Kraft Foods Maps its Total Environmental Footprint
January 12, 2012
As Kraft Foods measured it climate change impacts it discovered that more than 90 percent of it carbon footprint is outside its plants and offices, and nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities.
The environmental survey conducted in partnership with Quantis Inc. and reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and academics at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, measured Kraft’s impact on climate change, land use and water use.
"Having the big picture' of our total footprint -- from farm to fork -- validates the focus of our sustainability efforts, particularly advancing sustainable agriculture," said Roger Zellner, sustainability director for research, development and quality. "Experts say climate change, land and water use may be among the biggest challenges in feeding a world of 9 billion people in 2050. As we continue our sustainability journey, we now have more insight into where we can make the greatest difference."
The following are other insights Kraft gleaned from the footprinting project:
- More than 80 percent of the land impact is from agriculture. In comparison, the impact from manufacturing facilities and offices is negligible;
- About 70 percent of the water footprint is from growing raw materials (including agricultural commodities used to make food products), while only 10 percent comes from manufacturing facilities/offices;
- Another 10 percent comes from consumer use, mostly from food preparation.
"This study shows that in order to make meaningful change and conserve nature's valuable resources, companies need to work with their suppliers to reduce the impact of producing raw materials," said Dave McLaughlin, vice president of agriculture at World Wildlife Fund. "This means forging long term partnerships based on shared objectives, creating a transformational supply chain, a key strategy of WWF's market transformation initiative."
The bulk of Kraft Foods' environmental footprint originates on the farms that grow ingredients for the company's products. While the company does not own farms, the survey supports the work of its sustainable agriculture efforts on key commodities to improve crop yields, reduce environmental impacts and improve the lives of many of the farm workers and their families, Kraft Foods said in a statement. In addition, the company continues to build upon previous success around energy, carbon dioxide, water, waste and packaging reductions.
Expanded Sustainability Goals
This May, Kraft Foods announced expanded sustainability goals and highlighted progress against its six sustainability focus areas. The company's new goals now include the Cadbury and LU businesses acquired since 2007. Kraft Foods has also added transportation and agricultural commodities to what it will be measuring.
From a 2010 base, by the end of 2015 Kraft Foods plans to:
- Increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25 percent;
- Reduce energy use in manufacturing plants by 15 percent;
- Reduce energy-related CO2 emissions in manufacturing plants by 15 percent;
- Reduce water consumption in manufacturing plants by 15 percent;
- Reduce waste at manufacturing plants by 15 percent;
- Eliminate 50,000 metric tons (100 million lbs.) of packaging material; and
- Reduce 50 million miles from its transportation network.
From 2005 through 2010 Kraft Foods has reduced energy use by 16 percent, CO2 emissions by 18 percent, incoming water by 30 percent, net waste by 42 percent, packaging by 200 million pounds and reduced road miles by 60 million miles in its transportation and distribution network.
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