Ritter Sport takes care of the planet
The company announces its commitment to sustainability for the first time in Italy
On the occasion of the 51st anniversary of "World Earth Day", a moment of celebration of the earth and promotion of its preservation set for 22 April, the Ritter Sport chocolate brand, belonging to the German family company Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG, has chosen to tell for the first time in Italy its commitment to reduce the environmental impact and sustainability of the cocoa supply chain, which began in the 1990s. The reduction of Co₂ and energy used, the desire to operate with zero emissions, reaching climate neutrality by 2025 (already achieved in 2019 in the production sector), the use of fully recyclable single-material packaging, the supply of 100% cocoa sustainable certificate since 2018 and the safeguarding of fragile ecosystems in Nicaragua, through “El Cacao”, are just some of the many stages of this company's responsibility path.
Since 2002, the Waldenbuch site in Germany has been equipped with a photovoltaic cogeneration plant that provides 30% of the electricity and 70% of the thermal energy, allowing an annual saving of approximately 12,000 MWh of primary energy, equal to the cutting of about one million liters of fuel oil and the consequent emissions into the environment. Solar energy is converted into electricity by the approximately 1,000 photovoltaic modules placed on the roof of the production site, while the remaining energy needs of the company are covered by green energy from the Schönau power plant. In addition to using only renewable energy sources and therefore optimizing energy demand, the goal of reducing Co₂ emissions as much as possible is pursued through numerous projects and technological investments to ensure production efficiency.
In 2018 Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG was the first chocolate producer to be able to boast the supply of only 100% certified sustainable cocoa for the entire production, a concrete commitment to sustainability in the production and cultivation of cocoa, which has won several international awards such as the German award for sustainability and the Berenberg award for corporate sustainability in the cocoa sector in 2018, and which combines perfectly with the commitment to trace the provenance of all the ingredients that make up the brand's tablets.
In 2012, the year of the company's centenary, it launched a large agroforestry project in south-east Nicaragua with the creation of the sustainable cocoa plantation "El Cacao": 2,500 hectares, one of the largest cocoa growing areas in the world, grown following the environmental and social standards that allow certification according to Utz or Rainforest Alliance. Developed according to integrated agriculture criteria, the program began with the reforestation of a vast fallow area aimed at reversing the ongoing processes of erosion and sterilization of the fertile soil, thus creating the conditions to regenerate biodiversity and promote the growth of Theobroma cacao. In addition, long-term cocoa supply partnerships have been established with production organizations and their small local producers in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Peru and Nicaragua. For over 64% of its cocoa supply, the German company supports production organizations through individual programs to develop their ecological, economic and social situation.
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