Avril, partner of Solutions COP21

The COP21 provides an opportunity for Avril to reaffirm its commitment to mitigating climate change

Set up at the initiative of farmers to assure the future of the French vegetable oils and proteins sector, Avril has developed according to an original model that reflects its specificity in the French and European agri-food landscape: an organisation structured in sectors, from grain to the consumer, where each profession creates value for all other links in the chain.

In this context, Avril works with all its partners – agricultural producers, livestock farmers, research scientists, investors – to build sectors of excellence at the service of “ La Ferme France ” so as to better contribute to the agriculture of tomorrow.

This mission is based on strong agricultural and territorial roots, and constant mobilisation regarding the environmental, societal and economic challenges linked to the Group's activities. The systemic reinvestment of profits in both the development of different sectors and sustainable innovation is a strong signal in this respect.

This mobilisation forms part of a progress dynamic shared with all our stakeholders and reflected by the five key commitments that structure Avril's sustainable development policy:

The commitments of Avril for the COP21, interview with Kristell GUIZOUARN,
Sustainable Development Director (french version)

The four contributions of our commitments for the climate

For Avril, the 21st Conference of the Parties - COP21 - offers an opportunity to reaffirm these commitments and share with its stakeholders some of its most emblematic contributions to the fight against global warming. Four of these will be central to the exhibition on solutions for a post-carbon society, which will be taking place at the Grand Palais in Paris from 4 to 10 December 2015:

Sylviane Villaudiere, Founder of Atlantis office, speaks about the Solutions Cop21 organisation.

A defining moment in the mobilisation and contribution of non-governmental actors with respect to climate-friendly solutions, this exhibition forms part of the Solutions COP21 event, in which Avril is a founder partner, and benefits from support from the French authorities and the COP21 General Secretariat.

Meet us at the Grand Palais from 4th to 10th of December 2015

Founding Partner Solutions COP21, Avril settles the Great Hall of 4 to 10 December. Regarding the North Nave, meet our teams and see our solutions for the climate through our booth.

4th December - At 5 pm - Colloque Fondation Avril as part of TV webcast Petit sorcier7th December - At 11 am - Colloque for The Diester Rapeseed Progress Initiative9th December - At 2 pm - Lesieur : Examples of commitments to fight against climate change* Available by invitation only

We look forward to seeing you on the Avril stand at the Grand Palais as from 4 December! (More informations on the Solutions Cop21 website)

Food and climate:
Better foods for humans and preserving the planet

Two challenges central to Avril's mission

To better understand the impact of our food on global warming, a study was carried out by the BIPE on behalf of the French vegetable oils and proteins sector, focused on the evolution of our diet and its impacts on the climate between now and 2030.

Presented on 8 October 2015 during a symposium on the subject of “ Better food - what are the challenges and what are their solutions? ”, the findings of this study highlighted the growing importance of the link between food and climate, since food-related greenhouse gas emissions are expected to have increased by 7% between 2014 and 2030.

You can read a full summary of the findings of this study, and find out about some of the practical initiatives implemented by the French vegetable oils and proteins sector to respond to the climate change, by following the links below:

The Diester Rapeseed Progress Initiative: when an entire sector mobilises to help the climate

In the field of renewable energies, the Diester brand, European leader in the production of biodiesel from rapeseed, is an example of growth and a shared commitment of which we are particularly proud at Avril.

This biodiesel, produced by the French sector under conditions that are certified as sustainable, currently represents a substitute for imported diesel. It can reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%, a level that can reach 81% if its carbon efficiency is compared to that of the fossil fuels it replaces (source: CARB, 2015), while at the same time effectively reducing fine particle emissions. Thanks to the growth of rapeseed cultivation, it also contributes to increasing French self-sufficiency in vegetable proteins for livestock feeds, which has risen from 25% in the early 1980s to more than 65% today.

Since 2007, all actors in the French biodiesel sector, from farming upstream to industry downstream, have been organised around an unique project called the “ Diester Rapeseed Progress Initiative ”. Alongside Avril, its subsidiary Saipol and Terres Inovia (the technical institute for the vegetable oils and proteins sector), this initiative now involves more than 10,000 farmers, as well as technicians, collectors, processors and industrial companies who intervene at different levels in the value chain.

Their efforts to ensure ongoing improvements to the environmental and energy performance of the sector have led to major industrial investments worth €80 million during the past three years, notably in the construction of biomass boilers at our sites in Bassens (Gironde), Grand Couronne (Seine-Maritime) and, since October 2015, Sète (Hérault). All these investments have enabled a reduction in the greenhouse gases linked to the production of Diester biodiesel. The most recent investment has thus enabled a 90% cut in the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the plant in Sète, and a 75% reduction in its energy requirements, which now come from renewable sources.

large-scale investments - €80 million

Their mobilisation is also contributing to assuring a long-term future for a French sector whose environmental and socioeconomic benefits are undeniable. At a socioeconomic level, the French biodiesel sector has thus created more than 20,000 jobs in different regions. In terms of the environment, the rapeseed used by Avril to produce Diester biodiesel is particularly favourable to crop rotation and biodiversity: it stimulates the yields of subsequent cereal crops, significantly reduces the quantities of plant health products required, efficiently exploits the mineral nitrogen arising from organic effluents and can break the cycle of certain diseases.

