ABF – Aligning Environmental Ambitions with Social Commitments

Overview

Associated British Foods PLC (ABF) is a diversified company operating within the food, ingredient and retail industries. The company’s primary operations include sugar, ingredients, grocery, agriculture and retail, including the well-known retail brand Primark.

With operations across five continents and a presence in 53 countries, ABF is exposed to numerous climate risks within its supply chains, necessitating risk-mitigation measures to optimize opportunities and enhance business success. For decades, many of ABF’s businesses have implemented sustainability programs, resulting in consistent performance improvements. ABF’s focus has always been on aligning environmental goals with social responsibilities within the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework.

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Keeping a close watch on his crops

ABF’s Challenges

Due to the complexity of the business ABF needed a reliable and easy-to-use software system to collect and manage their ESG data for annual reporting. Recognizing the importance of using a flexible solution that is easy to administer and manage, ABF chose Sphera when looking for a new partner which could cover their requirements as well as their health and safety management, audit management and annual ESG reporting.

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Solution

SpheraCloud Corporate Sustainability

 

SpheraCloud Corporate Sustainability software collects and manages environmental, health and safety data for the annual corporate ESG report. ABF simplified their data collection process and gathers data from all operating companies on four main topics:

 

  • Energy and fuel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Market-based energy
  • Environmental KPIs including water usage, waste and recycling
  • Health and safety metrics

 

With SpheraCloud software, ABF has the flexibility to customize questionnaires for data collection and approval workflows based on the company’s structure and business needs.

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ABF has developed detailed reporting guidelines that align with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, which includes estimation and calculation methodologies. The software’s embedded emission factor libraries are used to calculate emissions, which are then featured in the extensive ESG report. External third-party audits verify data accuracy with access to the software for spot checks and more detailed proof when needed.

In addition, ABF also uses health and safety management software to capture detailed health and safety metrics (fatalities, LTI, employee data, safety fines, etc.) across the company in 13 periods (4 weeks per period) and as a home for its extensive compliance and risk audit program. Twenty new audits and 20 existing audits are conducted each year. The findings and recommendations are saved in the software, and progress is monitored until all issues are resolved. All operating sites have access to the audit data and work with the software until all findings are fixed and completion is documented.

“For our various and diversified businesses, we choose SpheraCloud because it is easy to use by all, helps with efficient data collection, provides access to external auditors, and is flexible to adapt not only to organizational changes, but also to regulatory updates.”

— Steve Bradley, Group Safety & Environment Manager, ABF

Results

With SpheraCloud Corporate Sustainability software, ABF can collect its comprehensive ESG data across its diversified business during the annual reporting period. The software offers flexibility to respond to organizational changes and adjust the data collection questionnaires to changing regulatory requirements (e.g., caused by the CSRD or other mandatory regulations). SpheraCloud Health and Safety Audits software assists ABF in storing results and tracking completion of their comprehensive external audit program, ensuring risk mitigation and regulatory compliance.

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Efficient environmental, health and safety data collection, calculation and reporting across all operating companies
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Intuitive and straightfoward user experience
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Software is easily adapted to organizational change

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