Sustainability review helps Stratum take new view of partnerships

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Eggshells that would have gone into landfills form the feedstock for Stratum's eggshell membrane ingredient.
Eggshells that would have gone into landfills form the feedstock for Stratum's eggshell membrane ingredient.
Stratum Nutrition’s parent company Novus International has released its fifth annual sustainability report, detailing how the company is meeting its triple bottom line goals. One of results is that the company now view its partnerships through a different lens.

“We are talking about triple bottom line sustainability.  Economic, social and environmental,”​ Jeremy Moore, president of Stratum Nutrition told NutraIngredients-USA.

“I think at Novus the overarching vision and mission has always lent itself well to the sustainability reporting that we’re doing now,”​ he said.

Win-win scenario

The report focused especially on how well the company manages its series of partnerships. “Sustainability” can mean many things, and in this context it means carrying forward a relationship in such a way that both parties continue to benefit.  Novus, with operations in animal feed and health, and Stratum in the human nutrition sphere have partners, distributors and customers in more than 100 countries.

“In the terms of partnerships, sustainability means that we have a win/win scenario. We have a lot of upstream partners, and we want to make sure that we are bringing value to our downstream  partners,”​ Moore said.

Going through the sustainability reviews can help change the way a company looks at its business relationships, Moore said.  It expands the view beyond what is apparent on a spreadsheet.

“You could look at value only from a limited viewpoint. This is the product and this is the cost.  Now we don’t look at it as just that.  Now we look at it as what is the overall value that we bring to our upstream and downstream partners,”​ he said.

Common reporting platform

The 2012 Novus Sustainability report applies The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework at Application Level B. GRI is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization which acts to increase the level of business transparency by promoting sustainability reporting among companies throughout the world. The main tool for assimilating sustainability reporting is the GRI reporting framework that contains detailed guidelines for reporting on sustainability impacts and provides a consistent structure that thousands of companies around the world now use to disclose their approach and performance related to sustainability.

The report measures energy and water usage and the size of waste streams among other data points.  It also evaluates the workforce, measuring, among other things, the percentage of women in the workforce and the number of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Marketplace more oriented toward sustainability

“From an overall sustainability standpoint, Novus has always been a leader,”​ Moore said. “Certainly from the beginning from the Stratum Nutriton business that has always played a major role.  That is evidenced well from the joint venture we have with ESM Technologies (for its eggshell membrane ingredient). That was basically a waste product from the egg breaking industry that was going into landfills and we produced from it something that is of real value to our partners and also to the consumer.”

Moore said the company’s sustainability efforts have benefited the bottom line.  But they have also helped the company compete in a marketplace that seems increasingly oriented toward this point of view.

A lot of our upstream and downstream partners have their own sustainability initiatives and they are looking for like-minded partners,” ​he said.

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