TreeHouse shares latest environmental, governance report

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

With goals set for the next four years, TreeHouse Foods has published its 2020 Environmental, Social & Governance, or ESG, Report, outlining key focus areas in employee welfare, continued sustainable packaging solutions, responsible sourcing and more.

The report adds to previous reports the Oak Brook, Ill.-based supplier has released around sustainability.

"The events of this year, from the COVID-19 pandemic to global protests against racial injustice to the growing threat of climate change, have all underscored the need for companies like TreeHouse Foods Inc. to be an example of what is possible," said Steve Oakland, CEO and president. "We must leverage our scale, capabilities, and influence to help address these complex social and environmental challenges. As one of the nation's leading private label food manufacturers, we approach this call-to-action with the same passion and commitment that we bring to exceeding customer expectations. To that end, I am pleased to share an update on our progress and our holistic ESG strategy."

Steve Oakland

Four years ago, TreeHouse set environmental sustainability goals for its North American manufacturing operations that improved energy intensity, water intensity and waste contributions to landfills. The latest report provides an update to those goals, including carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 21% from 2016 to 2019; water intensity across all facilities, except one, decreased by 6% during the same years, and the landfill diversion rate increased from 59% in 2016 to 78% in 2019.

The new agenda, placing goals toward more change by 2025, include five key areas:

  • ESG integration — an internal governance structure that includes board and executive oversight will ensure that the entire business is aligned around the ESG strategy;
  • Transparency and disclosure — regular communication on ESG performance, using respected disclosure frameworks, so that key stakeholders are aware of the company's efforts and able to make informed decisions;
  • Supply chain and operations — develop a responsible sourcing program that defines expectations for supplies and ensures the company is proactively addressing environmental and social risks;
  • Employee engagement and welfare — strategies and programs that elevate the importance of diversity and inclusion, employee safety and wellbeing and environmental health and safety at all sites and offices; and
  • Plastics and packaging — develop sustainable packaging options that are recyclable, recycled and compostable, and at the same time, meet customer expectations.

TreeHouse added that it will continue to reduce greenhouses gas emissions and water intensity, expand on its responsible sourcing policy and practices, and further develop its diversity, equality and inclusion goals.

TreeHouse added an ESG section to its website with information from the report.