Yet another year has passed. Yet another year with challenges and exciting developments. 2021 was not an easy year. COVID has continued to turn our work and our lives upside down, but nevertheless, we have managed to do our work and deliver our mission.
2021 was a year of exciting development. 72 new colleagues and 763 new certificate holders from all over the world joined us - a warm welcome to all! We now have 303 staff members and have plans for employing 50 more in the coming months.
Our Sustainability Framework received recognition from the major players, such as Maersk, Tetra Pak and Proctor & Gamble. We also issued the first rubber certificate based on the Sustainability Framework to Kelani Valley Plantations in Sri Lanka. The Sustainability Framework, recently published in a new improved version, will be a core tool defining our work across many geographies and sectors in the coming years. I have big expectations.
Also in 2021, we issued the first-ever certificate under the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) - a major milestone in our work focusing on creating impact commodities. We can already feel significant traction in the market, with Lidl, a leading supermarket chain, spearheading the promotion of SRP in Europe.
And these are far from the only positive landmarks.
Our Ecosystem Restoration initiative took off with the verification of projects in many countries. Our heavily expanded climate team presented a new version of the carbon footprint management standard while mapping out new climate-related services. Last, but certainly not least, we received an official license to operate as a certifier in China – needless to say, a strategic market for us.
On a personal note, 2021 was also my 20th anniversary as a director of our organisation. Back in 2001, we were just a handful of staff in a small office in Denmark. We had been through a challenging time with staff leaving. At the time, none of us could imagine that in 20 years, we would have grown to an organisation with more than 300 staff members, creating impact together with partners, certificate holders and stakeholders in more than 100 countries.
Yet, I believe, we are still just at the beginning of what we can achieve together.
Governments and the private sector have never had so much focus on the area where we have our core competences. The focus on sustainability, climate and forest impact commodities has never been stronger. This is what we do. We have the knowledge, experience and capacity to help turn high-level commitments into changes on the ground.
It would be foolish of me to try to predict where we will be in 20 years from now. I have no doubt, however, that we are on the right track and that working together we can grow and create even more positive impacts for the benefit of people, nature and the climate. Let’s do it!
Wishing you all the best for 2022 and many more good years to come!
– Peter Feilberg
Preferred by Nature’s