Dear Stakeholders, Dear Friends of Sütaş,
The consequences of disruptions in the supply chain due to the Russia-Ukraine War, rapidly climbing energy and food prices, and climate change were heavily stressed in 2022. As concerns about sustainability have increased this year, new legislative regulations that will directly impact activities in a range of sectors are just around the corner. Also in 2022, two important United Nations Conferences were held, emphasizing the importance of addressing the climate crisis and preserving biodiversity. These conferences called out once more to the business world, and primarily to the food and agriculture sector, to contribute to resolving these global challenges by transforming their business models and supply chains into a more resilient and circular structure.
Türkiye is currently settling the actions towards the national “2053 Net-Zero Emission” target pursuant to the Paris Agreement. Following suit of the “Farm to Fork” and “Biodiversity” strategies and “Circular Economy Action Plan” acknowledged in line with the European Green Deal by the European Union, one of our largest trade partners, we are working on new regulations that will directly impact our country’s food and agriculture sector in enforcing sustainable and circular transformation of the food system from input to production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste.
We are working with our “Farm to Table” business model, which we believe contributes to the solution of all these global issues and allows us to manage the entire process from the feed that cows eat to the dairy and dairy products that reach the tables with full supply chain integration. Based on sustainability and circularity, this model helps us respond to customers’ expectations of natural and safe food in the most effective manner.
In line with this approach, I would like to share some highlights of the work we carried out in 2022. Fighting against climate change and carbon management continued to be our priority in 2022. Through our work, we achieved a 7-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the previous year and a 10-percent decrease in our emission intensity.
- Our greatest instrument for reducing our impact on climate is our biogas plants, which generate electricity, steam, and hot water by processing the manure from our farms and the organic waste from all our facilities. So far, we have increased our electricty generation capacity in our four integrated plants to 18.1 MWh. We have reached a point where we can now meet 80% of our production facilities’ electricity consumption. This enabled us to capture 590,000 metric tons of carbon that corresponds to more of 252% in the amount of greenhouse gases generated as a result our activities.
- In 2020, we decided to diversify renewable energy production and set a target of 25 MWp for solar power plant (SPP) investments. Within this scope, we completed our 1 MWp and 4.9 MWp of SPP investments in the Bingöl Integrated Facilities and in the Tire Integrated Facilities, respectively. We are still working on the SPP feasibility and technical specifications for our other farms and production plants (dairy/feed).
We have increased the utilization of organic and organomineral fertilizers in agricultural production, obtained from the outputs of our biogas plants to enrich the soils where the feed for our cows is grown. We have increased the organic matter content of our soil by 43% from 2020 to 43,000 tons in 2022. Within this context, we are cooperating with the Provincial Directorates of Agriculture and Forestry in Bursa and Bingöl for trial studies aimed at determining the effects of organic and organomineral fertilizer usage on the quality and productivity of agricultural soils.
- In recent years, the world’s attention has turned toward combating food waste and loss as well as plastic waste. We believe in the power of cooperation and we work with our stakeholders toward this end. We reduced the amount of plastic in our packaging by nearly 2,100 metric tons by 2022 thanks to our weight reduction efforts. We also succeeded in reducing our food loss below 1%.
- In addition to environmental sustainability, our business model allows us to contribute to our stakeholders socially and economically. Our investments in this regard not only stimulate growth in various subsectors of agriculture, industry, and the service sectors but also foster local development and enhance social welfare in areas where we do business. In that aspect, it is also a “Regional Development Model.”
- In 2022, we sourced milk from more than 18,000 dairy farmers and engaged contract growers to cultivate fodder crops on 33,200 decares of land. We provided comprehensive support to all contracted fodder crop growers, assisting them in various activities such as soil preparation, selecting suitable seeds, establishing efficient irrigation systems, procuring organic and organomineral fertilizers, and managing the harvesting process. We helped dairy farmers reach higher quality and productivity in production by offering training on sustainable dairy farming, and conducting on-site inspections.
We are aware that corporate governance is the key to sustainability. In line with our values and universal corporate governance principles, we further strengthen our corporate structure by day. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, Sütaş received the “Company with the Highest Corporate Governance Rating Score” award in the “Non-Public Real Industry Company” category, organized by the Corporate Governance Association of Türkiye (CGAT).
In line with our corporate governance approach, we have been publishing sustainability reports since 2015 in compliance with international standards. We consider these reports important as they provide us with an opportunity to share with you our progress toward our sustainability goals. We also hope that our practices, which we share openly, will set an example of how the business world can contribute more to the solution of global challenges.
We invite you to review our report where we discuss our actions towards our 2025 sustainability goals, including those on “environmental sustainability,” “health and happiness of people” and “development and prosperity of society,” and to share your opinions as well as your suggestions on potential areas for cooperation.
We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to our sustainability efforts, as well as to our business partners, consumers, and all Sütaş friends for all their support and united under our motto, “Forever Love of Milk.”
Head of the Sustainability Committee