Material topics
  • Engaging with affected communities
  • Employment and labor relations in the supply chain
  • Employee health, safety and wellbeing in the supply chain
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in the supply chain

Responsible sourcing

Social, economic and environmental factors inform our approach to responsible sourcing. This embraces direct and indirect suppliers. As a chocolate company we prioritize the responsible sourcing of cocoa and other raw and packaging materials.

We aim for 80% of our sourced volumes of raw and packaging materials bearing significant sustainability risks to be covered by a responsible sourcing program by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

Our responsible sourcing approach considers social and environmental aspects and applies to both direct and indirect sourcing. We set out our expectations in our Supplier Code of Conduct, which must be acknowledged and signed by our suppliers at the start of our collaboration. As a chocolate company, we prioritize the responsible sourcing of our raw and packaging materials. Our twelve priority materials are: cocoa, Turkish hazelnuts, palm oil, raw sugar (cane and beet), vanilla, soy lecithin, eggs (own production), pulp- and paper-based packaging, almonds, dairy, coconut oil, and coffee.

Supplier Code of Conduct

Our Supplier Code of Conduct (Supplier Code) requires our partners throughout the supply chain to adhere to our social, environmental, ethical, legal and business integrity standards. It sets out what we expect of suppliers with regard to compliance with laws and regulations, corruption and bribery, social and working conditions, and protection of the environment. The Supplier Code reinforces our commitment to respect human rights, as outlined in our Human Rights Policy, and incorporates our Speak Up Line, which encourages suppliers to confidentially report any concerns they may have about unlawful activities at our sites or violations of the Supplier Code, without fear of retaliation.

The Supplier Code requires suppliers to conduct regular internal assessments to ensure their compliance with the Code, agree to participate in any assessments conducted by or on behalf of Lindt & Sprüngli, and accept unannounced inspections of their facilities to verify compliance. In 2023, the company continued the process to have new and existing suppliers sign the updated 2022 version of the Supplier Code.

Supplier assessments

We use the EcoVadis framework to evaluate the sustainability performance of prioritized suppliers of direct and indirect goods and services of all our subsidiaries. In 2023, we expanded the scale of our assessment from 581 to 629 scored suppliers, which represents 56.2% of our total procurement expenditure across our Group. Lindt und Sprüngli primarily focuses on priority suppliers based on high spend that have not undergone the assessment process yet. Then, our focus is on ensuring that suppliers with expiring scores run the assessment again to renew their score. The assessment is based on 21 criteria and covers four topics: environment, labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. 

EcoVadis takes into account material industry issues, presence in risk countries, and the size and geographical span of the supplier. Furthermore, the assessment considers international sustainability standards such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the ILO conventions, the GRI Standards, the ISO 26000 standard, the Ceres Roadmap, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.1

In 2023, our suppliers achieved an average score of 56 out of 100, an increase of 1 point compared to 2022. Expenditure weighted, the average score was 61.2. For those companies rating lower than 45, we will continue to annually request corrective actions and reassessments. Every participating supplier, regardless of their score, receives an individual corrective action plan, which outlines expectations on each criterion, and training support via the EcoVadis Academy.

Supplier audits and remediation

We closely monitor and strive to improve responsible practices at supplier sites through our Supplier Sustainable Practice (SSP) Program, our supplier site audit and remediation program. Based on prioritization derived from a risk assessment, this program focuses on packaging suppliers in Asia, with an emphasis on social and environmental aspects at production sites. Currently around 10% of our packaging expenditure is linked to suppliers from Asia, especially for decorative materials, as well as for supplies for our Asian subsidiaries.

Depending on their risk profile, in particular the nature of their business operations, we conduct on-site assessments of those significant suppliers. For new tier-2 contractors (sub-suppliers that do not have a direct business relationship with Lindt & Sprüngli), we conduct quick-check assessments which focus on compliance. Should suppliers have a low rating in their SSP audits, we require them to be audited on a more frequent basis and to show improvements. Where feasible and reasonable, we reduce the volume we purchase from them, or replace them if necessary. Suppliers in the SSP that violate zero-tolerance issues, or repeatedly fail to improve, are added to Lindt & Sprüngli’s Group-wide block list.

SSP Program

Four steps of the Lindt & Sprüngli Supplier Sustainable Practice (SSP) Program (graphic)
In 2023, 27 suppliers were assessed and nine of them received a positive overall rating. For the remaining suppliers, detailed action plans were agreed upon, which are reviewed frequently both off- and on-site. As a result of our continuous effort to deploy our on-site audit program, most of our packaging suppliers in Asia have been assessed over the years. 97.5% of our procurement expenditure for packaging material from Asian factories is covered by the Supplier Sustainable Practice (SSP) Program. With assessments being valid for up to three years, physical audits decreased slightly in 2023 from 2022.

