PARIS, Dec. 01, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mondelēz International today committed to lead private sector action as part of Côte d'Ivoire's national program to combat deforestation. The commitment was made at the COP21 climate talks in Paris and will contribute to the company's recently announced sustainability goals for 2020. The goal includes an ambitious end-to-end approach to reduce its carbon footprint through actions to reduce deforestation in its agricultural supply chain as well as to cut carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing by an absolute 15 percent, in line with science-based targets.
As the world's largest chocolate company, Mondelēz International has seized the opportunity to lead transformative change in the cocoa supply chain with Cocoa Life, a $400 million investment to empower 200,000 smallholder farmers and create thriving cocoa communities in Côte d'Ivoire and five other cocoa origins. Through Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International will participate in Côte d'Ivoire's national REDD+ program to support the country's bold ambition to reach zero-net deforestation in cocoa.
"Partnering with the Ivorian government, with the support of the World Bank, allows Mondelēz International to have a greater impact and to protect forest areas more effectively than any one actor could on its own," said Hubert Weber, Executive Vice President and President Mondelēz Europe, at the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) High-Level Event for Forests. "And I call for the private sector to step up and to embrace the opportunity to work with governments in forested countries to produce raw materials in a way that tackles rural poverty while reducing emissions from deforestation."
With Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International will be working with 26,000 smallholder Ivorian cocoa farmers by 2016. Building on the program's actions to increase farmers' productivity, so they can increase their incomes without expanding into the forest, Cocoa Life will work with specialized NGOs to support forest mapping and monitoring. These actions will initially focus in areas of eastern and central Côte d'Ivoire and will contribute to the national United Nations sponsored REDD+ program, with financial support from the World Bank Forest Investment Program.
In addition to its work in Côte d'Ivoire, Mondelēz International is also supporting national forest-related emission reduction programs in Ghana, where Cocoa Life is implementing its environmental strategy alongside the United Nations Development Program. The company is a signatory of the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests and has made a long-term commitment to only buy palm oil whose production doesn't lead to deforestation, fire or loss of peat land.
These commitments are a part of Mondelēz International's Call for Well-being, a call to action focused on four areas that are critical to the well-being of the world and where the company can make the greatest impact: sustainability, mindful snacking, communities, and safety.
About Cocoa Life
Cocoa Life aims to reach more than 200,000 farmers across six countries, benefiting more than a million people. Mondelez International's ultimate goal is to sustainably source all the company's cocoa supply, mainly via Cocoa Life. By working in partnership with farmers, NGOs, suppliers and government institutions, Cocoa Life answers Mondelēz International's Call For Well-being, which urges employees, suppliers and community partners to join together to develop new approaches that can have a positive impact on the planet and its people. The Call For Well-being focuses on four key areas where the company can make the greatest impact: mindful snacking, sustainability, community and safety. Follow our progress at www.cocoalife.org/progress.
About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is a global snacking powerhouse, with pro forma 2014 revenue of more than $30 billion. Creating delicious moments of joy in 165 countries, Mondelēz International is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Oreo, LU and Nabisco biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; Trident gum and Tang powdered beverages. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor's 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.