<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We are focused on more than just advancing food processing. We want to ensure that everything we do is done in the right way, and ultimately leads to positive change. We’re focused on helping the food processing industry responsibly manage limited resources such as water, energy and valuable animal protein thereby setting the foundations for sustainable growth and development.</span></p>
We promote long-term profitability, fair trade, and good business practices throughout the value chain through transparency, innovation and collaboration. To put further emphasis on supporting sustainable development, Marel is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, committing to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainability Development Goals.
We operate a global network of sales and service units and produce a range of products that are manufactured in the Netherlands, the United States of America, Iceland, Denmark, England, China, Brazil and Slovakia. The contributions we make to the societies in which we operate consist of many different elements, including salaries paid to employees and goods and services purchased from local suppliers.
As an international company, we adhere to the anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws of all the countries in which we operate around the world, therefore, compliance with global laws and regulations is taken very seriously. The anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy adopted in January 2017 reinforces our commitment. It applies to all employees, officers and directors as well as any contractors, consultants, agents and other business partners engaged in business on behalf of Marel.
We encourage the efficient use of resources, and promote positive environmental impact and environmental protection. Innovation is at the core of our strategy, with a focus on continuously creating new methods for improving yields and minimizing waste in food production, reducing the use of scarce resources, while promoting food safety and animal wellbeing.
One of our sustainability goals is to help our customers use less water and energy while minimizing their CO2 footprint during production. A number of projects have been implemented to support precautionary approaches to environmental challenges, both internally and externally.
Projects that we have instituted to minimize energy consumption at Marel include installing electric car charging points for employees and visitors, replacing regular light bulbs with LED lighting where feasible, and undertaking a number of local projects prioritizing energy efficiency.
We are also constantly upgrading our own manufacturing equipment to increase its energy efficiency along with other capabilities. Our primary energy sources are natural gas and renewables, with almost 47% of all electricity consumed by Marel produced by burning natural gas, and 40% obtained from renewables.
One example of how we work to protect the environment and promote sustainability is our water treatment systems, which are designed to ensure the most efficient use of water. These include systems that treat waste water so that it can be re-used in food processing operations.
Food processing requires significant amounts of water, both for the processing itself as well as for other functions. It inevitably produces large quantities of waste water. We have developed expertise in the treatment of such waste water through more than five decades of partnership with our customers.
Despite our efforts to continually minimize our environmental footprint, overall carbon emissions have risen simply due to the fact that the company continues to expand. The two largest indirect contributors to our carbon footprint are energy consumption in Marel facilities and employee air travel.
In order to better understand the indirect carbon footprint of the energy we consume in our facilities, all locations now report on the generation source of energy used to produce the electricity used in our facilities. This data is then processed by our collaborators from Circular Solutions who verify our carbon footprint.
To monitor and minimize our indirect carbon footprint, all of our larger facilities are installing an energy monitoring system from eTactica. Locations undergoing renovations are also installing solar cells on their roofs to generate locally some of the energy consumed on site.
We understand and acknowledge that air travel by Marel employees has a negative impact on the environment. As carbon emissions from the aviation industry are considered a leading contributor to global warming, we feel it is important to understand our role and what we can do about it.
In 2016, we established a new travel platform to monitor the environmental impact caused by employee travel. By collecting and visualizing this data we have already made improvements and identified possibilities for reducing our carbon footprint when it comes to employee travel.
Through our travel policy, we will strive to continuously lower our carbon footprint by actively encouraging employees to use alternative means of meeting and communicating with each other and our customers.
Our commitment toward social responsibility extends beyond our employees and customers. Because we are in the food processing business, animal wellbeing is high on our agenda particularly for research and development. In 2017, a sustainability scorecard was introduced as part of the company’s innovation process, where a number of sustainability indicators play a role in deciding the feasibility of taking projects into further development.
By highlighting animal wellbeing in the sustainability scorecard we are ensuring environmental and economic responsibility in the most crucial stages of the lifecycle of the product. By instituting good animal wellbeing practices in general, we can increase the quality of products and production while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of food processors using Marel solutions.
We are determined to stay ahead of the general market trends and continue our focus on developing solutions that respect the highest standards of animal wellbeing.
