Our approach

Associated British Foods has a clear sense of our social purpose. We work to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food, and to provide quality, affordable clothing to hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. Only if we do these things well should we make a profit.

Furthermore, from our earliest days our companies’ leaders have believed that acting responsibly and with integrity is the only way to build and manage a business over the long term. The belief that companies do well when they act well is deeply ingrained in all of us, from the Board and the leadership team, across all our businesses and at all levels of our workforce.

We have a strong belief in our duty to respect the dignity and diverse characteristics of everyone who works for us, both within our workforce and in our supply chains. And we have always been firmly committed to operating to the highest standards of corporate citizenship, acting as a good and supportive neighbour to the communities around us, while recognising our wider obligations to society as a whole. 

Those obligations now include the need to produce food and sell clothes with minimal impact on the planet. In time we have to get rid of all the carbon we currently produce. Our target is zero. And our focus is on the present. We act now and worry less about when the missing solutions or technologies might be available. A tonne of carbon saved today is better than one saved tomorrow.

Equally important, we have the opportunity to provide solutions that allow others to reduce their carbon footprint as well. We are recommissioning our bioethanol plant in Hull which when fully operational will allow UK motorists to reduce their carbon footprint by more than 2%. Our enzymes are enabling families to wash their clothes well at low temperatures and our businesses are leading the way in the development of precision agriculture to grow more with less.

We recognise there is an increasing market focus on ESG factors across all companies in all industries. We welcome this scrutiny. It is right that asset owners and others should focus on the role of business in addressing critical challenges; and so we will continue to engage openly on these topics as we have done this year.

George Weston,
Chief Executive
Associated British Foods plc

Our focus areas

Our material issues are shared by many of our businesses across our value chain.

Our ESG investor days

Find out more about our approach to ESG and access our ESG investor day presentations.

Responsibility Update

Our 2021 Responsibility Update is available here.

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