Meeting climate targets together with everyone along the supply chain

Tuomas Salusjärvi, Ph.D., Executive Vice President Growth Businesses and R&D, Valio

How to turn Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals into actions took centre stage in an online discussion 20 September 2022 when ICMCI brought together representatives of ESG frontrunner companies to share experience and ideas on making it all happen. The participants included Ari Koli CMC, Sustainability Engineer at Nitor, Tapani Varjas, Partner at Juuri Partners, and Tuomas Salusjärvi, EVP, Growth Businesses and R&D at Valio. The conversation was moderated by Kim Karme CMC, CEO of Karme Consulting. The event was part of the Future of Management Consultancy Initiative. 

Tuomas Salusjärvi brought to the fore how Valio, a leading dairy company with exports to 60 countries, embeds ESG into its work and processes.

To feel the pulse of its customers and to get a better idea of consumer interests, Valio conducted a survey in four countries – Finland, Sweden, USA and China aiming to find the attributes consumers associate with a sustainable food company. The common elements which emerged include food safety and the environment. On the other hand, the attitudes to animal welfare and climate change differ significantly across borders.

Thus, in an effort to fulfil consumer expectations and differentiate itself in the market, Valio selected focus areas of sustainable business:

•    Sustainable leadership, including compliance with laws and regulations
•    Carbon-neutral food chain
•    Well-being and sustainable lifestyles.

Valio’s climate target to a carbon-neutral chain by 2035 has been granted certification by the Science Based Targets initiative which provides companies with a tool to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Surveys show that 90% of the emissions come from farms from which milk is sourced which means that a lot needs to be done at farm level and not just in company factories. Valio encourages action at farm level because milk farms are part of the climate solution. Using a special tool, farms can calculate their own emissions and outline several actions which reduce emissions while they also improve the farms’ profitability ensuring better yields, reduced need of inputs, and new income streams, for example through the use of biogas.

Furthermore, Valio actively engages in regenerative agriculture which is an approach to farming that aims to improve soil health and soil fertility as well as protecting water resources and biodiversity. Restoring soil health helps capture increased levels of carbon in soils and plant biomass. Healthier soils are also more resilient to the impacts of climate change and can increase yields, helping to improve farmers’ livelihoods. 

For more from Tuomas Salusjärvi, please check out this video

For more highlights of the event, please visit the ICMCI YouTube channel

About Tuomas Salusjärvi

Tuomas Salusjärvi, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President Growth Businesses and R&D at Valio, a largest food company and brand leader in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market having subsidiaries in USA, China, Baltics and Sweden and direct export to over 60 countries worldwide. He also holds the chair of board in Oddlygood Global Ltd, a spin-off of Valio and financed by Mandatum Asset Management in 2021 concentrating on oat based non-dairy products and seeking strong international growth in Europe, North America, and Asia.  He has more than 25 years of experience having started from research positions and grown to board and executive appointment with responsibility for business development, innovation, and new product development.

About the Future of Management Consultancy

Combining a series of events, discussions and publications, the ICMCI Future of Management Consultancy initiative strives to promote the global conversation about the future of the profession towards developing a common vision to help and inspire consultants all over the world.

Designed as an “open source” and inclusive platform, the Future of Management Consultancy is an opportunity to seek answers to pressing questions and to encourage interactive communication and joint idea generation.