Avril works on environmental protection throughout the sector and has made a commitment as an industrial group to continually improve its ecological footprint.
The commitment of an entire sector
Avril mobilises its partners and employees to improve all environmental performances, upstream and downstream of agricultural production. Its organisation into sectors and its close relationship with the agricultural world enables it to use a large number of levers for action throughout the chain.
Mobilising upstream agricultural production
Avril assists crop and livestock framers to achieve continuous environmental progress. This ability to mobilise its partners is one of the Group's strongest points.
Coordinated by Avril alongside Cetiom* and Saipol, the Démarche de Progrès (initiative for progress) was launched in 2007 to improve the environmental performance of biodiesel from the field to the pump, covering the entire rapeseed sector. From a farming perspective, over 10,000 producers are assisted by the CETIOM, the sector's technical institute, via their grain handling organisations, to assess performance and introduce controlled actions. The goal is to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fertilisers and discharges and study the effect of crops on biodiversity so that practices can be changed accordingly, among other things.
For its part, Avril's Animal Products division assists its 27,000 partner livestock farmers within the framework of its Economie Planète® project. It helps them to optimise the feeding of their animals – particularly in order to reduce discharges into the environment (methane, phosphorus and nitrogen) – and to improve the environmental performances of their buildings.
AVRIL'S SUSTAINABLE PALM POLICY
In the framework of its Sustainable Development strategy, the Avril Group wants to effectively address the challenges linked to the use of plant raw materials. Most notably, Avril uses palm oil for several of its industrial activities and therefore developed a dedicated policy. With this policy, the Group’s ambition is to obtain palm oil from suppliers who can prove that its cultivation does not contribute to the destruction of forests and peatlands, and respects the rights of workers and local communities. Developed with the support of The Forest Trust" (TFT) NGO, this policy encompasses all palm oil purchased by Avril Group’s subsidiaries.
Optimising the energy performance of industrial sites
As an industrial group, Avril has made a commitment to reduce the energy consumption of its factories, develop renewable energies (particularly by using local biomass) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 2010, the Env’Ol management system has supported the industrial aspect of the Démarche de Progrès. Powerful actions tailored to local production have been set up in the production units of the Seeds division, such as the biomass boiler in the Saipol factory at Bassens, which provides all its steam requirements by using the sunflower husks left over from seed crushing, and the two Lesieur Cristal sites in Morocco, which use boilers run on olive pomace, a by-product of oil production. All the Oilseed division sites have been ISO 14001 certified since 2013.
With the Animal Products division, the Economie Planète® approach enables each of the branches to identify avenues for progress in terms of reducing their environmental impact.
Fostering a circular economy
The Avril branch model is based on the circular economy principle, whereby waste is transformed into raw materials. Firstly, the Group's activities involve the systematic recovery of by-products – for example, the use of meal, a by-product of crushed rapeseed. Secondly, Avril endeavours to recover the residues and waste generated by it activities as much as possible, in support of industrial ecology. Biomass boilers are fuelled with resides from crushing. Its subsidiary Terrial recycles livestock effluents and organic matter from the Group's industries. This activity obviates their incineration and transforms them into energy and fertilisers in the form of biogas and compost. Its subsidiary Adonial diverts by-products and surplus products from food industries (biscuits, semolina, sugar, etc.) to the animal nutrition businesses.
* Technical centre for oilseed crops, grain legumes and industrial hemp