As I travel around our global markets, I am regularly impressed by the innovative and wide-ranging ways in which Tetra Pak people are helping deliver on our brand promise: PROTECTS WHAT'S GOOD™. It is a promise that extends beyond our long-held commitment to protect food, capturing too our undertaking to protect people, both inside and outside the company; and to protect futures: the planet's, our customers' and our own. It is a promise that ensures sustainability is not an isolated function within Tetra Pak, but rather an integral part of the decisions we make and the actions we take, right along our value chain.
During the past year, we have made significant progress in identifying and prioritising those aspects of our business which have the greatest stakeholder impact. We spent nine months working alongside sustainability experts on a rigorous materiality assessment, defining clear priorities under the headlines of Food, People and Futures, as well as reflecting our wider contribution to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This work also builds on our ongoing commitment to the UN Global Compact and its ten principles, to which we have been a signatory since 2004.
Throughout this report, which is now aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative's G4 guidelines, you will see how we map our strategy to our most material issues, and to the nine SDGs where we know we can have an impact.
Making food safe and available everywhere remains our vision … and, together with customers and partners across the globe, we continue our journey towards that goal, which is now widely recognised as one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Since launching our first filling machine in 1952, our processing and packaging solutions have been helping to protect food; not just in terms of its safety, but also its quality, flavour, nutritional value and shelf life. Our packaging solutions, in particular, enable food to be transported and stored for several months, without the need for either refrigeration or preservatives. In developed countries, this brings peace of mind to consumers, while in emerging economies, where chilled distribution systems for milk and other liquid food products are less prevalent, it makes a real difference to the everyday lives of countless families.
During the past year, we have been actively involved in several initiatives aimed at extending that positive impact still further. For example, we have broadened our DEEPER IN THE PYRAMID activities, working with customers in new parts of the world to find creative responses to the specific challenges faced by low-income households in securing safe, healthy and nutritious food products.
We also expanded our involvement in school feeding programmes and are now working with governments and other partners to bring nutritious drinks to around 67 million children in 57 countries using Tetra Pak packages. It's an activity in which we have played a key role for more than half a century, and I was delighted that last year we added Bolivia to the list of nations where we now help ensure schoolchildren regularly receive a healthy drink as part of their school day.
Looking to the future, we see more and more opportunities to expand access to safe, affordable food; offering both our know-how and our cutting-edge processing and packaging technologies to customers and partners around the world, as we journey towards the UN goal of No Hunger.
When it comes to protecting people, one of our principal areas of focus in 2016 was our Occupational Health and Safety agenda, helping better ensure the wellbeing of all those who work for, or with, our company. We extended our OHS assessment programme to include all of our sites across the globe, and introduced a new training campaign, Safety and Me, to share positive safety-behaviour models with the many thousands who work in our factories worldwide. By year end, this campaign had been rolled out in around 40 percent of our locations.
But protecting our people means more than safeguarding their wellbeing. It is also means protecting them as a resource, ensuring we attract and retain outstanding talent from across the globe, helping them have long and rewarding careers with Tetra Pak.
In this regard, my leadership team and I recognise that success in today's global business requires employees with a diverse mix of backgrounds, perspectives and cultural understanding. There is undoubtedly more that we need to do in this area, particularly when it comes to gender diversity, and we recently formed an advisory panel to help identify ways in which to ensure more women pursue careers with Tetra Pak and grow into leadership roles. I look forward to seeing the progress made against the panel's detailed action plan through the year ahead.
As well as taking a more proactive approach to diversity, we are also exploring how we better attract and retain young talent at an early stage in their careers. Last year, we launched our Future Talent programme, which reflects our long-term commitment to hiring a steady stream of graduates from around the world, offering them a structured agenda of on-the-job training and development, leading to a career with Tetra Pak.
Helping protect the future of our planet goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to support the long-term success of our customers, and we are working on many different fronts to ensure that happens. Responsible sourcing, for example, is one of the three strategic objectives defined for our supplier operation, and we now have an active programme to better engage both our direct and indirect suppliers, to ensure they are supporting these ambitions.
On a related front, we now secure 100 percent of our paperboard from FSC™-certified and other controlled sources, as we continue our work to raise the quantity of responsibly sourced renewable materials, including bio-based polymers, in our package portfolio. As a consequence of this effort, our Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-based LightCap™ 30 recently became the first aseptic carton in the world to receive the highest class of Vinçotte certification for its use of renewable materials.
We are also making excellent headway in advancing our processing and packaging equipment technologies to help customers reduce their own environmental footprint. From the Tetra Pak® E3 platform, featuring eBeam sterilisation that lowers energy consumption by almost 50 percent, to high-acid juice pasteurisation, which cuts energy use by up to 20 percent, we continue to bring innovative technology solutions to our customers that reduce energy, decrease water consumption and minimise waste.
On another front, our commitment to RE100, and our decision to source 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 has been extremely well received by both customers and consumers alike; I am pleased to report that we are already using renewable electricity for more than a third of our total annual consumption worldwide.
Equally pleasing was having our wider climate targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. This reinforces the fact that our climate programme and goals are aligned with the latest science. We are the first food packaging company to achieve this endorsement.
What I have seen through recent years convinces me that driving a sustainable, responsible approach to business is now more important than ever. With that in mind, we have established a Sustainability Forum, reporting to the Global Leadership Team's Strategy Council. We have done so to ensure that this critical dimension, along with a well-defined corporate governance framework, sit at the heart of our strategy and future growth agenda, with accountability at the highest level of our organization.
There is no doubt that the challenges we face within the food and beverage industry are complex, interconnected and intensifying. But I am absolutely confident that by coming together as a global community to try, test and share new approaches, we can turn these challenges into opportunities and ensure we protect what is so precious to us all.
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