And the valorisation of vegetable oils does not stop there, because it opens the way to promising opportunities in the field of renewable chemistry, where substances obtained from fossil sources can now be replaced by their biosourced counterparts that are used in numerous everyday products - hygiene, food or cleaning products, etc.

> More details on the Climate Solutions Platform

Soybean “ made in France ” for livestock farmers in different regions!

Driven by the French vegetable oils and proteins sector, a plan to revive national soybean production was initiated in 2014. It is based on both providing support for soybean crops under contractual arrangements between partners in the sector and ensuring the emergence of a coherent industrial plan. Taken together, these efforts should enable the replacement of currently imported soybean meal by high-quality French products.

This initiative is particularly important for our farmers because soybean meal represents half of the vegetable protein intake of French livestock. Rapeseed meal can contribute significantly to this intake, but our farmers have no other choice at present but to use soybean from America.

Reviving the French soybean sector should enable a reduction in the dependence of our farming on imports, secure the supply of our livestock farms in vegetable proteins and move further towards the development of 100% French production. And the contribution of such a sector to mitigating global warming should not be forgotten: less imported soybean has has already permitted a reduction of 20,000 tonnes equivalent CO2 in the greenhouse gas emissions related to shipping soybean from America, a figure that should double between now and 2025.

Allowing the development of production - 100% origin France

While the land cultivated to rapeseed fell from 130,000 ha during the 1990s to 40,000 ha in 2013, this plan to revive the French sector enabled a return to 75,000 ha in 2014 and just under 100,000 ha today. The figure should reach 200,000 ha within the next five to ten years, thanks to the support measures provided for under the new CAP, which aims to exploit the agronomic benefits of soybean for the climate: like any legume, soybean feeds off nitrogen in the air and fixes nutrient nitrogen in the soil, which enables a reduction in the input of nitrate fertilisers for both the crop itself and for subsequent crops, while at the same time increasing yields.

> More details on the Climate Solutions Platform

Optimising and reducing the group's needs for resources and fossil energy with Terrial and Adonial

Avril draws on the expertise of two of its subsidiaries in the recycling of by-products, production rejects from the food industry, residues and organic waste in order to optimise and reduce its needs for resources and fossil energy.

Each year, Adonial recycles nearly 70,000 tonnes of by-products and production rejects from the agrifood industry for animal nutrition, depending on their nutritional value, physical appearance and quantity, and the conditions for their sorting and collection. A truly “ universal ” recycling company, Adonial uses all types of products to give a second life to materials which might otherwise have been destroyed.

Anual valorisation of by-products and production rejects - 70,000 tonnes

Terrial recycles 55,000 tonnes each year of by-products and organic waste from agriculture and the agrifood industry, as well as livestock waste, in order to manufacture organic fertilisers in the form of compost or granules. Its know-how resides notably in its knowledge and characterisation of materials in order to formulate fertilisers that can precisely meet plant needs. Using such by-products and waste, Terrial also develops products that can improve the trace element nutrition of plants and give new impetus to microbial life in soils.

Anual valorisation of by-products and organic waste - 55,000 tonnes

Adonial and Terrial work under the logic of a circular economy, as the by-products and waste thus recycled can nourish the agricultural products that the Group then exploits for vegetable oils (human foods, renewable energy and chemistry) and vegetable proteins (livestock feeds).

> More details on the Climate Solutions Platform

The ecodesign of packaging at Lesieur

By increasing the amount of recycled PET (polyethylene terephtalate) in its packaging systems, reducing their weight or innovating with the design of an “ anti-waste ” stopper, Lesieur, an Avril Group brand, is banking on ecodesign to reduce the environmental impacts of its products and, more specifically, the greenhouse gas emissions linked to packaging.

For this purpose, teams at Lesieur have focused on reducing the weight of packaging systems, developing optimised formats and using more economical materials, thus enabling savings in emissions of around 3800 TEC CO2/year.

In major retail outlets, the incorporation of recycled PET (RPET) now concerns 65% of Lesieur branded bottles (Isio 1L, Isio 2L, Cœur de Tournesol 1L, Lesieur Arachide 1L) and this is gradually spreading to include the Fleur de Colza 1L bottle, which is now made of 100% recycled PET. Each year, this practice prevents the emission of 1100 tonnes equivalent CO2.

Composition of a rape flower bottle 1L - 100% PET Recycled

In the out-of-home dining sector, Lesieur has redesigned the 5L rectangular containers that were traditionally made of high-density polythethylene (HDPE), and now suppliers its customers with cylindrical PET containers that weigh half as much. This improvement has enabled a reduction in CO2 emissions by the sector of around 1800 tonnes equivalent CO2 per year, as a result of three changes:

  • Materials

    The use of PET instead of HDPE halves the weight of the containers, which corresponds to a saving in emissions of around 322 TEQ CO2/year.

  • Shape

    The cylindrical (rather than rectangular) shape optimises the palletisation of products in lorries, which corresponds to an emissions saving of around 122 TEQ CO2/year.

  • Transport

    The new shapes and materials enable a better distribution of the production of packaging systems, nearer the customers' warehouses, which enables emissions savings of around 1410 TEQ CO2/year.

> More details on the Climate Solutions Platform