A FAMILY-RUN business based in Andover that supplies flavours and flavour ingredients to the food and beverage industry, has published their first Sustainability Report.

Lionel Hitchen held an event on Tuesday (May 17), to share its findings with the Andover community.

Eva Agnew, CEO, said: “Sustainability has been on our minds for many years, but this is the first time that we are reporting on our activities and commitments. It is a subject that we have been growing increasingly passionate about and it is now at the forefront of everything we do, our values and our decisions.

"We are a family-owned business, and we want to ensure we will be securing a sustainable business for all future generations of the Hitchen family."

The report has been written in conjunction with the Southampton Business School (SBS), who are training their BSc and MSc Accounting and Finance students on how to produce sustainability reports. The training was facilitated by Dr Lakshi Doorgakunt, Dr Jatin Pancholi and Dr Renata Konadu of University of Southampton Business School, and supported by our Technical Director, Helen McNair,

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability standards were adopted to prepare the report, a framework which is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). These standards enable any organisation to report in a comparable and credible way, thereby increasing transparency on their contribution to sustainable development.

On May 17, Dr Renata Konadu and the project's principal investigator, Professor Ven Tauringana, met Helen McNair and Fran Padgham, marketing manager at Lionel Hitchen’s offices in Andover, where they were presented with copies of the report to take back and show their students.

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According to Helen McNair, the company has found this an invaluable project, demonstrating how Lionel Hitchen can drive the company’s sustainability and communicate this to stakeholders both internally and externally.

Helen added: “The support from the team at the University of Southampton has been crucial in creating this report through a very structured process; we acted as the ‘guinea pigs’ for the process which the students will use to support other small-medium enterprises in the region.

Prof Ven Tauringana said: “Southampton Business School’s mission is to change business and society for the better. Working collaboratively with Renata, Helen and Fran to prepare the first sustainability report for Lionel Hitchen demonstrated what our Business School is about.

"Using the internationally recognised standards will help us drive continuous improvement around sustainability where we can have real impact.

"This report demonstrates to all our stakeholders we are serious about sustainability and give us an opportunity to talk about all the great work that we have been doing around this subject.”

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