Kraft Footprints Climate, Land, Water Impacts

by | Dec 15, 2011

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More than 90 percent of Kraft Food’s carbon footprint comes from outside its plants and offices, and nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities, according to an environmental survey just published by the company.

The multi-year footprinting project, in partnership with Quantis, measures Kraft’s impacts on climate change, land and water use. The results have been reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and academics at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, Kraft said.

Kraft has also announced two new sustainability goals for 2015, measured against a 2010 baseline. It aims to increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25 percent, and cut 80 million km (50 million miles) from its transportation network.

The company’s existing goals, announced last May, are to eliminate 50,000 metric tons (100 million lbs.) of packaging material, and to cut manufacturing plants’ energy use, energy-related CO2 emissions, water consumption and waste by 15 percent each. The targets are all for 2015, from a 2010 baseline.

Among the footprinting results, the company has found that about 12 percent of its carbon footprint is from transportation and distribution of products from stores to consumers’ homes. About five percent is from consumers, mostly in food preparation.

Agriculture accounts for 80 percent of the company’s land impact and about 70 percent of its water footprint. Ten percent of its water impact comes from factories and offices, and another 10 percent from consumer use – again, mostly food preparation.

Kraft says the survey supports its sustainable agriculture efforts on key commodities to improve crop yields, reduce environmental impacts and improve the lives of farm workers.

The company said it has made significant progress against previous goals. Between 2005 and 2010, energy use was down 16 percent, CO2 emissions fell 18 percent, incoming water was down 30 percent, net waste dropped by 42 percent, packaging use fell by 100,000 metric tons, and 96 million km were removed from the company’s transportation and distribution network.

Kraft recently announced plans to raise product prices after droughts and floods drove up the cost of commodities.

In May, it agreed to pay $8.1 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that one of its factories polluted the air and water of 124 families’ homes in Attica, Ind.


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