2019 Social & Environmental
Assessment Report

A Letter from our CEO

Ben & Jerry's CEO MatthewAs we publish our 31st annual Social & Environmental Assessment Report (SEAR) for 2019, we are all deep into the dramatic events of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a moment when societal demands for health & safety require new levels of human focus, sacrifice, courage and compassion, the likes we have rarely seen in modern history. Also with great power we are seeing a sustained resurgence of demands for racial justice following the grotesque murder of George Floyd, which is not to forget all of those whose lives have been unjustly taken before him and since.

In the face of these horrendous events, I remain hopeful because so many people, throughout the world, have rallied to confront the pandemic - at the same time, confronting gross and persistent racial injustice that must be defeated.

The focus of this report documents how we performed relative to our social and environmental goals in 2019. However, it also includes a look into the future and where we see our Social Mission initiatives heading.

I am proud of what Ben & Jerry’s has accomplished in 2019. It was a year when we significantly strengthened our global activism in advocating for criminal justice reform in the US, refugee rights in Europe and the US, LGBTQ rights in Brazil, and climate justice globally with an emphasis in Australia. We continued making progress towards eliminating plastic from our business and overall supply chain. We adjusted our strategy to further reduce our carbon footprint so that we can hit targets we’ve set for 2025 and 2050.

We laid new groundwork in 2019 to transition our dairy program from a continuous improvement model to one that is more sharply focused on targeted outcomes. The new model will help us to more fully realize our vision of dignified livelihoods for farmers and farm workers, the best care for cows and regenerative agricultural practices that support a healthy ecosystem. We also worked with our Fairtrade partners in 2019 to identify where we can further improve the livelihoods of Fairtrade producers, specifically in our cocoa and vanilla supply chains.

I am also encouraged by our plans to continue improving in 2020, including in places where we fell short in 2019. One area I want to call out specifically where our results are coming too slowly is in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within our Ben & Jerry’s community. This has motivated us to put in place accelerated DEI plans that started during the second half of 2019 and continue in 2020, with a focus on racial equity. 

I invite you to read the full 2019 SEAR or sample our 2019 performance in our summary pages in the front of the report. Please do not hesitate to let us know what you think and how we can do better.

With gratitude and hope,

Matthew McCarthy


2019 Highlights

In years past, we’ve published a Highlights section to give the broad strokes of our progress in the past year. This year we present our highlights with infographics to capture our social mission campaigns, and to encapsulate the gist of our progress and findings in four major areas - Equity, Dairy, Fairtrade and Climate. Each infographic can be opened and closed by clicking on the “+” sign to the right of each title. Or, if you want to dig down into the full report, click on the Full Report download link. We also present a bonus infographic that maps how our Social Mission initiatives map to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  Enjoy! 

You can download the full 2019 SEAR Report here.

Review Report of Independent Accountants

Independent Auditor's Report

For our 2019 report, we engaged Moss Adams LLP, an independent accounting firm, to review specific Quality of Results indicators that Ben & Jerry’s set as priorities for the year. You can download a copy of their letter here.