus its efforts moving forwards. The top three responses—a healthy and safe working environment, customer solutions, and sustainable innovation— provide a clear direction for the future. ERIKS’ customers are in a position to exert a significant influence over the future of our planet, and the company faces a golden opportunity to help shape ever-more sustainable industry.

With this in mind, it has approached several major customers to become their preferred sustainability partner, offering joint sustainability improvement programmes to identify new opportunities for improvement – for example by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

As the market leader for heavy lifting and transport, Mammoet aims to be at the forefront of sustainability. Perhaps the most important goal is helping to rebalance the world’s energy mix in collaboration with customers and supply chain partners. For example, the company was active in a large number of initiatives in the renewables sector during the year, particularly in onshore and offshore wind projects. It has also been involved with the construction and upgrade of energy-efficient facilities to reduce carbon emissions and incorporate carbon capture. One of the most significant of these projects was the ITER in France - a landmark experiment to build the world's largest tokamak. This magnetic fusion device is designed to test the potential of fusion energy in the development of future non-fossil energy production.

Mammoet is also taking steps to reduce its own carbon footprint and move away from a dependence on fossil fuels. Lower carbon methods of transporting heavy and complex loads include the use of hydrogen to power the SK range of cranes; electric and hybrid power systems for cranes and trailers; new low carbon innovations for erecting wind turbines; and identifying new opportunities for introducing alternative lower carbon fuels. One alternative to traditional diesel is the HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), made primarily from waste and residues and 90% carbon-free. ​​​​​​​HVO also emits fewer direct exhaust emissions, including nitrogen oxides. In 2021 Mammoet carried out its first ever HVO-powered project.

Nutreco remains committed to delivering sustainable products and services, beginning with sustainable sourcing. A new 2025 sustainability roadmap aligns with the company’s purpose of feeding the future and is shaped around three key themes: Health & Welfare, Climate & Circularity, and Good Citizenship. Progress will be tracked by an online progress assessment tool. Bold goals require action, not words, and Nutreco is an active participant in industry discussions and initiatives. The Skretting CEO is Co-Chair of Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS). And Nutreco’s Sustainability Director chairs Task Force 1 aimed at reducing illegal, unreported and unregistered (IUU) fishing as well as eradicating modern slavery in the seafood supply chain.

One crucial aspect of protecting the oceans is ensuring that fish stocks are managed responsibly, and Nutreco strives to ensure that marine feed ingredients come from sustainable sources. Skretting launched a transparent policy for the first time: concrete targets highlight a commitment to conserving marine resources and ensuring that local communities and fishermen are treated with dignity and respect.

Nutreco is also working to help customers reduce their environmental impact. Trouw Nutrition, for example, has developed MyFeedPrint. This comprises a complete database of ingredients linked to feed formulation software and will allow customers to optimise their feed formulations with sustainability in mind. It will also contribute to achieving the company’s Science Based Targets, an initiative that helps the private sector to make lasting, positive changes by setting science-based emissions reduction targets.

Trouw Nutrition also launched the Circular Farm, an extensive sustainable farming service platform that supports farmers with a nitrogen and phosphorus emissions calculator; certification of their performance levels based on planet and people; environment, and animal welfare; and the issue of Environmental Product Declarations in partnership with a specialist consultant.

One shining example of Skretting’s efforts in sustainable innovation has been CarbonBalance® - shortlisted as a finalist in the Product Innovation of the Year category at the 2022 edie Sustainability Leaders Awards. The solution helps fish farmers to reduce their carbon footprint and includes the first ever carbon-neutral aquafeed, making carbon-neutral fish farming a reality.

Newly acquired Kiwa is a global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) services and contributes to making products, processes, organisations, homes, and working environments as clean, healthy, safe, and sustainable as possible. Even though the core business inherently addresses many areas related to sustainability, the company has formulated a wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy shaped by two general aims.

The first aim is achieving Level 3 CSR Performance Ladder certification through external audit.

The Performance Ladder measures the success of a company’s CSR policy based on 33 indicators covering people, the environment, and local communities and represents the foundation of Kiwa’s CSR efforts. A system of internal auditing has already been established, while a fellow certification institution audits Kiwa externally. By the end of 2022, the goal is to ensure all offices are certified in reducing their CO2 footprints, improving employee health and satisfaction, giving stakeholders a real say in CSR, and magnifying the positive impact of services on society.

The second general aim is to follow the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals. Companies that have been certified to Level 3 of the CSR Performance Ladder are challenged to emphasise their commitment to CSR by selecting and implementing relevant SDG goals.

NPM integrates sustainability into its business operations in a number of ways. Sustainability plays an important part in the due diligence process when evaluating potential portfolio companies. Biannual sustainability assessments of portfolio companies have become standard practice. And building a stronger business for the future through sustainability has been incorporated into an investment strategy that focuses on four key areas: Feeding the World, Future of Energy, Healthy Life & Learning, and Everything is Digital. This approach has influenced participations in Groendus and Dieseko among others.

Dieseko focuses on delivering sustainable foundation solutions for both onshore and, increasingly, offshore end-markets. One milestone has come in the form of the world’s largest vibratory hammer, which allows foundations to be laid with far less impact on the environment by reducing noise and accelerating both handling and installation times.

Groendus (previously Rooftop energy) supports business customers on their journeys towards 100% clean energy through a combination of smart energy saving, proprietary power generation, and direct renewable energy transactions. So far, Groendus has worked with retailers such as Coolblue, Picnic and Suitsupply , generating over 150 MWp in primary roof-based solar PV projects in The Netherlands. And their ‘Mijn Groendus’ energy management platform connects renewable energy producers and end-users without the need for a traditional energy supplier or utility company, with over 42,000 connections made to date.