VOG Products, the South Tyrol fruit processing company, has integrated sustainability into its corporate strategy. Priorities, measures, and objectives are set out in the sustainability report, which has now been presented for the first time.
Sustainability has been firmly embedded in the DNA of VOG Products since 1967. “Our founders’ desire and goal was to give every apple a value it was founded in regardless of whether it was too small, too big or didn’t have enough colour is a good apple,” said Christoph Tappeiner, CEO according to the principle: every apple of VOG Products.
For VOG Products, sustainability is comprehensive: it includes social, ecological, and economic aspects. VOG Products’ sustainability strategy is based on six key themes: water, energy, and climate protection, health and occupational safety, regional added value, healthy products, and innovation.
The management and the 210 employees work hard at every level to achieve their goals. These range from reducing energy and water consumption to improving the carbon footprint, creating a safe working environment (goal: zero serious accidents in the workplace), and adding value that benefits the members who leave the raw materials to the company.
The sustainability report provides information about the strategic approach, implemented and planned measures, and the goals pursued. The report (entitled: “Sustainability is part of our DNA”) has been prepared according to the GRI Standard (Global Reporting Initiative) and refers to the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Measures for greater sustainability
Probably the key environmental measure implemented in the 2022/23 financial year is the exhaust vapour compression project: the existing evaporation system, which is used in the production of concentrates, will be expanded to include mechanical exhaust vapour compression. The compressed exhaust vapour will, in the future, be reused over several stages to evaporate the remaining water in the juice. In addition to saving steam, the performance required of the cooling tower is also reduced, as are CO2 emissions. The cooling water has already been optimised: VOG Products has calculated a savings potential of 700,000 cubic metres by using water twice as cooling and transport water.
The producer organisation’s corporate carbon footprint has been calculated since 2020/21. A key partial goal has already been achieved in the past financial year: VOG Products has achieved CO2 neutrality for Scope 2 since green energy solely from hydropower is being purchased in the electricity sector. Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are aimed at reducing energy consumption in the gas sector and expanding the company’s own photovoltaic system.
EcoVadis, the world’s most reliable provider of sustainability assessments for global supply chains, recently recognised VOG Products’ continuous efforts by awarding them a silver medal.
The entire sustainability report is available online.
The VOG Products producers’ organisation belongs to three producers’ organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino, plus 18 cooperatives from South Tyrol. The membership comprises around 6,000 small, family-run operations: fruit growers who tend their orchards with passion and devotion.