Building a Sustainable Home: Dr. Oetker Sustainability Report

"Building a Sustainable Home": on course for products, the environment, society and employees.

Building a Sustainable Home: Dr. Oetker Sustainability Report

27.6.2023 Sustainability

Bielefeld, June 2023 – Dr. Oetker publishes its first international sustainability report: Under the title "Building a sustainable home", we bundle our goals, approaches and measures in terms of sustainability. The report thus maps our initial progress and challenges on the way to achieving the Dr. Oetker Sustainability Charter for the years 2019-2022 in accordance with the GRI standard. It also includes our current governance structure for sustainability and the company's social commitment.

Investing in sustainability is the only way forward for sustainable businesses

"How do we preserve our one earth for future generations?" is how Dr Albert Christmann, Chairman of the Dr Oetker Executive Board, takes a look into the future in the editorial. "We at Dr. Oetker have decided to take a big step forward with our Sustainability Charter. And so we will be investing massively in key areas in the near future - in innovations, in digitalization and in sustainability."

"The food industry bears a great responsibility - and has a great potential impact on positive change," adds Claudia Willvonseder, member of the Executive Board and responsible for sustainability. "We are already using our sphere of influence to bring more plant-based raw materials into recipes, to rely less on meat and to use raw materials that are produced in a sustainable way. For example, we have greatly expanded our range of vegan products. Our goals are to produce 35% less CO₂ by 2030 and to be completely climate-neutral by 2050. This requires many measures, which we are currently defining in concrete terms. Every step counts.“

Progress for consumers, the environment, society and employees

"Creating a Taste of Home" is the Dr. Oetker purpose and is regarded as a worldwide connecting element for consumers, employees, the environment and society alike. With our sustainability activities, we live the purpose responsibly in the dimensions "Our Food", "Our World" and "Our Company".

Our Food: Make conscious decisions for deliciously sustainable indulgence

We know that what we eat today significantly affects the future of our world, our lives and our health. Our mission is to offer plenty of delicious products that are better for people and the environment. We want to include less salt and sugar in our products and use sustainably sourced ingredients. We aim to be more transparent with our ingredients, packaging, and the nutritional values of our food. This in turn will help consumers make a more informed choice about sustainability.

  • More transparency: So far, we have applied nutrition labels such as Nutri-Score or NutrInform in 9 countries. In future, our consumers will be able to find out what material a package is made of and how it can be recycled in the best possible way by standardised recycling labels; additional icons will provide information on special features of the ingredients. In the course of 2023, we will also be able to calculate the product carbon footprint for many of our products.
  • Improved nutritional properties: We have already reduced the salt content in our pizzas to 1.12g/100g by 2022, on our way to achieving our sales-weighted average of 1g salt/100g pizza. Similarly, we are working product by product in all our local companies to reduce the sugar content in our desserts by 15% and in our baking mixes and ready-made cakes by 10% - the report already contains many examples of this.
  • Innovative, more sustainable products: For pizza, cake and desserts, we have already launched numerous vegan products that have a better carbon footprint and are better for animal welfare - so that people can eat a plant-based diet and still eat their usual delicious products. We also invest in new products that are organic or gluten-free, have less or no sugar, or have a particularly high protein content.

Our World: for a healthy environment and a just society

For the preservation of our Earth: How can we repair past and present damage? What can we do better today and in the future to preserve our planet for future generations? We are actively committed to protecting the climate and want to use natural resources responsibly. For us, that means: Less CO₂ emissions, less waste, more sustainable raw materials and deforestation-free supply chains - that’s what we work towards every day. As a family-owned company, our focus is always on people, whether in our own production or in our supply chain.

  • Climate protection: We have been climate neutral at our own sites (Scope 1 and 2) since 2022 - this was achieved by switching to green electricity and investing in compensation projects, which we would like to be able to do without in the long term. But this is just the beginning: by 2030, we want to reduce our CO₂ footprint by 35% in all direct and indirect areas of influence (Scope 1, 2 and 3). Complete climate neutrality in all direct and indirect areas of influence is to be achieved by 2050.
  • Reducing food waste: We aim to reduce food waste by 25 % in our production by 2025. Due to the introduction of new, more demanding types of dough in pizza production, initial successes have unfortunately leveled off again - but we are confident that we will be able to move forward from 2023. In our ambient production, we have already reduced food waste by 5.1% in the first year of uniform measurement.
  • More sustainable packagings: We want to use as little material as possible in our product packagings and ensure that the material is as recyclable and contains as little plastic as possible - to achieve this, we are pursuing 350 action plans for more sustainable packaging worldwide. In particular, the 35% reduction in the use of composite materials is a first success, as these are generally less easy to recycle.
  • Sustainable supply chains: As part of the implementation of the Supply Chain Due Diligance Act, we have trained and deployed 266 human rights coordinators and managers worldwide. Our palm oil is 100% RSPO certified, we use almost exclusively Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa and chicken meat according to the criteria of the European Broiler Chicken Initiative and MSC tuna. 13% of the vanilla we use came from sustainable cultivation in 2022; in 2023 this will be 20%.

Our Company: Diversity as opportunity

At Dr. Oetker, we focus on people. To be precise: the more than 14,800 people who work for us worldwide. These people are behind our success and help drive us towards a more sustainable future. We are aware of our responsibility towards every one of our employees. We’re committed to a corporate culture based on respectful interaction, a safe working environment and a diverse workforce. This is because we believe that a diverse, safe and appreciative environment leads us to more creativity, innovation and sustainability.

  • Occupational safety: 17 sites with approximately 7,500 employees are already working at production locations with an occupational safety management system that complies with the internationally recognized certification standard ISO 45001. By the end of 2025, all production sites should be certified.
  • Living wages: For us, fair wages mean that our employees receive a living wage that allows them an adequate standard of living and quality of life. Every two years we compare our wages globally on the basis of data collected by the NGO Fair Wage Network on living wages. In most countries we have already reached this standard of a "Living Wage Employer" - in the few others we are currently raising our wages accordingly.
  • Ensure equality and promote diversity: We firmly believe that a diverse, international and inclusive corporate culture is the key to better decisions, more meaningful innovations and more sustainable action. That is why we at Dr. Oetker want to be as diverse as the people who buy our products.
  • Zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination and harassment and the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are also a matter of course for us.

Social commitment: Because communities are close to our hearts

At Dr. Oetker, we believe in shaping the world of tomorrow - with everything we do today. That is why, for us, acting sustainably also means being committed to a more socially responsible society - and has been for over 130 years. Our company founder, Dr August Oetker, and his wife Caroline were already committed to charitable projects. We continue this commitment now and in the future. In 2022 alone, for example, we were involved with 18 regional companies for SOS Children's Villages. In addition, there are numerous activities of our DR. AUGUST OETKER STIFTUNG, as well as various national companies in their local environments, especially for passing on excess food to local initiatives.

Read more in our Dr. Oetker Sustainability Report.

For inquiries:

Katharina Ahnepohl

Media Spokesperson Sustainability

Hannah Strüver

Lead & Media Spokesperson Brand / Product Communication