For Mondelez India, sustainability is at the core of snacking4 min read . Updated: 02 Mar 2021, 06:24 AM IST
- Mondelez India is making snacking both sustainable and mindful, by building a future where people and the planet thrive
Mondelēz International’s approach to sustainability stems from the efficiency of the farms where its raw ingredients grow, the impact of the supply chain that produces and delivers its products, and the recyclability of the packaging that its consumers dispose of, ultimately empowering consumers to snack right.
Getting the vision right
The idea is to do business with the right intention, while striking the right balance between sustainability and feasibility. Today’s new generation of discerning and evolved consumers demand that brands go beyond creating mere products.
As a company that has been attuned to the needs of consumers for over 70 years, Mondelez India has made significant strides in ensuring that the country’s much-loved brands are made the right way. The company’s Cocoa Life and Shubh Aarambh programmes are a testament to its commitment to take its brands, products, people and ethos to the centre of communities and create an ecosystem that boasts self-sustenance.
A step in the right direction
This promise is not one that can be achieved alone. For Mondelez India, this partnership goes back over 55 years, when the company brought the first cocoa sapling and planted it in Kerala. Long before we knew, a crop not native to the country made its way to the four southern states of India. Today, the Cocoa Life programme is a flourishing community of over 100,000 farmers committed to placing India on the global cocoa map.
Samrajyam, 65, a part of a long line of farmers in Andhra Pradesh, learnt how to farm from her grandfather. She currently manages 17 acres of land and dreams of passing on this knowledge, and eventually the farm, to her children and grandchildren. Stories like this stand as a testimony to an initiative that envisions a future in the hands of a far more educated and empowered line of cocoa farmers.
The company currently provides three million seedlings annually to support farmers in growing cocoa as an intercrop, while addressing socio-economic and environmental challenges.
Growth stems from communities
Sustainability also implies supporting the society and community, while forging valuable collaborations with them. For the last six years, the Shubh Aarambh community project across eight states has engaged with communities to promote healthy lifestyles and ensure regular sports for children and young people. It has also partnered with the communities to provide clean water, develop kitchen gardens and green spaces and playgrounds across locations.
Balamurugan, a 13-year-old student of class VIII in a tribal village in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, volunteered to develop a kitchen garden a few months ago. He made frequent visits to the nearby agriculture fields on weekends to observe growing techniques. With the help of the Shubh Aarambh team, he learnt about the best agro practices to gain
better yields. Enthusiastic to continue growing his kitchen garden, Balamurugan trained two other boys in the new school he had moved to.
The project also supports women empowerment. Take the 30-year-old Kamaldeep Kaur from Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. Her leadership skills and attitude to serve the needy came to the forefront when Shubh Aarambh was launched in her village and formed groups of mothers. These groups sensitised women on health and nutrition issues, as well as on behavioural changes at the community level. Today Kamaldeep is an active member and an Accredited Social Health Activist.
The onset of the pandemic widened this commitment towards communities. During the pandemic, Mondelez India donated over 200 tons of chocolates, biscuits, and beverages to the India Food Banking Network across 20 cities. The company also donated dry ration kits to support over 8,600 families (approximately 43,000 beneficiaries) around its factory locations in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Globally, the total contribution was nearly $28 million, surpassing its initial $15 million commitment.
Pack it right
While what is inside the pack is made right, it is equally critical to ensure the packaging equally dovetails into the vision. Plastic packaging and Multi Layered Plastics (MLP) contribute to food safety by effectively addressing key issues like adulteration, contamination and infestation. As part of the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, it is addressing the biggest sustainability challenges relevant to its business, which includes plastics pollution. Over 94% of Mondelēz International’s global packaging (both plastic and non-plastic) is designed to be recyclable. It is moving towards making all packaging recyclable by 2025.
In India, 97% of its total packaging is designed for recyclability. All its MLP in India are co-processed, waste to energy and recycled. Mondelez India has partnered with waste collection agencies who partner with urban local bodies, scrap dealers, rag pickers and NGOs to collect, segregate and dispose of plastics equivalent to the plastic used in the manufacturing of its products.
In 2019-2020, the company achieved 100% plastics waste collection. To create value, positively impact lives, and to further deliver on its long-term vision for zero net waste packaging, Mondelez India recently introduced 100% sustainable point of buying units for the recently launched Bournvita Crunchy, which helps save the equivalent of 26,000 plastic bottles from being disposed of in the ocean.