Responsible sourcing approaches for priority raw materials

Our Responsible Sourcing Roadmap 2025 covers the twelve priority materials we want to source or start sourcing responsibly by 2025. The materials were defined based on a comprehensive raw and packaging materials risk assessment integrating criteria including environmental, social, and supply chain risks and impacts, as well as sourced volumes and stakeholder expectations. It considered the unique risks and impacts of individual raw materials, as well as the varying risk levels according to geographical origin.

We have introduced responsible sourcing standards for eight of our twelve priority materials and made significant progress against many, such as 100% of palm oil sourced as RSPO certified. In 2020, we also reached our milestone target of sourcing 100% of our cocoa beans through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program or other sustainability programs. We will define a responsible sourcing approach for the remaining materials, allowing us to gradually reach our overall responsible sourcing goal by 2025. We may not source 100% of each of the twelve materials through sustainability programs by 2025, but responsible sourcing approaches will be defined for all twelve materials and, overall, 80% of our sourced volume bearing significant sustainability risks will be covered by a responsible sourcing program.

Responsible Sourcing Roadmap 2025

Responsible Sourcing Roadmap 2025 – Priority raw materials (graphic)
*Excluding Russell Stover

While sustainability programs and third-party sustainability certifications represent enhanced approaches compared to conventional material sourcing, we recognize that further efforts are needed from various stakeholders to resolve the underlying causes of the many social and environmental topics of potential concern.


We aim to source 100% of cocoa products – beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass – through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program or other sustainability programs by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

Basket of cocoa pods, one being held in a black persons hand (Photo)

Cocoa is our most important raw material, and we are committed to sourcing it responsibly. We purchase cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and uniquely for Russell Stover, chocolate mass. Through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, we aim to create decent and resilient livelihoods for cocoa farmers and their families and to encourage more sustainable farming practices.

Taking into account all cocoa products, we sourced 159,914 metric tons cocoa bean equivalents2 in 2023. In total, 72.3% of cocoa bean equivalents were sourced through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program or other sustainability programs (up from 67.2% in 2022) including: 100% of cocoa beans, 50.2% of cocoa butter (up from 44.4% in 2022) and 31.3% of cocoa powder (up from 5.3% in 2022). By year-end we had not yet sourced chocolate mass through any sustainability programs.

We do remain on track to achieve our target to source all cocoa products (beans, butter, powder, and chocolate mass) through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program or other sustainability programs by 2025. Chocolate mass and powder will be sourced with a minimum of Rainforest Alliance “mass balance” certification, as will all butter not covered by the Farming Program.

Cocoa sourced through sustainability programs

Percentage of cocoa beans equivalent* sourced through the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program or other sustainability programs, verified or certified by a third party

Traceability and verification of cocoa (bar chart)
* Previous years’ data rounded to whole numbers


We aim to source 100% of Turkish hazelnuts through sustainability programs by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

Hazlenuts being covered in chocolate, staged shot (Photo)

Hazelnuts3 are a key raw material for Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate products and we source them primarily from Italy and Türkiye. The supply chain in the Turkish Black Sea region, where approximately 70% of the world’s hazelnut harvest originates, has high risks related to labor conditions such as the health and safety of farm workers, child labor, and seasonal workers’ working and accommodation conditions. We collaborate closely with our Turkish suppliers to implement programs to improve the economic, agricultural, social, and environmental sustainability of hazelnut sourcing. We have long-term relationships with selected suppliers and a stable farmer base.

As of harvest season 2023, we further raised our standards and changed our requirements for Turkish hazelnut sourcing. We are planning to fully switch to Rainforest Alliance certified Turkish hazelnuts through segregated supply chains. In 2023, 77.0% of our Turkish hazelnuts were sourced through sustainability programs while 22.9% were Rainforest Alliance certified on Segregation level. All hazelnuts we source through our Turkish suppliers’ sustainability programs are physically segregated from conventional supply.

Our hazelnut sustainability programs comprise traceability, training, standards for working conditions, community development, and monitoring. Annual training for farmers and their workers covers good agricultural and social practices, and practical training in model gardens. Seasonal workers attend training in their home villages with a focus on workers’ rights and occupational health and safety. Our suppliers cooperate with orchard owners to formalize workers’ contractual relationships, and we invest in healthcare services and enhancing workers’ accommodation in order to improve living conditions in the farming communities. To address child labor in the seasonal workforce, we support investments in Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) and preventive measures such as making summer schools available to seasonal workers’ children. For more information, see the Child labor section in the Respecting human rights chapter.

