Snacking and confectionery major Mondelez International has set up a sustainability platform based around “impact investing”.

The Cadbury chocolate and Oreo snacks owner, headquartered in Chicago, said the Sustainable Futures programme will “co-invest in projects addressing climate change, as well as making seed investments into social ventures that aim to improve livelihoods and build healthy communities”. 

A statement issued by Mondelez today (18 February) continued: “Through the platform, Mondelez International intends to invest in projects that protect forests, reduce carbon emissions or increase resilience in landscapes from which it sources raw materials.”

Chairman and CEO Dirk Van de Put said: “We don’t have all the answers, but we do know that alone, we can never achieve significant progress in the fight against systemic issues like climate change. Sustainable Futures is our first foray into impact investing and gives us the opportunity to work with others in supporting environmental and social projects that can help drive meaningful, long-term change.”

Mondelez also announced another initiative earlier this month – its CoLab accelerator programme – centred on start-ups in the “well-being snacks” category. CoLab will be housed within the company’s SnackFutures innovation and venture arm, established in 2018.

The company said it had already identified a couple of projects to pursue. An unnamed NGO in India which plans to set up a “women-owned social enterprise to up-cycle multi-layered plastic packaging into board for multiple uses”.

And a project with not-for-profit organisation INMED Aquaponics Social Enterprise (ASE) in South Africa, to support “agro-entrepreneurs” in climate-smart food production.

INMED is focused on ending poverty among children and is headquartered in Sterling in the US state of Vancouver, with operations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Its initiatives are centred on sustainable agriculture, particularly in aquaponics.

Christine Montenegro McGrath, vice president and chief of global impact and sustainability at Mondelez, added: “It’s only by testing and learning new approaches, and by seeking new forms of partnership with NGOs, governments and social entrepreneurs, that we can unleash the creativity we need to tackle some of the world’s most challenging issues.”