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SunOpta Releases 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance Report

Achievements include installing 742 solar panels to reduce 317 metric tons CO2 per year; maximizing the warehouse network to reduce ~100,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually and achieving zero waste status at six of seven manufacturing facilities.

SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), an innovative and sustainable manufacturer fueling the future of food, is proud to release its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. SunOpta’s annual update outlines sustainability progress made in the 2023 fiscal year across four key areas: products, planet, people and governance.

“Since SunOpta’s inception 50 years ago, sustainability has been at the root of what we do as a producer of plant-based food and beverages,” said Brian Kocher, CEO of SunOpta. “Now more than ever, sustainability is at the forefront of our mission and business operations. In my role as CEO, I am committed to building on that legacy and advancing our efforts to continuously and affirmatively impact the food and beverages people consume, the way they are made, and the communities where we live and work.”

Specifically, SunOpta is working to find solutions to reduce electricity, gas and water and to find the best environmental solutions to waste management at its own manufacturing facilities. The company is also committed to developing innovative packaging solutions and using efficient modes of transportation.

Key ESG achievements for 2023 include installing 742 solar panels to reduce 317 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, maximizing the warehouse network to reduce ~100,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, and saving 40.4 billion gallons of water through plant-based production.1 Additionally, SunOpta made progress toward its zero waste- to-landfill goal with six of its seven manufacturing facilities having achieved zero-waste2 status.

Following are highlights from the 2023 report:

  • Planet
    • Installed 742 solar panels on headquarters roof that are estimated to produce up to 447,667 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, reducing 317 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year
    • Opened a new warehouse in Alexandria, Minn. that will help reduce ~100,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually compared to current warehouse network
    • Donated 3.4 million pounds of food (the equivalent of 2.8 million meals) to Feeding America
    • Saved 150+ tons of CO2 emissions from load mode optimization
    • Reduced 12.6% in natural gas usage in our U.S. and Canadian plant facilities
    • 99.2% by weight of all packaging sourced by SunOpta is recyclable3
    • Saved 40.4 billion gallons of water based on plant-based production volume
    • Achieved zero waste to landfill at 6 of 7 facilities
  • Products
    • SunOpta’s OatGold™, an oat protein powder certified by the Upcycled Food Association, was featured as the primary ingredient in the first-ever Oat Protein Cereal introduced by Seven Sundays
    • 30 own branded products enrolled in the U.S. Non-GMO Project
    • Achieved a complaint per million units score of less than 1.6%
    • Attained zero incidents of noncompliance with industry or regulatory labeling and/or marketing codes
    • Received an external food safety audit score of 9.64 (“excellent” range)
  • People
    • 49% of employees at the Director level and above are female, making progress towards our goal of 50% female directors
    • 37.5% of SunOpta’s Board of Director members are female
    • Launched leadership development and supervisor development programs
  • Governance
    • Appointed a dedicated, full-time sustainability director to lead ESG efforts

“SunOpta thrives on the challenge and opportunity to execute on our environmental, social, and governance goals and continuously improve our reporting,” said Stacy Seidel, Head of ESG at SunOpta. “With an updated Materiality Assessment and the valuable reflection from the past year, we are ready to plan the next steps in our sustainability journey.”

About SunOpta, Inc.

SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is an innovative and sustainable manufacturer fueling the future of food. With roots tracing back over 50 years, SunOpta drives growth for today’s leading brands by serving as a trusted innovation partner and value-added manufacturer, crafting organic, plant-based beverages, fruit snacks, nutritional beverages, broths and tea products sold through retail, club, foodservice and e-commerce channels. Alongside the company’s commitment to top brands, retailers and coffee shops, SunOpta also proudly produces its own brands, including SOWN®, Dream®, and West LifeTM. For more information, visit and LinkedIn.

1. This figure was determined with an estimated global average water savings of plant-based milk when compared to equivalent production of dairy milk based on SunOpta’s annual plant-based milk production volume consisting of almond, oat, soy, rice, and coconut milks which represent over 99% of SunOpta plant-based milk production. Data comes from Poore and Nemecek (2018) with additional calculations by Poore as published by BBC and Roos et al. (2018). The water savings estimations are not directly associated with water use from SunOpta plant-based milk manufacturing, but instead refer to global averages of water consumption from plant-based milk production.

2. SunOpta has adopted a zero-waste definition as 90% diversion of waste from landfill.

3. Recyclability is based on local municipality capabilities.


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