Meet the B Corps: Eric Derie, Alpro

Part of our series profiling six of the world’s B Corp certified coffee businesses, we speak to Eric Derie, Global Head of Coffee at Alpro. Here, Derie shares the ambitious sustainability and social goals the plant-based food and beverage brand has set for the next five years and its commitment to continual improvement

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Eric Derie, Global Head of Coffee at Alpro – a leading brand in plant-based food and beverage production | Image credit: Alpro


 

Alpro

Plant-based food and beverage manufacturer: Belgium
First B Corp certified: 2018
Current B Corp score: 87


Alpro’s story began exactly 40 years’ ago, when visionary founder Vandemoortele set out on a mission to improve people’s diets and use plant-based products to help feed the planet’s rapidly expanding population, forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050.
 
Food, including the ingredients in your favourite coffee beverage, has an enormous impact on the planet – from the ecological footprint of how it is produced, to the health and social impact of how it is consumed. We want to be a profitable company that is good for the planet, good for people, and one that is actively working to reduce its environmental impact.
 
From the very beginning Alpro was founded on the principles of respect, cooperation and ambition. In 2017, we joined the Danone family and the mission of ‘bringing health through food to as many people as possible’. We are helping Danone to lead a worldwide ‘Food Revolution’. We are proud to say that our environmental and social work has been recognised by B Corp. It’s not just about getting a pretty certificate. It’s a commitment to doing better, every year.
 

"We are proud of what we have done so far, but there is still a long way ahead of us"

 
Being a B Corp helps Alpro reaffirm its commitment to the environment, our workers, suppliers, and the communities we serve year-on-year. The rigorous audit process enables our business to ensure its sustainability and social goals are on track. It also provides an indication of how much further we need to go to achieve our vision of providing a high-quality, nutritious and sustainable diet accessible to all. Sure, we are proud of what we have done so far, but there is still a long way ahead of us.
 
That is why we have set concrete 2025 sustainability goals to increase the proportion of recyclable packaging from 76% today to 100%, achieve a 60% reduction in the water footprint of our products, increase the proportion of renewable energy we use to 50% and reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per kilo of product. We are also committed to sourcing ingredients locally, with most of our non-GM soy, oats and almonds grown in Europe, and none sourced from rainforests or South America.
 
It’s a huge task and part of an ongoing process that Alpro, along with the broader Danone Group, is committed to. B Corp is a great partner to help us achieve this, and together our community of like-minded companies has real potential to create lasting, positive chance in the world.
 

This article was first published in Issue 5 of 5THWAVE magazine.

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