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“The UN Sustainable Development Goals make us go the extra mile” (2019)

March 31, 2020

This article was originally published in Bloom Magazine 2019. More information on Kekkilä-BVB sustainability roadmap: Folkert Moll, Sustainability Manager, Kekkilä-BVB.

Our sustainability roadmap is guided by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To Kekkilä-BVB, the sustainability roadmap means working closely with partners in the whole value chain. Although high level goals like the 17 UN SDG’s have been experienced as hard to achieve according to the public opinion. To Kekkilä-BVB these goals makes them “go the extra mile”.

– The climate breakdown, the growing population and the increased need for food in the future are challenges we need to face with very ambitious goals. The UN SDG’s guide us in a good direction and make us to go the extra mile, says Julien Boijmans, sustainability manager, Kekkilä-BVB.

How the SDGs guide our four sustainability initiatives

Introducing our sustainability roadmap means letting knowledge help us in achieving the SDGs. The roadmap is a process with four initiatives and eight targets. Initiatives that lead the whole company towards a better future. These initiatives are defined as Flourishing people, Sustainable food and living, Green growth and recycling and Biodiversity and restoration and are developed based on measurements. Each initiative has two targets defined in the roadmap.

–                         Our initiatives are defined based on measuring our impact on these areas. Measuring is knowing and a starting point to be trustworthy, Julien says.

Our Flourishing people initiative is guided by four of the SDGs such as Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, Reduced inequality and Sustainable consumption and production. With Flourishing people, we aim for well-being of employees and people throughout the whole value chain.

When talking Sustainable food and living initiative we are guided by three SDGs – Zero hunger, Clean water and sanitation and Sustainable cities and communities. Within the Zero hunger target we are developing smart service concepts making food production more sustainable using less resources. To us sustainable innovations will help our partners reduce hunger indirectly. Within the Clean water and Sanitation we let our smart services and concepts product optimize the water usage.

Initiative Green growth and recycling is guided by two SDGs – Responsible consumption and production, and life below water. The aim for us is to show how our innovations help sustainability related to responsible, production and packaging. We also aim for closing the plastic loop, reducing plastic waste in general and below water.

The initiative Biodiversity and restoration is guided by the SDGs – Sustainable cities and communities, Sustainable consumption and production, Climate action and Life on land. Showing you how we take action towards a better climate talking harvesting and after life concepts of our peat bogs.

Sustainability is happening both inside and outside of our company. Focusing on how we can help our customers in the most sustainable way is the key. And the roadmap will help us getting there.

Becoming net positive in 2030

Following these four initiatives and their targets will lead us to our main goal of becoming net positive by 2030, meaning that we give more to the world than we take from it. Being in the horticulture sector, means that we take the responsibility that the food grown in our products shall be produced with less resources.

–                         Compared to other sectors we have major possibilities. We can produce much more than years ago. We will continue to drive that progress, Julien says.

Global co-operations

Cooperation on a global arena is crucial to achieve the goals. Kekkilä-BVB is a member of Growing Media Europe (GME). This means participating on a European level in the shift towards more sustainable horticulture and actively working together towards sustainable growing solutions.

Sustainability is about communication, connection and touching people. Talking with people from all over the world, we need to translate the big topic of sustainability.

–                         Our target as a large company is to recognize the contribution we can make to face global challenges.  We are not able to solve them alone, the UN SDG’s therefore plays an important role by connecting us internationally, Julien says.