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Sustainable solutions are the core of our business.

Society's awareness of sustainable issues has grown considerably in recent years, making sustainable action a must for all types of organizations. For SARIA, however, sustainability has always been at the core of our business. The common basis of our diverse activities is the ambition to conserve scarce natural resources by recycling and valorizing organic materials. We collect animal by-products and organic waste that cannot be used and therefore remain as residues in their original context, and transform them into valuable ingredients for useful application in other industries. An overview of our sustainability activities can be found in our sustainability report.

In all our activities, our goal is to maximize the potential of the materials we collect. The result is greater value for our partner industries, which use our products as raw materials in their own production processes. With our portfolio of reliable services and high-quality products, we strive to create genuine value for our various business partners. We are convinced that only a long-term oriented business model capable of creating sustainable value will ensure the ongoing viability of our company and thus enable us to fulfill our responsibility to our 11,000 employees as well as to our shareholders.

However, the aspect of sustainability is not limited to our business model itself, but also reflected in our business practices. We are convinced that in order to maintain and build on the necessary foundation to be a sustainable, prospering and profitable company in the long term, it is important to be aware of our responsibilities – for the welfare of our people, the quality and safety of our  products and services, our various partners in the value chain, and for societal and environmental concerns.

With our SARIA Framework, we have formulated a common understanding of our purpose, vision and mission. Complementing the ambitions stated in this overall strategic frame, we have defined six Business Principles that guide our daily work and behavior. With our Code of Conduct, we specify core principles that we expect all internal and external partners to comply with. This shared fundament requires everybody’s full commitment and is of highest priority in all our business practices.


We are all committed to the same goal: Together towards a sustainable world and healthier living.

Despite the high value we have always placed on sustainability, we continuously challenge ourselves and seek to improve. In line with our SARIA Framework and our management approach of combining local expertise with the benefits of close collaboration and alignment to leverage strengths as a Group, a key development in sustainability in recent years has been to intensify cross-country collaboration.

To this end, we have established an international Sustainability Group of several experts from across our organization, which has defined our overarching sustainability agenda for the coming years. A holistic Group Sustainability Strategy will help us to set the right focus and leverage synergies, while of course local sustainability efforts remain of equal importance to maximize our Group’s overall contribution.

We believe that offering a meaningful workplace is moreover important to attract highly qualified employees in times of ongoing shortages of skilled workers and increases employee satisfaction and motivation. For this reason, we have decided to place greater focus on communicating our sustainability efforts transparently, both internally and externally. Hence, we invite our key partners in our supply chain to conduct an individual sustainability performance assessment with EcoVadis. The information on this website are a first step towards becoming more transparent, as will be our first Sustainability Report in 2021.

SARIA Sustainability Strategy

Our sustainability strategy is based on different surveys and analyses to prioritize which topics are particularly relevant to SARIA, and to which we can make a substantial contribution. The interests of various internal and external stakeholders were taken into account in this process.

Materiality analysis – dialogue with internal and external stakeholders

A materiality analysis was carried out to determine the key sustainability topics and focus areas for us. A central component of this well accepted method is the active involvement of various stakeholders in order to record their respective expectations of SARIA with regard to sustainability aspects. In order to capture the internal perspective, interviews were conducted with colleagues from various countries and business units as well as different levels of responsibility.

Findings were complemented by an analysis of international publications and a competitive analysis to identify overarching material topics, including economic, environmental and social issues. These were then prioritized with the help of a quantitative survey of 110 employees from seven countries. In addition, 260 participants from various stakeholder groups were surveyed to capture the external perspective. These included customers, suppliers, authorities, financial institutions, external service providers and insurance companies. Again, all SARIA core countries were covered in order to obtain a representative picture of opinion.

Based on these findings, we defined key issues of our sustainability agenda for the coming years. Detailed results of the materiality analysis will be included in our Sustainability Report.

SDGs as guidance framework

To structure our different action fields, we use the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, as orientation. The 17 goals with 169 targets are intended to serve as a guide for countries and companies around the world to create a sustainable and equitable world and to preserve natural resources in the long term.

Our contribution

With reference to the overall SARIA strategy and taking into account the outcome of the materiality analysis, we mapped key elements of our SARIA Framework and Business Principles, as well as the material topics identified, to the 17 SDGs. Based on the resulting matrix, we identified 6 SDGs that have the highest relevance for us and our partners and to which we make the greatest contribution. Here, while also our business units focus these 6 SDGs, they also strife to contribute in all 17 SDGs to ensure a sustainable world and healthier living.

