Orkla says that young Norwegians, in particular, are more likely to disbelieve sustainability claims.
Norwegian food company Orkla has warned that consumers are increasingly sceptical towards sustainability claims, as it renews its own objectives for 2025.
A majority of Norwegian consumers do not think that food manufacturers care about the environment or about reducing the use of packaging, according to the results of a survey commissioned by Orkla and conducted by TNS Kantar. According to the poll, consumers aged under 30 are the most doubtful.
The research coincides with Orkla’s commitment to gradually transition to renewable energy, reduce its food waste by 50%, increase its resource recovery and ensure that the packaging used for its products is 100% recyclable by 2025. The objectives renew Orkla’s commitment to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – a challenge extended to Norwegian companies two years ago by the country’s prime minister, Erna Solberg.
Orkla CEO Peter A Ruzicka said: “For us at Orkla, it’s a question of making sure that our branded consumer goods are produced with the interests of people, animals and the environment in mind, and that we are helping to promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.”
Half of Norwegians doubt environmental claims
According to the survey commissioned by Orkla, 52% of respondents doubted that food and grocery product manufacturers were concerned with reducing use of packaging, while more than one third (34%) agree with the claim “manufacturers of food and other grocery products do not care about the environment”.
As many as 50% think that consumers themselves do most for the environment, with just 2% saying that grocery suppliers do the most.
Peter Ruzicka (left) renewed Orkla’s own objectives in conversation with prime minister Erna Solberg (right).
“This survey clearly shows that we have a way to go,” Ruzicka said. “We will continue our efforts to promote sustainability and will show that we are assuming our share of responsibility for the environment. As the leading branded consumer goods company in the Nordic region, we want to be a front runner in developing sustainable products.
Ruzicka now wants to team up with other sectors of Norwegian business and industry in a collective mobilisation to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He has invited ten other companies – as yet unnamed by Orkla – to form a sustainability team to launch during the Norway Cup youth soccer tournament later this summer.
The Oslo-based food company, which has been involved in a flurry of acquisitions and sell-offs in recent months, delivered first-quarter revenue of NOK 9.5 billion ($1.18 billion) last week, with profit before tax amounting to NOK 886 million ($109.6 million).
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