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HelloFresh Sustainability Report 2021

For many, 2021 was a year of hope, as COVID-19 vaccine programs rolled out around the world and the containment measures gradually lifted. Businesses and communities took tentative steps back to more familiar ways of working and living, albeit with some elements of the pandemic remaining — increased flexibility for remote work is a prime example.

Demand for HelloFresh meal kits continued to surge in 2021. By the end of the year, we had more than seven million active customers worldwide and we had introduced the HelloFresh concept to three new markets: Italy, Japan and Norway. Our workforce more than tripled over the past two years and we now employ over 20,000people. It is thanks to the dedication of our employees and their willingness to embrace change that we have been able to navigate this period of growth so successfully. I am incredibly proud of everyone’s efforts during this past year.

As the company expands, we see an even greater responsibility, as the world’s largest integrated food solution group, to do more to help those facing food insecurity – an issue amplified by the pandemic. In 2021, we broadened our existing community programs while simultaneously establishing new initiatives to tackle food insecurity. In total, we donated ten thousand tonnes of food to charities and food banks.

As the year progressed, the world’s attention increasingly focused on the pressing issue of climate change. Severe weather events ncreased in number and force,1 and climate action dominated news headlines. World leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26 to seek unity in setting goals that would reduce the environmental factors driving global warming. The call for businesses to establish or strengthen climate action plans was stronger than ever.

Back in 2020, we set two ambitious environmental goals to achieve by the end of 2022: lower our production facilities’ carbon emissions by 60% and reduce the amount of food waste sent to land fill from our facilities by 50%, both per euro of revenue from a 2019 baseline. Over the past year, we made solid progress on reducing the carbon emissions from our facilities, reducing them by 48% compared to the 2019 baseline. 51% of the energy we consume now comes from renewable sources, compared to just 7% in 2019.

Our work on reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill was more challenging due to COVID-19 disruptions, however the strong measures we had in place helped us avoid any significant pandemic-related surges. Our efforts around both goals – lowering emissions and reducing food waste – will accelerate in the coming year through the various measures outlined in this report.

We also recognize that we must look beyond our operations towards environmental factors throughout our value chain if we are to help protect our planet for future generations. We took an important step in 2021 by conducting an in-depth life cycle assessment to develop a deeper understanding of where impactful factors lie within our value chain and their significance to our overall environmental footprint. Insights gained from the assessment are highlighted throughout this report. Averages that we extrapolated from the life cycle assessment data showed that meals created with HelloFresh generate 25% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to those bought in supermarkets, and 5.5% fewer GHGs compared with restaurant deliveries. This life cycle assessment paves the way for a much more data-driven approach across our environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects. As part of this approach, we plan to formally initiate our commitment to setting science-based emissions reductions targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2022.

2021 was also a milestone year for us as we marked our ten-year anniversary. We’ve come a long way since we packed our first meal kits in Germany in 2011, and as we continue our journey, developing more initiatives that benefit our people and planet, we remain as committed as ever to our mission, to change the way people eat – forever. I’m looking forward to the plans we have for 2022, specifically in supporting and empowering our customers to make more conscious meal choices for their health and for the planet.

I invite you to take a look through this report to gain more insights into our actions and ambitions across our three sustainability focus areas: our planet, our people and our governance.


Sarah Fencott

Sustainability Writer | Editor @ The Write Impact


The Netherlands


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