Processes:

High safety and hygiene standards enable the safe collection and processing of animal by-products and ensure the safety of our products. In this way, we protect our employees and other persons who come into contact with the company or its products from personal injury or health hazards. In addition, we offer our partners legal certainty by guaranteeing full compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements for the collection and utilization of organic material.

Products & services:

SARIA helps to improve the health and well-being of people, animals and plants by offering various products specifically designed for these applications (physical health). One example is our Bioiberica business unit: as the manufacturer of one in five doses of the anticoagulant drug heparin administered worldwide, Bioiberica is a key partner to the pharmaceutical industry. Compliance with the strict statutory requirements in this sector around quality, safety and traceability is facilitated by close collaboration with SARIA division Van Hessen, which supplies the necessary raw material. In addition to pesticides and active agents that support human health, Bioiberica contributes to the well-being and performance of pets and livestock by providing various dietary supplements and feed additives that are solely bio-based. A very different example is our SecAnim business, which contributes to healthy living by preventing disease through the hygienic collection of fallen animals in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Employees:

Our responsibility and commitment to the health and safety of our people is expressed in one of our core Business Principles: “Health and safety is non-negotiable in everything we do.” As a company, SARIA is responsible for ensuring a safe working environment for our employees and partners, and we all work to achieve and improve this every day.

In recent years, a number of important developments have been initiated in this area. For example, a regular group safety meeting was established with safety experts from our different countries and business units to share experiences and good practices, learn from each other and jointly develop group safety standards. One example is the SARIA Fire Safety Guideline, developed by this Safety Group based on their group-wide technical expertise and broad operational experience. The guideline was adopted by the executive board as a common standard for fire protection that sets out minimum requirements and provides additional guidance for all locations.

Further, a regular monitoring of central H&S KPIs in the executive board meetings ensures the necessary focus on the topic of occupational health and safety.

In addition to the development of occupational safety concepts to protect employees, preventive health care is also very important for us. In many countries various offers are available to our employees, such as discounts for gyms, company bicycle leasing, personal accident insurance, and much more.

Working Conditions:

The basic prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive economic growth is that sufficient employment is available and working conditions are decent. We take a clear stance on compliance with human and employee rights in our Code of Conduct: SARIA Group strictly observes human rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. We reject any form of forced labor. We are equally clear in our condemnation of child labor. The minimum age of employees is in line with the respective state’s laws or collective bargaining agreements, unless these fall short of the minimum age of employment set in the Convention of the International Labour Organisation.

Our company is represented in many regions and on many markets across the globe and therefore subject to different legal systems. We ensure that, as a minimum standard, our employees’ workplaces comply with the valid employment law provisions in their respective countries, for example those relating to working time, salary and wages and benefits. It is our belief that salaries for full-time shift work must, in all cases, be sufficient to secure a living.

We demand compliance with these principles from internal and external partners alike, thus creating a binding framework for decent working conditions. In addition, we are committed to comply with legal and ethical standards as part of our Business Principles.

In order to comply with our responsibility we are working with EcoVadis, one of the leading global CSR rating companies, to conduct individual sustainability performance assessments of our key partners in our supply chain.

Economic Growth:

We contribute to long-term economic growth by continuously improving our efficiency and competitiveness, thus promoting healthy business growth. In recent years, we have both added further business areas and significantly increased our geographical reach (2003: operating in six countries, 2020: operating in 26 countries). Our overarching corporate purpose and the fundamentally sustainable orientation of our Group are also providing a save workplace to our employees, so that we are well positioned as an attractive employer today and in the future.

We regard innovative spirit as a key success factor for our business. In the sense of the circular economy, we are constantly seeking to expand our product range even further by identifying new areas of application for the raw materials available to us and developing innovative processing and valorization options, for which technical innovations often also play an important role. At the same time, we continuously invest in our existing infrastructure to make our processing and production facilities more (energy) efficient and to optimize our logistics network.

Innovation:

For this purpose, employees from our R&D and Technical Department closely collaborate with experts from the local entities to work on interdisciplinary innovation projects and thus drive forward product development, technology and sales across the individual areas. Depending on the division, innovation can take very different forms – from specifically developed shrimp bait in the nutrition for aquaculture at Bioceval to innovative methods for treating the digestate left over from fermentation at the end of the ReFood production process.

