December 9, 2020
Last week, we launched “,,Growing Together,” OSI’s third global report to detail the work we’re doing to put our sustainability vision into action. It is the first OSI global sustainability report prepared in accordance with ,,Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, and relatedly, our most robust iteration yet.
GRI is an independent international organization providing the most widely used standards of sustainability reporting. Its mission — to enable organizations to be transparent and take responsibility for their impacts — aligns with our own views of sustainability and trust building. We understand that trust has been a challenge in the animal agriculture industry for years, and we’re working to address the trust gap. So when we set out to write our report, we wanted to ensure it would provide a balanced view of our progress. The GRI Standards provided us with a useful framework to help us do that.
Among other things, it required us to clearly define the “boundaries” of each of our sustainability priority areas: For example, we specify that we are dedicated to animal welfare within the bounds of “every global sourcing avenue,” and that we are committed to reducing our environmental impact through responsible stewardship of water, land and forests and through focus on our withdrawals, disposal and purchases.
The GRI Standards also required us to describe the way our company manages impacts related to each of our priority areas. It compelled us to take rigorous stock of the way we identify, analyze and respond to actual and potential impacts throughout our supply chain. To adhere to these reporting standards, we had to look closely at the policies, goals, grievance mechanisms, resources and specific actions we take to curb our environmental footprint, align and elevate our animal welfare standards and extend positive impacts to our people and communities.
The result is a report that tells the most complete story of who we are, how we view our responsibilities, what we’re working to achieve, and how we are progressing toward our goals. Preparing the report also resulted in some of our clearest and most comprehensive public reporting yet on everything from how we manage forest-risk commodities like beef and soy to the way we manage energy emissions within and beyond our walls.
With stakeholders increasingly, and rightfully, interested in how animals are treated, how environmental and social impacts are mitigated, and how workers are kept safe, we cannot afford to do our work behind closed doors or ask our stakeholders to trust us without giving them the information they need to really know OSI. We’ve made a commitment to be transparent about the decisions we make to balance our sustainability ambitions with the necessity and challenge of feeding the world. This report, prepared in accordance with the world’s most widely used standards for disclosing sustainability impacts, is an intentional step we’ve taken to honor that commitment.
Part of that commitment involves being forthright about challenges and, at times, not making as much progress toward our targets as we planned. But we believe this honesty is the foundation of stakeholder trust, dialogue, innovation and growing more sustainably, together.