On December 14th, Kraft Foods shared their results of a multi-year study of the company’s total footprint on climate change, land, and water use. Kraft Foods, in partnership with Quantis Inc, was reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment. The results, although not surprising, validated that Kraft Foods needs to focus on working towards sustainable agriculture.
The results found that over 90 percent of Kraft’s carbon footprint comes from outside of their plants and offices – nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities, more than 80 percent of its land impact is from agriculture, and 70 percent of its water footprint comes from growing raw materials.
“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, Kraft’s 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.”
“This study shows that 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,” says Dave McLaughlin, VP 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.”
Kraft, which is the largest packaged food company in the country, said, “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.”
The press release states that based on 2010 figures, Kraft Foods has set the following goals for 2015:
- 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
- Reduce 80 million km (50 million miles) from its transportation network
Although Kraft has a lot of work to do towards becoming more sustainable these next few years, they have already made significant progress towards reducing energy, CO2 emissions, water, waste, packaging and transportation across its global operations.
- Energy use is down 16 percent
- CO2 emissions are down 18 percent
- Incoming water is down 30 percent
- Net waste is down 42 percent
- Packaging is down 100,000 metric tons (200 million lbs)
- 96 million km (60 million road miles) have been removed from its transportation/distribution network