There are numerous examples of the many different forms that real-world innovation takes with-in such a broad-based group of companies as SARIA. In all cases, two key elements provide the foundation for successful outcomes. One of them is a solid knowledge and information base that is centrally available and accessible to everyone who needs it. In recognition of this fact, we have strengthened knowledge management within the SARIA in recent years. A corporate library has been created that contains more than 2,000 documents on past projects. This internal knowledge is supplemented by access to scientific and academic databases for further research into the literature. Market development using advanced market analysis tools and patent searches are additional core aspects of SARIA’s innovation activity. The other key element is working together as one team, something that is just as crucial as reliable data and solid scientific facts. As such, sharing information across departments and divisions is becoming ever more important. Events like the SARIA Innovation Day are designed to encourage this process: employees from across the Group get together to discuss best practice in innovation and knowledge management.

Our activities follow the basic idea of the circular economy: The seamless integration of our business units creates three value-adding cycles, which enable an optimal recycling of organic materials previously declared as "residual materials" and lead them to a sensible further use.

Sustainable energy:

In times of climate change, a growing world population and declining primary energy sources such as oil or coal, new, climate-friendly solutions for energy supply are needed that at the same time reduce resource consumption and ensure long-term security of supply. SARIA generates climate-friendly energy from sustainable sources - electricity and heat, biogas and biodiesel, as well as fuels for very specific uses - in a sophisticated value-added cycle. The starting materials are always organic residues.

Ecological nutrition for pets, livestock and aquaculture:

As the world's population grows, so does urbanization, and the amount of land available for agriculture continues to decline as a result. In addition, access to natural food sources, such as wild fish, cannot continue to be pushed indefinitely. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for solutions that ensure the most sensible use of scarce resources - including in the feeding of domestic and farm animals. SARIA takes residual cuttings from meat and fish processing food production, processes them into high-quality feed ingredients and thus contributes to feeding animals in a way that is both high-quality and sustainable. 

Responsible contribution to medical care:

From water to the energy use, food production ties up valuable resources. This is particularly true in the supply of meat, where exhausting the possibilities should be a matter of course, if only from an ethical point of view. SARIA utilizes animal materials that offer particular advantages but require complicated processes to exploit them. These include natural casings, which areused as a natural skin for sausage products. Secondly, they include active pharmaceutical ingredients found in cartilage, mucosa or pancreas, which form the basic material for important drugs such as heparin. Thus, no usable source materials are wasted.

Circular heat and water usage:

As a manufacturing company, we consume heat and water for our processes. Similar to our circular approach about using our raw material input, we think in circles when it comes to heat and water. Whenever possible, we try not to cover our thermal energy needs with fossil resources. The use of waste heat is one way of implementing this. Furthermore, we supply local facilities with our surplus heat, i.e. in Vitré, France the local swimming pool. Next to heat, water is a scarce resource we need to protect. Therefore we try to recycle water on different levels. We recover process water in recycling plants and reuse it. Where this is no longer possible, we feed the water into our own wastewater treatment plants at many sites.

The reduction of CO2 emissions is an essential part of the measures for climate protection. By introducing energy management systems in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001 at many of our production sites, we have been able to continuously reduce energy consumption over the past few years and thus decrease CO2 emissions.

Energy efficiency:

In addition, we are bundling knowledge within the Group in order to increase the energy efficiency of our plants in cross-national initiatives. One example is the "Optimization of Rendering Production Lines" project, which was launched in 2014 and aims to reduce energy consumption while increasing throughput and product quality. To date, a total of seven production lines in Spain, France, Romania and Germany have been involved in the project. Among other things, automation and optimized process control have enabled considerable potential for improvement to be realized. Across all sites, annual thermal energy consumption has been reduced by 44.64 GWh/Jahr and annual electrical energy requirements by 2.20 GWh/Jahr. Expansion of the project to other sites is planned and will bring further energy savings.

Additionally, we intend to successively increase the share of electricity purchased from renewable sources. For example, in Spain, we are striving for a complete supply of electricity from renewables by 2021 and we intend to increase the share of electricity from renewable sources by 25% per year in Germany.

Life Cycle Assessment:

A recognized method of analyzing and quantifying an organization’s environmental impact is to conduct a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Such an analysis monitors the whole life cycle of product or a process – from a starting point up to the final usage. It takes into consideration what is extracted from the environment, i.e. raw materials, energy and other materials. This is not only monitored within the scope of the organization itself but also extends to previous and subsequent steps in various processes, for example transporting goods from the company’s site to the customer. In the end, one can get a detailed overview about the environmental impact of the organizations product or process regarding measures such as the Global Warming Potential or toxicity.