In our Turkish hazelnut supply chain, farmers are internally monitored by our suppliers. External verification includes tracking program effectiveness and identifying opportunities for potential improvement. Our three main suppliers are members of the Fair Labor Association and in 2023 we continued to work closely with our Turkish hazelnut suppliers to support them in expanding their sustainability programs. The sustainability programs of our suppliers cover different pillars considered most relevant to the Turkish hazelnut specifics they encompass:

  • Engagement with communities on social issues (e.g., reducing the risk of child labor, summer schools for children of seasonal workers, training sessions for women on their rights and gender equality, labor contractors' certification, enhancement of working and living conditions, occupational health and safety training sessions)
  • Engagement of farmers on environmental topics (e.g., soil analysis, use of chemicals, waste management and recycling)
  • Engagement of farmers on best practices to increase their revenues (e.g., model farming and farmer training sessions on Good Agricultural Practices, certification and traceability, yield improvement best practices, integrated pest management)

Hazelnuts sourced through sustainability programs

99.9% of Turkish hazelnuts are sourced through sustainability programs

Sustainable hazelnuts (bar chart)

Palm oil

We aim to source 100% of palm oil/palm kernel oil RSPO certified.


Status 2023: Commitment maintained – first achieved in 2015

Palm oil, palm kernel oil, and their fractions are used in limited amounts in certain fillings of our chocolate. Overall, we buy less than 0.01% of the global palm oil harvest. These products are important for their melting properties and for providing a neutral flavor. Their production under uncontrolled conditions may however be associated with environmental and social sustainability issues, including deforestation and conversion of peatlands, biodiversity loss, exploitation of workers, and adverse effects on local communities and indigenous peoples.

We only purchase palm oil certified according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) sustainability standard, and always declare palm oil use on our product packaging. The RSPO criteria stipulate that effective implementation of its Principles and Criteria is designed to lead to safe and decent work for all community members. That includes the absence of forced labor, protection of children, freedom of association, non-discrimination, and working hours in line with ILO conventions, respect for land and use rights, and ecosystem protection. The standards are in line with international and local ones, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UNGPs, and ILO Conventions on Forced Labor. They incorporate public participation of affected communities.

Since 2015, Lindt & Sprüngli has sourced 100% of its palm oil, palm kernel oil, and their fractions with RSPO certification. All of our products produced in Europe follow the “segregation” traceability model (see Traceability models). Our US subsidiaries use a mix of “segregated” and “mass balance” palm oil, palm kernel oil, and their fractions, but keep them separate in bookkeeping. Lindt & Sprüngli strives to achieve full physical traceability in its palm oil supply chain, and we encourage our commercial partners to contribute to this goal. For detailed information, please see our latest Annual Communication of Progress to the RSPO.

Soy lecithin

We aim to source 100% of soy lecithin (excluding Russell Stover) ProTerra certified.


Status 2023: Falling behind

We use soy lecithin to create the desired consistency of our chocolate. Soy cultivation is associated with different negative environmental and social impacts, in particular deforestation. For soy we rely on the ProTerra standard. This is a widely recognized and trustworthy standard in the food industry based on the Basel Criteria for Responsible Soy Production. It integrates human rights issues, including workplace safety and equal opportunities, with an emphasis on child and forced labor prevention, as well as land-use conversion and forest conservation, responsible labor policies, and traceability. It also certifies non-GMO soy. In 2023, 96.7% of our soy lecithin was sourced ProTerra certified. The remaining 3.3% were purchased by one of our co-manufacturers in the US as a contingency measure to a supply disruption risk. We have defined an action plan to ensure 100% of our soy lecithin is sourced ProTerra certified again in 2024. 


We aim to source 100% of vanilla Rainforest Alliance certified by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

Vanilla is a high-value ingredient in Lindt & Sprüngli products. Producers of vanilla face severe challenges including food insecurity, poverty, and vulnerable livelihoods. Additionally, conventional vanilla production can contribute to environmental degradation and deforestation. Lindt & Sprüngli aims to address the key social and ecological sustainability challenges in the vanilla supply chain by requiring all pure vanilla (vanillin from vanilla pods) used in our products, to be Rainforest Alliance certified on Segregated level by 2025. We defined these new sourcing requirements for vanilla in 2022. In 2023, 22.6% of our vanilla products sourced were Rainforest Alliance certified.

Raw sugar (cane and beet)

Sugar is a key ingredient in chocolate, used to offset the bitterness of the cocoa beans while bringing out their natural flavor. It can however threaten ecosystems and communities if it is produced unsustainably and irresponsibly. We have defined individual responsible sourcing standards for raw cane sugar and for raw beet sugar to help drive the adoption of sustainable practices across the sector.

