Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Waldenbuch, Swabia, is a family business in transition to the 4th generation. Founded in 1912, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG now employs around 1,900 people and achieved a turnover of 538 million euros in 2022. The main product, Ritter Sport chocolate, is known to 99% of consumers in Germany and is sold in over 100 countries. For decades, the company has been a pioneer in the field of sustainability, from the first cocoa programme for sustainable cocoa cultivation in Nicaragua in 1990, to EMAS participation in 1996, to its own cocoa plantation since 2012 and 100% certified sustainable cocoa sourcing since 2018. This conviction and commitment are also reflected in the award of the Founder’s Prize for Lifetime Achievement to Alfred Ritter in 2019. The company does not stand still and continues to develop its business processes sustainably.
“The claim to operate in harmony with people and nature is firmly anchored in our corporate philosophy. As a family business, we think in terms of generations and focus our work on leaving a worthwhile environment for them to live in. We act out of conviction and see it as our obligation to take responsibility within our supply chain and also set ourselves clear sustainability goals for this.”
Like many other companies in the food industry, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is confronted with increasing demands in the area of sustainability: More and more end consumers are interested in who is behind their favourite product and what the company is doing in the area of sustainability.
At the same time, agriculture and the food sector account for a good 10% of total emissions in the EU. In addition to external factors, ambitious sustainability goals are part of the corporate DNA of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and have long been part of its self-image.
The SBT Initiative is a coalition of the CDP, UNGC, WRI and WWF. DFGE is the first official Science Based Targets partner of the CDP in the DACH region and is in intensive exchange with these organisations. There are various approaches for calculating Science Based Targets (contraction, compression, convergence). They all take into account forecasts of the company’s business development and the development of the corresponding industry.
The aim of the joint project of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and DFGE was to create a resilient and realistic calculation of a Science Based Target (SBT) and to show a future path to reduce emissions in line with the global 1.5° degree target.
DFGE advised Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG regarding the applicable SBT methods & processes & model calculations. Based on the Corporate Carbon Footprint from 2021, DFGE developed SBT-compliant target corridor calculations for the company. The final targets were jointly agreed and subsequently submitted by DFGE to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG would like to meet the 1.5°C target by 2030. To do this, the company has committed to reducing its Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 42% by 2030 compared to 2021, and Scope 3 emissions also by 42% over the same period. The verification process by SBTi was closely supported by DFGE in terms of expertise and time, which ensured a smooth validation. “It is simply a great pleasure to support companies that are technically very competent, highly ambitious and have an immense reputation in the field of sustainability”, stated Thomas Classen, Teamlead Accounting at DFGE.
The target validation process is now complete and the SBT targets of Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG have been validated.
Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG has set itself verified, official and science-based targets (SBTs) for reducing its emissions. The degree of achievement of these targets is communicated annually. Science Based Targets (SBTs) are part of the company’s strategic orientation towards more climate protection and more sustainability. In cooperation with DFGE, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is also prepared for the relevant regulations of the coming years, such as the CSRD – and one step ahead of many competitors.
“We look back on a very constructive and successful cooperation with DFGE. Now we are proud to have been successfully validated by SBTi and are already working intensively on various decarbonisation projects and also supporting our partners as well as suppliers to join this path.”