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Home / case studies / Case study: How Netafim supports the communities in which it lives and works

Case study: How Netafim supports the communities in which it lives and works

As the global leader in precision agriculture with drip irrigation, whose solutions advance sustainable productivity by enabling growers to produce better and higher yields while using fewer of the world’s limited resources (water, land and energy), Netafim also provides monetary donations and equipment to support local community causes in different countries and collaborates with community partners to make a positive impact in local communities.

This case study is based on the 2016-2017 Sustainability Report by Netafim published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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With 17 factories in 13 countries, delivering state-of-the-art technology, deep agronomic expertise and capacity-building training, Netafim is dedicated to helping customers achieve their goals by growing more with less, while additionally engaging in community projects and initiatives around the globe  Tweet This!, maintaining ongoing programmes in several countries. In order to support the communities in which it lives and works Netafim took action to:

  • support community farming in the U.S.
  • train Indian youth in drip irrigation
  • build green walls in Israel

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016-2017 Sustainability Report Netafim identified a range of material issues, such as water conservation, enhancing customer capabilities, employee performance, sustainable productivity. Among these, supporting the communities in which it lives and works stands out as a key material issue for Netafim.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Netafim engages with:  

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers

 

·      Customer meetings

·      Conferences

·      Workshops

·      Training and education programmes

·      Field trials

Employees ·      Meetings

·      Performance discussions

·      Internal communications processes

Distributors, partners and suppliers ·      Daily interaction in the course of Netafim’s global business
Policy makers and influencers ·      Engagement to positively support sustainable agriculture policy decisions

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Netafim’s Executive Management Team and Sustainability Steering Team analysed and prioritised the interests and expectations of its internal and external stakeholders, raised in dialogue and consultation with them.

What actions were taken by Netafim to support the communities in which it lives and works?

In its 2016-2017 Sustainability Report Netafim reports that it took the following actions for supporting the communities in which it lives and works:

  • Supporting community farming in the U.S.
  • Starting in 2016, Netafim USA teamed up with the Leichtag Foundation to support Coastal Roots Farm, by providing smart irrigation solutions and support. Coastal Roots Farm is a community farm with a vision to preserve the locality of agriculture: grow the food where people live. The farm spreads over 8 hectares of land and includes a food forest, vegetable gardens, compost, a plant nursery, a vineyard, and animal pastures. Since its beginning in 2014, the farm has donated over 50% of its harvest – almost 90,000 pounds – to community members who lack access to fresh food. Drip irrigation is used on all crops cultivated, using equipment Netafim donated. Employees also get involved, to help the farm grow more with less.
  • Training Indian youth in drip irrigation
  • In India, Netafim implements the Rural Youth Skill Development Programme (RYSDP). This is a training and certification programme, for installation and maintenance of drip irrigation systems. The programme is carried out through a partnership comprising the Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project (APMIP), Netafim India, and other micro irrigation companies. RYSDP trains and certifies high school or junior college graduates in installation and maintenance of drip irrigation systems, so they can develop a career in this growing industry. The programme’s graduates can be hired by Netafim or other drip irrigation companies, or even start their own business. The programme consists of 5 days of classroom training provided by Netafim, and 20 days of field training provided by Netafim and other companies. In 2017, the programme ran nine times across 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh, training over 300 participants. Seven experts from Netafim volunteered more than 1,500 hours in classroom training and Netafim also offered a small daily stipend for selected participants through the training cycle.
  • Building green walls in Israel
  • In 2017, Netafim undertook a project to build “green walls” in schools throughout Israel. Netafim employees visited schools to set up vertical gardens: vegetables, herbs and flowers planted inside plastic bottles and irrigated by drip irrigation. Each wall includes three levels of “bottle planters”, irrigated with water from the top level trickling down to the second and third levels. Students and Netafim employees created the green walls together, and Netafim employees trained students to maintain the walls and care for the plants. Each participating student is responsible for one “bottle planter”, and cares for it over time. This activity provides a model for sustainability education that can be applied in different educational frameworks in any country, in both rural and urban areas. Up to now, Netafim has established green walls in 18 schools in Israel, donating automated drip systems for each.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts

2) Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs

 

Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Business theme: Availability of products and services for those on low incomes, Economic development in areas of high poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Business theme: Changing the productivity of organizations, sectors, or the whole economy
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  • Business theme: Access to medicines
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Changing the productivity of organizations, sectors, or the whole economy, Indirect impact on job creation, Jobs supported in the supply chain
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Business theme: Economic development in areas of high poverty, Foreign direct investment
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Foreign direct investment

Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs does not correspond to any SDG.

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Netafim, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Netafim: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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