In 2020, the buzz around sustainability was spreading at a fast-growing food and beverage company based in the U.S. Driven by investor and consumer interests and its own highly motivated culture, this industry leader was inspired to lean into ESG and sought a partnership that could help them build and cultivate an expansive ESG program from the ground up.
With aspirations to further integrate ESG into its business and culture, the company’s burgeoning sustainability team reached out to ADEC ESG Solutions for our technical expertise and comprehensive, custom-built solutions. Since then, our client’s work with us has expanded as we continue to support the company’s growing sustainability programs and ambitions.
Sustainability disclosure and reporting
Working closely with internal teams, we supported the development of our client’s first sustainability report, as well as an interim update. To adapt to client needs, these services varied from year to year and included:
- Developing a data-focused interim sustainability update
- Collaborating with the client’s team to explore goals and objectives for the reports
- Synthesizing collected ESG data into streamlined, easy-to-digest written and visual content
- Creating a visual design and layout that aligned with the client’s corporate style and branding
- Ensuring that the information aligned with SASB Industry Standards
It also involved multiple work sessions, conducting interviews with the client’s internal subject matter experts, and collecting and standardizing included data. The result was a vibrant, info-packed report that reflected the company’s commitment to sustainable practices and clearly communicated how material ESG topics were being identified and addressed in the short and long term. These sustainability reports also create opportunities for engagement with investors, employees, and other stakeholders and can be repurposed for other reporting frameworks, including CDP and TCFD.
From 2020 onwards, the client also brought us on to help improve its CDP responses for Climate Change, Water Security, and sector-based questions. ADEC ESG’s CDP Full Disclosure Completion involves working closely with the client’s internal teams to draft a complete response to the CDP questionnaire. We also identified ways to improve responses, address gaps, and maximize performance. This included improvements on a micro level—through individual CDP question responses—and a macro level—by making changes to the client’s existing programs, policies, and activities.
To help further support our client’s CDP efforts and ensure future success, our team worked to help our client better understand the disclosure development process as a whole, from relevant data collection to formal online submittal.
In the years that followed, this sustainability-focused industry leader continued to expand its ESG reporting programs. As the company broadened its disclosures beyond CDP to other ESG ratings systems such as ISS, we continued to offer our expertise and support on ESG data and reporting. We have also supported multiple years of EcoVadis disclosures for our client’s wholly-owned subsidiary, guiding the team through the formal submission process and offering recommendations on how to improve policies, boost EcoVadis scores, and improve ESG programs overall. This resulted in the subsidiary’s score improving over the course of two years.
GHG inventory development and road mapping
To establish a solid foundation for our client’s GHG emissions management programs, ADEC ESG Solutions developed a GHG inventory for the company’s 2019 scope 1 and 2 emissions. Developed in accordance with methodology set by the World Resources Institute, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, and the GHG Protocol, the inventory has been updated by our team year over year and informs the company’s streamlined data tracking systems, emission reduction planning, and plans to set emissions reduction targets.
The process included liaising with internal staff, service providers, and third-party vendors to collect and standardize our client’s GHG data. Our team worked with the client to identify gaps within the data systems and develop a roadmap for future improvement. To help further future-proof ESG data systems, we aided in the development of data collection processes that the company could then use to configure its software and streamline supply chain and ESG metrics tracking going forward.
This annual GHG inventory allows our client to demonstrate a solid commitment to lowering its emissions, using empirical data to track the achievement of future targets and validate progress towards goals. In addition, results were integrated into CDP responses, sustainability reports, and other public disclosures. In subsequent years, our team also developed a scope 3 emissions roadmap for the client, reviewing relevant scope 3 emission sources and constructing a roadmap that focused on ways it could continue to improve tracking and reporting for each scope 3 source. We are also working with our client to complete its first full scope 3 inventory.
Strategic approach to water risk
ADEC ESG Solutions performed a water risk assessment for our client, a critical component of water risk disclosure. Using two water risk assessment tools—the WRI’s Aqueduct tool and the WWF’s Water Risk Filter—we worked with the client to determine relevant water risks for analysis and developed a water risk assessment report to include in CDP reporting. This report also serves as a template for future water risk reporting.
Investor relations and internal ESG support
As our client’s ESG programs have grown, our partnership has evolved. We have assisted in providing responses to shareholder proposals, investor communications, and investor information requests, including compiling data, drafting responses, and facilitating online submittal.
In 2021, our client founded a cross-functional sustainability task force with the goal of implementing sustainability policies and initiatives across the business. ADEC ESG Solutions lent our support to this task force, helping action items move forward, producing updates on progress for individual programs, and providing education where needed.
It has been a privilege to see our client’s ESG programs and initiatives grow and succeed over the past several years, and we at ADEC ESG are excited to see where their Sustainability Journey takes them.
Results and Deliverables
- Sustainability report development
- Full Disclosure Completion for CDP Climate Change and Water Security questionnaires, achieving Management levels
- Gap Analysis and Full Disclosure Completion for EcoVadis questionnaire on behalf of client subsidiary, with score improvements over two years
- Year-over-year GHG inventory for scopes 1 and 2, used across broader ESG reporting and disclosure
- Scope 3 GHG emissions calculations and roadmap
- Water risk assessment and subsequent updates
- Vendor sustainability questionnaire submissions for 2021and beyond