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Ritter Sport: climate neutrality reached

The 2019-2020 sustainability report has been published

Ritter Sport, a brand of chocolate squares belonging to the German family company Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG, presented its latest sustainability report entitled "Doing the right thing" and referred to 2019-2020, a positive two-year period in terms of results achieved which also sets new and far-sighted goals for the near future. “We want to do the right thing so that we can leave future generations with an environment worth living in,” said Petra Fix, Global Sustainability Communication of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. "This is why we have always been committed to the reduction and neutralization of Co2 emissions, to the responsible and transparent sourcing of raw materials, which led us in 2018 to be the first major producer of chocolate bars to supply 100% certified sustainable cocoa for the entire range of products, in the use of sustainable packaging and attention to people and the environment. All objectives in full agreement with the sustainable development goals established by the UN“.

The company, based in Waldenbuch, reached its zero-emission production target in 2019 (three years ahead of schedule), the first step on the road to carbon neutrality, followed in 2020 by the achievement of zero emissions also at company and approaching the ambitious goal of climate neutrality for the entire supply chain by 2025. This path towards carbon neutrality, considered of utmost importance for Ritter Sport, can be achieved in the near future thanks to the company's relentless commitment to: reduce Co2 emissions where possible, favoring long-term energy efficiency. For this purpose, since 2002 the company has made use exclusively of green energy from renewable sources generated largely by photovoltaic modules and by the cogeneration plant owned by the company; report on unavoidable CO2 emissions; offset the Co2 emissions produced through the purchase of Gold Standard compensation certificates and, starting from 2021, the goal to be achieved is to use the certificates generated directly from the sustainable plantation owned by El Cacao in Nicaragua.

The sustainable sourcing of raw materials is one of the company's main responsibilities within the chocolate value chain. For this reason, in 2018 Ritter Sport was the first major chocolate producer to boast the supply of only 100% certified sustainable cocoa for the entire production.
A focus on transparent production of raw materials which implies knowing exactly where, by whom and under what conditions cocoa is grown. With this in mind, the company is establishing long-term partnerships with farmers and production organizations in the main growing regions of West Africa, Central and South America, in an effort to promote sustainable agriculture through specific local programs. Ritter Sport aims to create long-term partnerships supported by programs with cocoa farmers for all cocoa supplies. The percentage of partnerships that represent cocoa supplies thus understood had reached 64% in 2020: by 2025 Ritter Sport wants to reach 100%.

For over thirty years the company has been using a mono-material envelope made of completely recyclable polypropylene and Cradle-to-Cradle certified, but with a view to increasing sustainability, Ritter Sport is working to use alternative packaging materials from renewable sources in a way to reduce the use of plastic materials. When possible and where there is no direct contact with the product, recycled materials are already used and since 2018, Ritter Sport uses FSC certified fibers for its packaging, in particular cardboard ones. A promising first step was taken in 2020, through the creation of prototypes in paper and cardboard, and now the company has set itself two further objectives: by 2025 all packaging will be completely recyclable and, by 2027, 70% of the packaging will be made with renewable raw materials.

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EFA News - European Food Agency