Cane sugar

We aim to source 100% of pure cane sugar Bonsucro certified by 2025.


Status 2023: On track (includes Bonsucro certified volumes, volumes compensated through Bonsucro credits, and volume certification schemes benchmarked equivalent to FSA silver level or comprehensively aligned to the Bonsucro Production Standard)

We source Bonsucro certified raw cane sugar in operating regions where it is available. Bonsucro is the leading global sustainability platform and standard for sugarcane. Bonsucro helps farmers produce crops in a more environmentally responsible way, adapt to climate change, increase their productivity, and reduce costs. This approach helps Lindt & Sprüngli enhance the social, environmental, and economic impact of its cane sugar sourcing.

Due to availability constraints of segregated Bonsucro certified cane sugar in certain regions, our traceability expectation is currently “mass balance” level for cane sugar. For US-produced cane sugar, where no Bonsucro certification is available, volumes will be covered by the Bonsucro credit system until the first certified suppliers are available.

Beet sugar

We aim to source 100% of pure beet sugar with a supplier verification which meets FSA silver level by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

The Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform), can be applied to any crop, anywhere in the world, with any farming system. It enables food and drink businesses to assess, improve, and validate on-farm sustainability in their supply chains. Lindt & Sprüngli expects its suppliers to contribute to a traceable, more sustainable beet sugar supply chain by demonstrating verification against the FSA. All pure beet sugar supplied to Lindt & Sprüngli will have to achieve at least silver level performance or benchmarked equivalent by FSA, by 2025. In 2023, we were able to confirm that 88.5% of our beet sugar supply was compliant with this requirement.


We aim to source 100% of eggs used in our own production (excluding Russell Stover) cage free.


Status 2023: Commitment maintained – first achieved in 2020, 72.7% including Russell Stover

We use eggs in our own production sites in small quantities in just a few of our products. Animal welfare is important to Lindt & Sprüngli and our goal is to not source any eggs from caged hens. As a supply of required processed egg products from cage-free sources at scale is secured, we aim to complete the changeover for Russell Stover.

Pulp- and paper-based packaging

We aim for 100% of our pulp- and paper-based packaging containing wood fiber to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) by 2025.


Status 2023: On track

We recognize the global threats to forest ecosystems generated by unsustainable forest management and climate change, and the negative consequences they may have for biodiversity and communities. Lindt & Sprüngli supports legal, environmentally responsible, socially fair, and economically viable management of the world’s forests by sourcing third-party-certified pulp- and paper-based packaging.

Lindt & Sprüngli’s priorities and definition of sustainable forest management and sustainable paper supply chains closely align with those of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)4 and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)5. We therefore require wood-based pulp and paper-based packaging to be certified by the FSC, or the PEFC or any of its endorsed national members, by 2025. These requirements apply to paper and cardboard packaging products containing wood fiber, including paper, corrugated board, folding box cardboard, and transportation and display units. We defined these requirements in 2022. In 2023, 55.6% of this pulp- and paper-based packaging was FSC- or PEFC-certified.

Path forward on responsible sourcing

To achieve our responsible sourcing targets by 2025, we plan to do the following:

  • Further roll out the EcoVadis assessment as our supplier management assessment tool
  • Continuously update our risk management approach to ensure the SSP program is targeted at critical supplier groups
  • Develop responsible sourcing approaches for dairy, coconut oil, coffee, and almonds as the remaining raw materials on our Responsible Sourcing Roadmap
  • Roll out the responsible sourcing approach for chocolate mass and continue to increase the share of responsibly sourced butter and powder to achieve the 2025 cocoa target
  • Continue to evaluate and evolve responsible sourcing approaches for our priority materials, especially regarding cross-cutting topics such as human rights, no deforestation, and carbon emissions considering new and upcoming regulation

1 5 Please find more information on the EcoVadis rating methodology and principles on the EcoVadis website.

2 6 Cocoa bean equivalent is calculated using the conversion factors of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO): cocoa butter to beans: 1.33; cocoa powder to beans: 1.18; cocoa liquor to beans: 1.25. The number excludes an immaterial volume of ingredients which contain cocoa products combined with other materials.

3 7 Excludes ingredients which contain hazelnuts combined with other materials; scope expanded from unprocessed hazelnuts to include both processed and unprocessed hazelnuts (total).

4 8 Lindt & Sprüngli’s license number for trademark use: FSC-N004244 /

5 9 Lindt & Sprüngli’s license number for trademark use: PEFC/01-44-53