As well as increasing transparency for suppliers, customers and official bodies, quantifying the environmental impact is an important internal control and management instrument. Based on the results of the LCA, it is possible to identify starting points for improvements, to observe how environmental performance changes over a given period, and thus to evaluate the effectiveness of taken measures.

Within the SARIA Group, Danish subsidiary Daka has already carried out assessments on its lo-cations with support from a consultancy that specializes in life cycle analysis. Building on those results and with the aid of the insights acquired, it is now possible to roll the project out across the Group as a whole. In 2020 relevant data was collected in 23 further locations in the UK, Spain, France, Poland and Germany in order to expand the project and create a basis for conducting follow-up analysis. These Group-wide Life Cycle Assessments are being coordinated by the SARIA Sustainability Group, which deals with planning and implementation of sustainability activities throughout SARIA. Contacts within the various countries support the analysis process by contributing their expert knowledge and in-depth experience of day-to-day operations.

Our shared vision as SARIA Group is to be the preferred partner for sustainable solutions. Additionally, we commit ourselves to foster the sustainable development of our partners and our own business in our Business Principles.

Partnership approach:

In our view, partnership is about listening to the other person and meeting at eye level. We need to understand what our partners want, and address their needs in a transparent and professional way. Being honest and keeping our word creates trust, which is the base for long-term business relationships. With our various products and services, we offer reliable and sustainable solutions to many different industries, always striving to add and share value.

This partnership approach refers to business relationships with suppliers and customers, but also with authorities, financial institutions, service providers and many other external partners. In the materiality analysis, our external stakeholders attribute to us a good partnership attitude, which is a feedback that we are proud of. In some business areas, we already cooperate with universities and research institutions to stipulate innovation. However, strengthening the dialogue especially with key customers and suppliers, develop solutions and innovate together, is an aspect that we want to put even more focus on in the coming years.

In addition to the external partnerships, we also link our competencies internally and collaborate on various topics in an interdisciplinary and international manner. Targeted cooperation that transcends activities and regions often opens up new possibilities and offers the benefit of synergies. Expertise and resources, for example, can be pooled in a systematic way to add value. In addition, solutions that are scalable along the international value chain can be provided to meet the individual requirements of customers who are either suppliers themselves or users of the end product. In recent years, group-wide collaboration has been strengthen in many areas already – setting up a Group Safety Team, a Sustainability Group, an Innovation Team, regular exchange between our international Human Resources managers or the launch of our international ‘Next Generation’ Talent network are only a few examples of recent developments.

Sustainable Procurement:

Another focus for the future is to strengthen sustainability aspects in the management of our supply chain, particularly with regard to our procurement activities. To do so, we have decided to cooperate with EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, and set up a Sustainable Procurement Program.

A first important step will be the monitoring of key suppliers according to the EcoVadis sustainability rating. For that, we invite our key partners in our supply chain to conduct an individual sustainability performance assessment with EcoVadis. The resulting higher transparency will enable us to jointly identify opportunities and drive improvements with our supplier partners, manage risks related to our own sustainability performance, and stimulate collaborative efforts on sustainability issues.
In addition, we are currently finalizing a Sustainable Procurement Policy as an internal guideline for our suppliers and procurement managers. The next step will be a Supplier Code of Conduct to specify core principles that we expect all our suppliers to adhere to.

These measures are an important step for SARIA on the way towards more sustainable procurement. To monitor our sustainability performance, we are assessed by EcoVadis ourselves. As our last EcoVadis rating showed the greatest potential for improvement in the area of procurement, one of our goals is to achieve a measurable increase in performance as an indicator of our progress.  

A career with SARIA.

We are the best partner for sustainable solutions and set new standards within our industry with tailor-made products and services. We look forward to meeting you!

 

With over 11,000 employees and operations in 26 countries around the world, SARIA is a global company and leading specialist in the recycling of animal and plant waste. At the same time, as a family business we value a hands-on mentality and want each employee to grow and develop their abilities. It is this combination that makes us stand out as an employer and characterises life at SARIA.

Thanks to the wide range of activities and continuous growth of our Group, we offer exciting career opportunities and appropriate jobs to suit almost any professional background. As an employee of the SARIA Group, you can help play your part in supporting sustainable use of resources. For more information and current job openings, click here.

You would like to know more about our work?

Then please contact us. We look forward to your feedback.
E-Mail: infonoSpam@saria.de | Phone: +49 2592 210 0