Kraft Foods has shared the results of a survey that measured the company’s impact on climate change, and land and water use. The multi-year footprinting project was undertaken in partnership with Quantis Inc. and reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and academics at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.
"Having the 'big picture' of our total footprint—from farm to fork—validates the focus of our sustainability efforts, particularly advancing sustainable agriculture," says Roger Zellner, Sustainability Director for Research, Development & 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."
Says Dave McLaughlin, vice president of agriculture at WWF, "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. This means forging long-term partnerships based on shared objectives, creating a transformational supply chain, a key strategy of WWF's market transformation initiative."
According to Kraft, the bulk of its 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. In addition, Kraft says it will continue to build upon previous success around energy, carbon dioxide, water, waste, and packaging reductions.
Interesting insights from Kraft’s footprinting work include:
• More than 90% of the carbon footprint is outside its plants and offices, and nearly 60% is from farm commodities.
• About 12% of the carbon footprint is from transportation and distribution of products from stores to consumers' homes.
• About 5% of the carbon footprint is from consumers, mostly in food preparation.
• More than 80% of the land impact is from agriculture. In comparison, the impact from manufacturing facilities and offices is negligible.
• About 70% of the water footprint is from growing raw materials (including agricultural commodities used to make food products), while only 10% comes from manufacturing facilities/offices.
• Another 10% comes from consumer use, mostly from food preparation.
Expanded sustainability goals
In May, Kraft 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, and it has added transportation and agricultural commodities to what it will be measuring.
From a 2010 base, by the end of 2015 Kraft plans to:
• Increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25%
• Reduce energy use in manufacturing plants by 15%
• Reduce energy-related CO2 emissions in manufacturing plants by 15%
• Reduce water consumption in manufacturing plants by 15%
• Reduce waste at manufacturing plants by 15%
• Eliminate 50,000 metric tons (100 million lb) of packaging material
• Reduce 80 million km (50 million miles) from its transportation network