GRI 2-29, 3-1, 3-3
2022 was a great year for D&L!
The Company emerged from another year of the pandemic with its strongest corporate performance in history, eclipsing its record net income in 2018.
This was not apparent in January 2022 when Omicron wreaked havoc through the ranks of management and staff returning from the Christmas holidays. Thankfully, the Company’s health protocols and relentless drive to vaccinate stakeholders and their families bore fruit, as most COVID infections at this time were mild and cured within a week or so. Still, leadership prepared contingency plans as weakness in sales at the beginning of the year and the continuing supply chain disruptions threatened the hoped-for recovery from the global pandemic.
In April, the Company’s leaders from across the business, operations, and support units spent the whole of the Palm Sunday weekend on a Strategic Thinking Workshop.
This laid the groundwork for how the Group would reshape and refocus its efforts for the rest of the year, and the near future.
A key theme permeating discussions during the early part of 2022 was ESG, which McKinsey & Co. defines as:
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria [are] useful in measuring a company’s progress toward achieving social goals in addition to creating shareholder value.1
With the worst of the pandemic hopefully in the rearview mirror, external stakeholders such as investors and large business customers frequently queried the Company on its ESG policies and commitments, particularly where it stood on supply chain concerns such as traceability and social impacts, over and above economic and environmental ones, both positive and negative.
By mid-2022, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released a new set of Universal, Sector, and Topic Standards for all organizations reporting from January 1, 2023 onwards, with a renewed focus on “mandatory human rights-related disclosures”.2
Throughout the year, the Company developed new and tweaked existing policies and processes. Conversations vertically across ranks and horizontally across functions and stakeholder groups led to plans and actions increasingly geared towards good governance and positive impacts, as well as in mitigating risks, non-sustainable outcomes, and negative consequences. ESG filtered into Google Meets, weekly and monthly reports, and informal discussions behind COVID masks.
As leadership assessed these developments, pondered their implications, and engaged in continuing dialogues and actions with both internal and external stakeholders, the Company’s commitment to ESG gained in depth and breadth.
Along the way, a battle cry emerged: Better lives through sustainable innovation!
Better lives is the desired outcome.
Better profits for investors. Better jobs for management and staff. Better work-life balance for families. Better business for suppliers. Better products for customers. Better air quality, productive land, and cleaner waters. Better communities. A better future for all.
To better lives is what D&L strives to do every day and everywhere, as a corporation and in cooperation with like-minded others.
Sustainable investments for the capital markets. Fair trade for farmers and upstream communities. Living wages. Recycling, reusing, and upcycling resources. Resilient supply chains. Non-polluting factories. Reliable distribution networks. Educational scholarships to qualified deserving students.
Sustainable innovation takes the Company’s core strength and takes it to the next level.
D&L is known for its deep knowledge of chemistry, engineering, product design, and advanced manufacturing capabilities. Its prowess is recognized for quality and cost-competitive solutions for customized specialty and strategic ingredients for the food, plastics, oleochemicals and OEM/ODM industries. It leads in using sustainable feedstock to serve diverse basic industry market segments.
Sustainable innovation is all about telling the Company’s story: what it does, how it does them, why it does them, who it does them with, who it does them for.
This is D&L’s story, its ongoing ESG journey.
1 “What is ESG?,” McKinsey & Company, accessed January 30, 2023, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-esg.
2 Global Reporting Initiative, “Public FAQs on Universal Standards,” accessed January 30, 2023, 7, https://www.globalreporting.org/media/zauil2g3/public-faqs-universal-standards.pdf.