Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) has made considerable progress in the areas of supply-chain integrity, environmental stewardship, social investing and safety since the Company convened its Sustainability Steering Committee in 2007. Those achievements are now detailed in the Company’s first corporate responsibility report, now available online at adm.com/responsibility.
“Because ADM serves vital human needs for food and energy, our work is intimately tied to our social responsibility,” ADM Chairman, CEO and President Patricia Woertz wrote in the report’s foreword. Noting that the document showcases ADM’s accomplishments in areas of greatest importance to stakeholders, she added, “We have made considerable progress…and there also remains a great deal of work ahead of us.”
The report provides an overview of “Doing It Right,” an innovative initiative designed to help Brazilian soy farmers increase their yields in environmentally sound and socially responsible ways. It also offers an update on the Company’s holistic cocoa-sustainability programs, which focus not just on improving crop quality and production volumes, but also on the health and well-being of farm laborers, their families and growing communities in western Africa. Since 2005, more than 12,000 cocoa farmers in the region have participated in the Company’s Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices program, or SERAP.
In addition, the report notes the Company’s progress toward the goals of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other substances at U.S. plants and in trucking operations, conserving water at processing facilities, and standardizing energy metrics across different Company operating divisions.
Other highlights for 2009 include:
• Launching ADM Cares, a program that aligns the Company’s social investments with its business objectives. ADM Cares targets up to one percent of corporate pretax earnings to organizations and initiatives that support safe, responsible and environmentally sound agricultural practices in growing regions around the world, as well as groups that help build vibrant, strong communities where ADM employees live and work.
• Achieving a 20 percent year-over-year improvement in ADM’s total recordable injury incident rate and a 10 percent improvement in the Company’s lost workday injury rate.
• Increasing spending with businesses owned wholly or primarily by members of traditionally disadvantaged groups to approximately $520 million.
“In 2010 and beyond, we will focus on advancing our ability to track companywide water and energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. We will also establish performance goals and timetables for reducing our resource usage and emissions per unit of production,” Woertz commented. “We recognize that these are matters of considerable interest to a broad range of stakeholders, and we are committed to instituting metrics that will enable us to gauge our progress and further improve our environmental footprint over time.”