We live in a world of continual change. New technologies replace old, fresh thinking supplants yesterday’s ideas and market shifts drive new approaches. As we write our 2011 Sustainability Report, Sara Lee is in the midst of significant change itself with the spin-off of our International Coffee and Tea business to create two pure play companies.
Our future is evolving. Yet, amid all this change, one thing has remained constant; our sustainability focus, in all its varied forms, remains strong. Sara Lee employees around the globe are dedicated to creating exceptional results in our three focus areas of Wellness and Nutrition, Environment and Social Responsibility.
Our focus on sustainability has shown us that powerful outcomes are possible through the concerted effort of our employees, partners and stakeholders. Overall, we are on track to meet the first set of sustainability goals we set for ourselves; the target date is the end of fiscal 2012. With efforts from our employees around the globe, since 2005 we have reduced our total energy consumption by 14%, greenhouse gas emissions by 12%, water intake by 29% and waste-to-landfill by 20%.
The sustainability program’s successes also highlight the unshakable passion of our employees to do their jobs well and in doing so make a positive and lasting impact on the environment, in the options available to our customers and on the communities in which we live and work. In the past fiscal year, noteworthy milestones included:
- In June 2009, Sara Lee entered into a Sustainability Pact with Walmart Brazil and by July of 2011, the end result, Pilão Origem coffee, was on store shelves. This product is made of 60% UTZ CERTIFIED Coffee and by reducing the overall packaging weight we were able to reduce transportation emissions by 10% for consumers looking for a more sustainable cup of coffee.
- Since 1998, Sara Lee has recognized outstanding employee volunteerism efforts with the Promoting People’s Performance awards, our global volunteer recognition program. In fiscal year 2011, top honors went to Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Thailand for their volunteer project, “Heart to Heart,” which provided multiple types of aid throughout Thailand, including building a kitchen for a local school, combating flooding by fixing a school’s roof and elevating its playground and raising funds to donate warm sleeping sheets to kindergarten students.
I have every confidence that their dedication and spirit will go forward as the business completes its spin-off. I am certain that each company will carry with it a sustainable focus on improving products, practices and people’s lives.
Change is a constant, but so is dedication to making a difference. Thank you.
Marcel H. M. Smits
Chief Executive Officer