DLG is a Danish cooperative segmented into three main business areas; agribusiness, involving crop production and animal nutrition; premix and nutrition activities, and energy and retail. Through the agribusiness branch, DLG purchases and sells crops such as grains, rapeseed, soya and maize, and produces animal feed and supplements for pigs, cattle and poultry. With 17 factories across Europe and China, DLG is one of the largest producers of vitamins and minerals for livestock in Europe, all of which are marketed under the group's Vilofoss brand. Germany is the cooperative's largest market, accounting for approximately 60% of DLG's revenue.
DLG Group is active in the agricultural products and commodities and agricultural inputs segments. The company performs below average compared to its peers due to its lack of sufficient commitments setting out its approach to human rights in the social inclusion measurement area. In the environment measurement area, DLG Group demonstrates an average performance on GHG emissions, soil health and protection of terrestrial natural ecosystems in both segments. However, it lags behind its peers in terms of setting time-bound commitments towards these topics. In governance and strategy, DLG has met the minimum requirements but has room to improve its disclosure in order to align with the leading performers.
Sustainable development strategy
While the company has key performance indicators covering topics within the Food and Agriculture Benchmark’s three dimensions of environment, nutrition and social inclusion, it has an opportunity to disclose a sustainable development strategy and how it identifies and prioritises the topics where it has the most impact.
Governance and accountability for sustainable development
While the company assigns responsibility for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to a CSR coordinator, the company has an opportunity to strengthen accountability by assigning this responsibility to its highest governance body and disclosing further information on its decision-making processes and oversight responsibilities, as well as linking sustainability objectives and targets to roles and remuneration.
The company does not disclose stakeholder engagement activities, including how it selects the stakeholders, nor an overview of the topics discussed or their outcomes.
Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions
The company reports that the emissions caused by electricity and gas have been reduced respectively by 114,352 kg and 742,233 kg in 2020. Furthermore, DLG Group aims to reduce the emissions from its production and logistics by 50% by 2030. The company can improve its performance by setting a target to reduce scope 1 and 2 emission aligned with the 1.5-degree trajectory and report progress against the target.
Protection of terrestrial natural ecosystems
While the company aims to have all soy responsibly produced and verified deforestation-free by 2025 and reports on DLG Group’s Swedish agricultural company Svenska Foder, it does not provide evidence of reporting against the target at the group level. Therefore, DLG Group has room to improve by expanding its reporting.
Soil health and agrobiodiversity, and fertiliser and pesticide use
DLG Group discloses qualitative evidence on improving soil health and on reducing the use of agrochemicals in its supplier code of conduct. However, the company has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment on these topics by setting targets, reporting progress, and by disclosing quantifiable data.
The company does not disclose that it is reducing water withdrawals across its operations and supply chain
While the company discloses compliance with national regulations and/or the Codex General Principles of Food Hygiene, it has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment by disclosing the percentages of its own operations that are certified to a food safety scheme recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative or other widely recognised (industry-specific) certification.
Availability of healthy foods
The company does not disclose a commitment or activities to increase the availability of healthy and nutritious foods.
Accessibility and affordability of healthy foods
The company does not disclose a commitment to address food insecurity by improving the accessibility and affordability of healthy and nutritious foods.
The company does not disclose sufficient evidence of having any workforce nutrition programmes
Child and forced labour
The company does not disclose a commitment to prohibit child and forced labour in its operations.
Farmer and fisher productivity and resilience
While the company provides evidence of supporting farmers towards greener agricultural practices, it has room to improve by disclosing the impact of a proportion of its support activities.
The company does not commit to recognising and respecting the legitimate tenure rights related to the ownership and use of land of local communities.
Core social indicator
The core social indicators are part of the social inclusion measurement area. These indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Although in its supplier code of conduct DLG Group demands suppliers to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights, there is room for improvement. Indeed, DLG Group does not provide a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect both human rights and the ILO core labour rights. Furthermore, the company does not disclose publicly available commitment and does not report on key metrics in relation to its salient human rights risks, stakeholders’ engagement, and grievance mechanisms in its operations and supply chains.
DLG Group publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers and places health and safety expectations on its supply chain partners. However, the company does not disclose on quantitative metrics related to this topic such as number and rate of fatalities as a result of work-related injuries. In addition, it does not provide publicly information on how it monitors the health and safety performance of its supply chain partners. To conclude, DLG Group does not demonstrate a sufficient commitment to decent work conditions and does not report on key metrics under these topics.
DLG Group publicly commits to prohibiting, taking steps to identify and address bribery and corruption, and it has included clauses in contracts with supply chain partners for bribery and corruption. However, there is room for DLG Group to improve by increasing disclosure on whether the grievance mechanism is accessible to all stakeholders to raise related concerns without fear of reprisals. However, no relevant policies or commitments on other key ethical business topics – data protection, tax, and lobbying and political engagement – were found in the public domain.