A particularly important aspect of corporate sustainability at HALBA is how to deal with CO₂e emissions. Our guiding principle is: avoid, reduce, inset. We need energy to produce our high-quality foods. Due to the various processes involved, producing chocolate requires a lot of heat. We are therefore constantly on the lookout for further scope for avoiding or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As some of our emissions cannot currently be avoided, we inset them by reforestation within our own value chain. As such, since 2017 HALBA has offset CO₂e emissions for the Pratteln site (see Climate Protection Policy).
The framework conditions for voluntary CO₂e offsetting have changed significantly under the Paris Agreement. In response to the new framework conditions, HALBA will adhere to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The initiative offers companies a sound scientific framework for achieving the long-term climate goal of net zero by setting ambitious and effective measures. In addition, it should only be possible to use the Carbon Neutral Product label in future in conjunction with a corresponding adjustment in order to prevent double counting of CO₂e offsetting. At present however, there are no offsetting projects with a corresponding adjustment, and it will first be necessary to create scope for corresponding adjustments in the near future. HALBA thus aims to phase out the Carbon Neutral Product label over the long term. In order to be able to continue to offer our customers an attractive solution, HALBA is working at pace on an alternative that will comply with the new rules and also clearly exemplify our climate management and the assumption of responsibility throughout our value chain.
Coop has set itself the target of significantly reducing the carbon footprint of its production operations. This major project focused on establishing optimum conditions for climate-friendly production at HALBA's state-of-the-art production site in Pratteln, starting from the construction stage. As much as 95 per cent of the required energy comes from renewable sources. For electricity HALBA focuses on hydropower. On sunny summer days, a solar system supplies the entire high-bay warehouse and the logistics facilities. Thanks to woodchip heating and waste heat recovery, indirect greenhouse gas emissions from district heating have disappeared. The wood used in the woodchip heating is sourced within a 50-kilometre radius from Pratteln. Our Pratteln site is connected to the railway and river network, which reduces the CO₂ emissions generated in road traffic. The site was ecologically enhanced with green roof spaces, creating important compensation areas for plants, birds of prey and insects.
Due to the transport routes involved, the procurement of our raw materials generates CO₂ emissions. HALBA sources many raw materials from Europe so as to reduce transport distances. Since 2018, most of the green lentils and chickpeas we use no longer come from overseas but from an organic producer in the South of France. Some of HALBA’s organic hazelnuts come from North Macedonia. Furthermore, 50 per cent of our dry mushroom selection already comes from southern Europe. Not only do we contribute to the reduction and offsetting of CO₂e emissions by using shorter transport routes, we also expect our suppliers to take responsibility (see Procurement Policy).
HALBA insets operational CO₂e emissions as well as product-related emissions through reforestation products within its own value chain, currently under the label Carbon Neutral Product. Approximately four trees must be planted to inset one tonne of CO₂. We have planted 427 069 new trees since 2011 – around 99 every day.
In early 2019, we launched new reforestation projects in Ghana and Ecuador. They are the world’s first projects that combine cocoa cultivation in dynamic agroforestry with Gold Standard carbon insets. The Gold Standard is the strictest standard for climate protection projects. Our parent company, Coop, will be insetting more than 130 000 tonnes of CO₂e from business flights, airfreight and home deliveries with these two projects over the next seven years.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges our society faces today, and its impacts affect HALBA, too. That is why we seek to contribute to the fight against climate change. We constantly endeavour to further reduce our CO₂e emissions across all areas with a view to reaching net zero by 2050.