In 2020|21, AGRANA's sustainability core team again performed a materiality analysis to further develop the Group’s sustainability strategy, with the involvement of selected representative stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and local communities). In this process, the environmental, economic and social impacts of individual sustainability aspects of AGRANA's business activities on society and the environment were assessed and the influence of these sustainability aspects on the decisions of stakeholders was scrutinised.
The AGRANA Group’s most significant impacts overall relate to energy consumption and emissions and arise primarily in the Starch and Sugar segments, as a result of their energy-intensive value-added processing of agricultural raw materials. The aspect of energy use and emissions has gained significantly in importance for the stakeholders surveyed compared to the 2017|18 responses, due to increased media coverage of the challenges of climate change and the resulting legal requirements, such as under the European Green Deal. This mounting importance is also reflected in increasing enquiries from customers about AGRANA’s strategy for climate change adaptation and decarbonisation.
However, the social and ecological impacts of corporate activities are also significantly influenced by the regulatory environment in which companies operate. For the stakeholders surveyed, the aspect of compliance, especially with legal regulations, is therefore of the greatest importance. Product safety is also one of the top priorities for the survey participants. In the stakeholders’ view, the focus in raw material procurement should be primarily on compliance with social standards. This is especially true in the Fruit segment, which purchases raw materials worldwide. This view thus also confirms the results of a survey conducted in 2019|20 among selected customers and suppliers as part of a comprehensive strategy process in the fruit preparations business.