Food & Beverage
Nongshim America, Inc.
12155 Sixth Street
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Tel: (909) 484-1888
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
Report created by Natalie Sherman
Nongshim is a Korean food and snack distributor with a worldwide presence. Founded in 1965, Nongshim is best known for their instant noodle products. Nongshim accounts for 70% of instant noodle production in South Korea and is the third largest packaged food producer in the country.
Company Sustainability Activity
In 2017, Nongshim established their Social Service Corps (SSC) which encourages employees to participate in charity work. The SSC participates in sustainable activities by donating food to those in need in South Korea.Nongshim also makes an effort to use sustainable palm oil, such as palm oil approved by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Palm oil is generally considered to be an unsustainable product because of its contribution to deforestation and the destruction of rainforest ecosystems.
- SSC (Social Service Corps) is a Nongshim initiative that aims to give back to their communities. The efforts are primarily focused in South Korea, Nongshim’s main country of operation. Nongshim employees help out at potato farms with Nongshim contracts. Nongshim also hosts Children’s Day activities including programs for families.
- Nongshim is attempting to reduce their GHG emissions.
- Nongshim makes charity work and philanthropy part of their company culture and encourages employees to engage in community work.
- Energy saving and reduction of environmental pollution.
- Seven of Nongshim’s Social Service Corps engage in social contribution based on their annual activity plan and provide social services as well as contributing products to charity facilities or organizations; Head Office SSC, Anyang Plant SSC, Anseong Plant SSC, Ansan Plant SSC, Gumi Plant SSC, Busan SSC and Noksan SSC.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN SDGs Compliance
- Nongshims’s SSC programs contribute to the communities out of which Nongshim operates. Nongshim employees are encouraged to participate in charity work that supports those most in need in their communities.
- Nongshim is attempting to lower their overall emissions. They are focusing primarily on pollution caused by the production and transportation of their products and their energy consumption overall. They are also making an effort to broadly be more eco-friendly with practices such as recycling.
Nongshim has made some effort, but nothing large that would improve their sustainability by any sizable measure or greatly reduce their emissions. Nongshim has not taken the kind of large-scale action that would be required to become a highly sustainable company.
It doesn’t appear as though Nongshim will take any drastic action to improve their sustainability, especially given the absence of a Sustainability Officer on their executive board. Nongshim’s business also inherently has some unsustainable practices because of their heavy use of packaging and the fact that palm oil is a major ingredient in many of their products.
They also fail to directly mention any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are also no longer a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices despite having been included in the past. This shows that Nongshim is not as committed to sustainability or acting on improving their sustainability at a pace that reflects the urgency of climate change and environmental degradation.
Overall, Nongshim seems uncommitted to sustainability. In order to make a firmer commitment to sustainability and align their efforts with other industry leaders, Nongshim must state clear objectives to reduce emissions, use sustainable ingredients, and use sustainable packaging.
For these reasons, Nongshim has been rated a D.
Analyst Outlook: Neutral
Nongshim has only made a meager attempt at sustainability. Their E3 plan is not as clear of an action plan as a truly sustainable multinational corporation should have. Nongshim could benefit from stating clear objectives to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and provide recycling and waste management strategies with more accuracy.
Nongshim also specializes in snack products, many of which utilize single-use plastics, notably instant noodle packaging. They have not shown any effort to reduce or change their packaging despite pushes to curb plastic use by other similar companies.
Nongshim is making an effort to use sustainable palm oil which remains a hotly debated topic. It has been argued that palm oil cannot be harvested sustainably, and is often considered as a marketing strategy.
- Unsustainable packaging
- Major consumer of palm oil
- Actively trying to use sustainable palm oil
- No large-scale sustainability efforts