Marel is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy working environment for all its employees. That means more than just robust training and safety measures; it means promoting equality, and supporting diversity and inclusion. This fosters individual and team development, and ensures the right to freedom of association for all its employees.
One aspect of our social responsibility is to engage with the local communities and stakeholders where we operate to seek local participation and insights. We are investing in these locations for the long term. This is not only good for our business, it also helps spur innovation and education among our labor force. Naturally, human rights violations, including any forced labor, under-age labor or illegal labor conditions, are not tolerated under any circumstances.
Our human resources mission is to engage competent employees and to provide them with a supportive and ambitious work environment that motivates and encourages them to make Marel’s vision their own. To do this, we provide training and opportunities for further education and job development. We work hard to promote a spirit of teamwork and cooperation throughout the whole organization.
We recognize the value of cultural diversity, while at the same time encouraging and strengthening our values of unity, innovation and excellence. A policy of open communication, as well as promoting a culture that seeks a healthy balance between work and personal life is important to us and we believe it is no less valuable for our employees.
In Brazil, Marel has earned a reputation as a sought-after employer because of the training and career development opportunities that we offer. These opportunities are our way of showing our staff that we truly value their efforts and that we care about their wellbeing.
We have created an environment that encourages staff to develop new knowledge, competences and abilities by offering English courses, technical specialization, business training at university level, open coffees with the management team, leadership and mentoring programs and teamwork training. In 2017, we held eight internal training sessions and one equipment demonstration and four field technicians completed a mentoring program.
Marel also emphasizes cooperation with local educational bodies, and has created a range of traineeships, internships and part-time apprenticeship programs that have resulted in the recruitment of many full-time employees.
Marel takes its people and their career advancement seriously. We believe that an individual grows when in charge of their own career path and professional development. Therefore, we give them that opportunity.
Providing a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees and contractors working in Marel facilities is the right thing to do and we take pride in doing it well. Safety, health and the environment concern everybody and we do our utmost to make sure our employees have the necessary competence, tools and instructions to perform their work professionally and safely.
Every Marel employee is also accountable for his or her own safety. Local management of all Marel entities are responsible for assuring that processes and procedures are established within their entity that comply with Marel’s safety, health and environment policy and local laws.
A global diversity policy was adopted by the Board of Directors in 2017, to be implemented from 2018 onwards. Its objective is to ensure equality and diversity within Marel as well as increasing job satisfaction and well-being in the workplace.
We aim to make sure that employees are not discriminated against on the grounds of their gender, beliefs, nationality, race, sexual orientation, religion, color, personal finances, family, age or on any other grounds. We believe this policy will help make Marel a more desirable and responsible workplace that will, in turn, attract and keep the most qualified employees.
Our global diversity policy applies to all Marel employees and governance bodies, including the Board of Directors, its sub-committees and the Executive Team. The diversity policy rests on the four following pillars, each equally important:
The data and statistics on diversity that we collect are systematically evaluated to ensure successful implementation of the policy. The results will be presented in a clear and organized manner and used to help management understand where we need to improve and where we are performing well in terms of diversity.
We have a zero-tolerance policy at Marel where human rights violations are concerned, including child labor and/or illegal labor conditions. All our employees must have reached the legal working age in the country where they work.
None of our facilities are allowed to be associated with illegal labor conditions or forced labor. In 2017, we required all new suppliers to comply with the same standards as Marel does on issues related to human rights and labor, as described in our Code of Conduct.
We are committed to respecting all employees’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining without discrimination, as established in the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention (C. 87), and the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention (C.98). We ensure that these rights can be exercised by all our employees and those of our business partners directly associated with Marel’s services, products and operations.
Our main involvement in local communities occurs through our operations in the countries where we work. We focus mainly on educational outreach in collaboration with educational institutions and through continuing education of our own employees. Many of our production facilities have internship and trainee programs to assist talented young professionals entering the workforce in developing their skills in a safe environment.
Another aspect of engaging with local communities is our commitment to fast-track economic development in underdeveloped countries. By introducing new food processing technologies to these areas, we have immediate and radical effects on production capabilities, worker safety and food traceability. One of the main growth sectors for us is the creation of shared value through partnerships in new markets.