– Our CSR approach –

Since the 1980s, Saipol’s approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been shaped by actions taken to promote national oilseed production, develop renewable energy and the supply of plant proteins by providing sustainable and profitable markets to farmers and the industry.

It also feeds into SPRING, the Group’s CSR initiative. SPRING is in line with the six commitments of the “Serving the Earth” raison d’être and supports Avril’s strategic plan by giving concrete expression to its objectives, actions and progress in terms of sustainable development.


Our 6 commitments in action

#1. Respectful agriculture
Working for farming that respects the planet
#2. Resources and Biodiversity
Protecting natural resources and biodiversity
Saipol Le Mériot
#3. Local industries
Promoting the development of local industries
#4. Investments
Acting on the impact of our investements
#5. Climate
Climate action
#6. Collective and Inclusive
Acting for a collective and inclusive project



For example, we are committed to acting as a link with upstream agricultural stakeholders (colleting bodies and farmers), enabling dialogue and building solutions for healthy food and fair remuneration for farmer’s work.

TCS Saipol
Via its online seed collection solution, OleoZE, Saipol remunerates collecting organisations and farmers to implement sustainable agricultural practices that have a positive impact on the planet (carbon storage in the soil, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from crop products).
Saipol is working on improving protein content and agro-ecological practices to develop an advanced rapeseed industry. By working on this rapeseed performance criterion, Saipol aims to reduce its dependance on imports of plant proteins (e.g. soya), and to contribute to the sustainability of co-products intended for the production of renewable energy.

#2 - Resources and Biodiversity


For example, we process non-deforestation seeds and 100% of our supplies of oils and esters from crops at risk of deforestation are certified as sustainable.

Cameline Saipol
Saipol has been experimenting with intercropping Camelina sativa.

This experiment, in conjunction with Camelina Company, collecting bodies, technical institutes and chambers of agriculture, is laying the foundations for a French pilot intercropping industry with a high reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) and a low level of inputs, with a view to developing tomorrow’s biofuel supply.

Cendres Saipol
At Saipol, over 95% of our waste is recycled. It can be converted into energy or used in agriculture.

For example, the ash from burning sunflower hulls in our biomass boilers is used as fertiliser, notably by Terrial, a subsidiary of Avril and Suez.

Saipol Le Mériot

#3 - Local industries


For example, we prefer French seeds to supply our 5 factories located in France when the seeds are available. We are also committed to accelerating the development of local supply chains.

The Saipol sites at Le Mériot (Aube) and Lezoux (Puy de Dôme) specialise in processing French rapeseed and sunflower seeds.
With Oleo100 renewable energy, Saipol offers road hauliers, local authorities and businesses the chance to reduce their vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60%.
Saipol is also relying on French suppliers to manufacture the tanks for Oleo100, thereby helping to develop industrial activity in France.
Tourteaux Saipol
Saipol supports France’s 🇨🇵 protein sovereignty by producing nearly 2 million tonnes of rapeseed and sunflower oilcakes in France to feed livestock.

The development of rapeseed for biodiesel production (a co-product of oilcakes) has significantly increased French plant protein production and reduced the proportion of imported soya used to feed livestock.

#4 - Investments


For example, our biggest investments are based on economic, environmental and social criteria. We are committed to ensuring that, by 2030, 100% of our investments, whether industrial or financial, are based on these same criteria. E.g.: A biomass boiler project is currently under study at the Le Mériot site.

#5 - Climate


For example, we are committed to reducing all our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 (using 2019 as a base year). We also produce renewable energies that help to decarbonise our customers’ businesses.

Saipol invested early in reducing the carbon footprint of its plants, in particular by installing heat recovery systems in its industrial units.

Biomass boilers were started up in 2011 at the Grand-Couronne and Lezoux sites, followed by Bassens in 2013 and Sète in 2015. A biomass boiler project is also being studied at the Le Mériot site.

Chargement camion Oleo100
Saipol now offers ready-to-use renewable energies for transporters under the Oleo100® brand, biodiesel marketed under the Diester® brand for incorporation into diesel, and pre-treated vegetable oils for the production of low-carbon energies (HVO, coprocessing).
For example, Saipol continues to develop solutions for its customers’ energy transition. Since 2022, Saipol has been helping to decarbonise the SNCF Paris Granville line, and since 2023 has been supplying liquid biomass for the EDF power plant on Réunion Island.

#6 - Collective and Inclusive


For example, we are committed to an ongoing and demanding dialogue with all our stakeholders.

Attentes consommateurs Saipol
Numerous quality certifications have been introduced, both in terms of quality management (ISO 9001) and food safety (Food and Feed standards). There’s also the Origine France Garantie and VLOG (GMO-free) labels.
Since 2018, Saipol has been measuring its performance in terms of professional equality and publishing the Gender Equality Index.

In 2022, Saipol achieved a score of 94/100, for more details, click here.

In order to support people with recognised disabilities as soon as they join the company, and to raise awareness among teams of the need to include employees with disabilities, Saipol set up a Disability Mission in 2018.

A disability adviser is appointed at each site to support this process.

As part of the roll-out of our Disability Policy, Saipol took part in the 1st Inclusive Games 2021 organised by Agefiph Normandie and implemented by the HR Department for the purpose of raising awareness of disability among its employees and getting them to take part in an exceptional inter-company competition!

The Inclusive Games took place in June, and thanks to the participation of around fifty employees, Saipol took the 7th place !

Every year in June, our teams are mobilised to take part in Avril Safety Day. An operation designed to develop a safety culture at all times.
Alternants Saipol
With the support of managers committed to a strong training and employment policy for young people. Saipol is taking on 45 employees on work-linked training schemes over the 2023-2024 academic year.
Cgenial Saipol
At the initiative of Saipol, the Avril Group has been a partner of the C.Génial Foundation since 2016 on the Profs en Entreprises operation. By welcoming teachers to industrial sites and exchanging ideas with employees, teachers are able to share information with their students about the careers open to them if they choose to study science or technology in particular.
Enseignants Saipol
As part of the Avril Communities programme, Saipol hosts regular meetings between local elected representatives and stakeholders in the industry, from seed to market (farmers, processors, breeders, etc.).

These multilateral meetings are an opportunity to discuss how agricultural issues, such as food for humans and animals, energy and sustainable development, are closely intertwined at local level.

octobre rose
Launched in 2019, to coincide with Pink October, employees are taking part in AvrilPinkDays, an operation during which each employee is invited to wear a pink garment and raise awareness of breast cancer screening among their family and friends.

The Avril Group donates 5 euros to the ARC Foundation for each employee involved in this initiative within the Group.

RSE : usine
Saipol opens up to all its stakeholders!

In 2023, the Saipol Lezoux site set up a free exhibition, open to local residents, on sunflowers, the business and the professions on the walls of its site. The exhibition was followed by a tour of the site to give the general public an insight into the activities of the industrial site and to pass on the passion for its professions.