PHW Amongst “50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders” globally
This global initiative was originally established with the support of the United Nations (UN), the media company Bloomberg and the TBD Media Group. The aim of this initiative is to offer companies that operate on a particularly sustainable basis a platform whereby they are able to present their strategies, ideas and progress in terms of tackling climate change to a wide audience.
The PHW Group, which has developed into a supplier of top-quality protein products, is the only company from the meat industry to rank among the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders. “Sustainability is an attitude that is reflected across all business activities and that must form part of economically viable future-orientated strategies. This way of thinking has been incorporated in our structures for decades already. For example, back in 2009 we founded a Sustainability Council, while our locations now also have their own sustainability teams. Our strategic transformation from a pure provider of first-class poultry products into a supplier of top-quality protein products is also underlining this mindset. This process has been substantially advanced over the past three years with great commitment. We do not see the establishment of our Alternative Proteins business unit as a threat, but rather as an opportunity to develop what may initially appear to be competing business units in tandem with each other”, explains Peter Wesjohann, CEO of the PHW Group.
He adds: “With far-reaching measures, we are making our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a family company, we are delighted with this achievement, which represents a major recognition and provides us with the incentive to decisively continue pursuing our path towards greater sustainability and climate protection”.
Growth through diversity – this is what the PHW Group stands for. The core business of the family company, which is now under the management of the third generation, is focused on the production and marketing of top-quality poultry specialities. Since 2017, the company has been going one step further with the creation of the Alternative Protein Sources business unit. “Our aim is to ensure that the future of nutrition is as varied and sustainable as possible and to establish the business as a supplier of first-rate protein products – irrespective of whether these are in the form of animal-based proteins or those derived from plants. This means that we do not regard the growth of the plant-based food sector as a threat to our existing business field, but rather as an opportunity”, comments Peter Wesjohann. “By 2050, current estimates suggest that the global population will stand at around 10 bn. Demand for protein will skyrocket. It is clear that we will not be able to cover this additional demand solely on the basis of existing meat production. For reasons related to sustainability, animal welfare, health and social causes, society is moving towards adopting a diet that is either wholly or partially plant based, and so our aim is to offer the latest generation of plant-based products in order to meet this need”.
Climate-neutral business activities are currently at the heart of sustainability efforts. The company actually achieved a green milestone right at the start of this year: since 2020, production processes at the family company’s six “Wiesenhof” sites in Germany, which are all certified in accordance with the “ZNU standard – driving sustainable change”, have been organised on a 100% climate-neutral basis. “When we decided to opt in to the ‘ZNU goes Zero’ initiative, it was clear to us that we wanted to immediately adopt a 100% climate-neutral business plan. For this reason, we ruled out a gradual crossover, which would have been simpler to implement”, explains Katrin Metschies, Head of Sustainability Management at the PHW Group. The company is currently in the process of implementing another key step: since the beginning of December, the PHW Group has been offering all unseasoned chicken and turkey products under the Wiesenhof brand on a climate-neutral basis at food retailers. It all starts with the fresh produce range in retail packaging. The medium-term goal is to offer all products under the Wiesenhof brand on a climate-neutral basis. Moreover, the intention over the long term is to expand the number of climate-neutral products across the whole portfolio of the PHW brands. Furthermore, since 2008, the PHW Group is the first, and so far only, poultry company to calculate its carbon footprint for poultry across the entire production chain, and is therefore assuming a pioneering role within the industry. To date, the PHW Group has recorded its entire carbon footprint six times. This data basis provides the optimal foundation for targeted measures, which, for example, contribute to the conservation of resources and reduction of CO2, and which can be continuously improved as well.