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Sustainable operations

How we strive to make our operations more sustainable.

Syngenta is a global company and our operations span many different functions and working environments. To maintain the success of our business, we need these diverse operations to work together seamlessly. From developing our products to ensuring they’re used safely on the farm, we’re committed to excellence across all our operations and our supply chain. We strive to use resources more efficiently while reducing potential environmental impacts. We recognize that improving our environmental performance and sustainability delivers far-reaching benefits across the organization.

Reducing our carbon footprint

In 2019, we committed to reducing the carbon intensity of our operations by at least 50% by 2030 - a target that has been validated by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). To achieve this, we will focus on improving the efficiency of our manufacturing processes, design and implement site-based energy-saving programs, increase the share of renewable sources of energy, and partner with our crop protection and seeds suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint through similar actions. In addition, we will further optimize our business travel and our logistics.

Preserving water and avoiding waste

We also aim to reduce our water and waste intensity of our operations by 20% by 2030. As with the carbon footprint reductions, this will involve both improving the efficiency of our internal operations and partnering with suppliers to deliver similar improvements.

In reducing our water footprint, we will give particular focus to reducing water consumption in locations of water stress – especially water used for irrigation – and will form partnerships to develop more effective processes or redesign our supply chain.

To reduce our waste footprint, we will focus our efforts on improving process efficiency. This is particularly important when introducing new products and designing the manufacturing processes at the product development stage, before large-scale production starts. We will seek opportunities to significantly reduce the volume of waste packaging, improve the overall environmental footprint of our packing, and aim to use recyclable packaging, with the focus on reducing plastics and increasing collection schemes.

Enhancing biodiversity and soil health

We strive to minimize soil erosion and enhance biodiversity in our seeds supply chain. To help achieve this, we will deploy measures such as field margins, forests and beehives to enhance biodiversity, while addressing soil erosion by, for example, promoting farming practices that minimize soil disturbance and provide continuous soil coverage.

Looking after people’s health and safety and respecting human rights

We strive for fair labor and safe working conditions throughout our own operations and our supply chain networks. To help achieve this, we will continue to enhance our assurance programs and partner with our Crop Protection and Seeds suppliers. We will also focus on human rights and adapt our assurance procedures to ensure suppliers adopt our standards.

Chemical supply chain

We seek out Chemical Supply Chain partners who share our vision on operating to high standards of operation on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) aspects. We support them in driving improvement together because collaboration is the key to results.

To help make our procurement more sustainable, we’ve joined the chemical industry’s Together for Sustainability (TfS) program. This enables chemical companies to collaborate on improving the sustainability of their supply chains. TfS has established a standard for auditing and assessing suppliers on social, environmental and ethical issues following the principles of the UN Global Compact, Responsible Care and the International Labor Organization.

In assessing and improving the standards of the companies we work with, we apply a tiered approach – focusing our resources on the areas of highest risk and opportunity.

Syngenta PSM Audit Program

Our Process Safety Management program aims to drive commitment, understanding and improvement of safety standards at our chemical manufacturers through a combination of training and auditing.

Syngenta HSE Audit Program

Syngenta safety experts conduct in-depth site audits focused on health, safety and environmental standards. We then help suppliers to make the improvements they recommend. We have recently updated our program to include environmental sustainability elements.

Together for Sustainability

On-site audits and written assessments cover a broad range of social, environmental and ethical issues. The results are shared across the members of the initiative to improve efficiency for our suppliers and us.

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Requirements for Suppliers

Seed supply chain

We have worked with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) since 2004 to develop and manage our Syngenta Fair Labor Program. This requires seed suppliers to comply with labor rights codes in nine areas: employment relationship; non-discrimination; harassment and abuse; forced labor; child labor; freedom of association and collective bargaining; health, safety and environment; hours of work; and compensation.

Flower suppliers

Our flower business is working to obtain GLOBALG.A.P. and GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment On Social Practice (G.R.A.S.P.) for our commercial flower farms. GLOBALG.A.P. is a standard for safe and sustainable food production. G.R.A.S.P. assesses social practices on the farm, addressing specific aspects of workers’ health, safety and welfare. In Kenya, two of our farms have also achieved Fairtrade accreditation.

HSE management

The Syngenta Code of Conduct gives a clear statement of our commitment to health, safety and the environment (HSE). As a leading global company committed to sustainable agriculture, we have a responsibility to protect the environment, and to ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate. Our HSE performance also plays a key part in developing and protecting our reputation with all our stakeholders.

At Syngenta, we are all responsible for health and safety. We have a Group HSE Policy and Standards document to guide us. It outlines our expectation that employees will take responsible management into consideration in all their activities, from product development to use and beyond.

Download the Syngenta HSE Policy and Standards