Sustainability approach

We are committed to a group wide strategic approach. It's founded on ethical and environmental trading for the good of communities and for our shared environment.

Sustainability pillars

Defining what matters to us

We conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment in 2019. The priority issues identified from that assessment were used to set our Group sustainability strategy and commitments with specific goals and, in our cocoa supply chain, KPIs which can be found in our 2023 Cocoa Sustainability Report.

In recognition of the evolving nature of sustainability topics and impacts, and the guidance from regulations and best practice reporting frameworks such as the EU CSRD and GRI, we recently conducted a refresh of our material topics, applying the principles of double materiality.

Our next full double materiality assessment planned for the end of 2024 will be aligned with the CSRD double materiality guidelines.

Our process

Materiality assessment

Our recent materiality assessment refresh aimed to assess the relevance of our existing material topics and to ensure that they reflect our impacts, risks and opportunities today.

Our process included five key steps:

  1. - Research phase – identifying the wide range of potential material issues and topics
  2. - Stakeholder identification – determining the key stakeholders we engage with, and how
  3. - Stakeholder engagement – receiving stakeholders’ ratings of the impact and likelihood of topics, and how they are affected by them
  4. - Scoring and prioritisation – analysing and checking the data received from stakeholders
  5. - C-suite approval – achieving sign-off on the updated material topics by ECOM’s ESG Committee

Sustainability pillars

Human rights
Nature and climate change
Transparency and responsibility
Supply chain management
Supply chain

Boots on the Ground

The supply chain for each of our core businesses is long and complex, going from origination, to processing, to export, to warehousing and finally merchandising.

ECOM is active at each point along this journey: we’re there to support farmers and producers on the ground during the growing process, and we’re constantly innovating to extend efficiencies throughout the processing, shipping and warehousing steps, to minimise environmental impact and to make our customers’ lives easier.

We’re committed to ensuring greater transparency and traceability along the whole chain, in order to meet our own sustainability goals and the expectations of the end consumer.


Supporting a forest-positive future

Across the Group, our agronomists and environmental experts are there on the ground to help farmers at origin, providing meaningful services that support them in every aspect of their lives.

We carry out biodiversity and deforestation risk assessments throughout our supply chain, benefitting from our understanding of farm management activities and farm locations. We manage remote sensing paired with ground truthing to carry out land-use change analysis as we work to ensure traceability and combat deforestation with farmers in our supply chain.

Additionally, we carry out natural resource management and climate-smart agriculture training to engage producers in water-saving techniques, climate resilience, decarbonisation strategies, and introduce new technologies. ECOM is committed to tackling climate change by protecting and regenerating nature, optimising our natural resource management, and improving farmer resilience.


Human Rights in our supply chain

Systemic poverty is present in many farming communities around the world, and cocoa is no exception. It is well recognized that rural poverty is a root cause for numerous human rights offences, namely child and forced labour.

ECOM works through various channels to create economic emancipation to combat internationally recognized human rights breaches at farm and community levels. Just as a variety of factors contribute to poverty, it takes a number of initiatives to help eradicate it and bring prosperity to farming communities. We are working to establish a living income analysis and implement programs to bridge the gap through collaboration across supply chain stakeholders and industry.


Continual improvement

A guiding principle at ECOM is to continue improving how we operate, which means building trust with everyone who is impacted by our work. Governance is a way to reflect our key values, purpose and commitments, which is why we put substantial thought into developing policies that demonstrate our integrity as a Group.

Oversight of sustainability management is retained by ECOM’s Executive Committee, which includes the CEO and top managers. The Executive Committee has a clear responsibility for the policy framework regarding all social or environmental impacts of our operation including on employees, communities, and children.

Our Environmental and Social Committee reports directly to the Executive Committee and manages annual monitoring and reporting across commodities for financial institutions, researches ESG policies and handles Group-level stakeholder reporting.


Sustainability Management Services

SMS implements sustainability programs and provides products and services for rural populations. We aim to be the leading provider of socially responsible farmer-focused solutions, services, and products. 

Our vision translates into three missions:

  • To deliver high-value services, including training, input, and technology in order to improve farmer livelihoods and build resilience in the face of climate change. 
  • To provide access to higher-quality products that enable farmers to increase their overall farm productivity and product quality.
  • To create a sustainable and transparent value chain by providing the best services to all stakeholders.

Our approach to social impact beyond our supply chains

The ECOM Foundation

In 2006, ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd. Foundation was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the purpose of making a better life for the producers of coffee, cotton, cocoa and other soft commodities.

The ECOM Foundation supports projects which contribute to a better quality of life within communities by integrating social, health, education and environmental concerns. It is committed to long term sustainability that will provide a permanent change in producing communities.