Kraft Foods Studies and Publishes Its Total Environmental Footprint

This week, Kraft Foods released the results of a multi-year project to map its total footprint, including impact on climate change, land, and water use. The company says World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment reviewed and analyzed the results, which are not a huge surprise:

More than 90 percent of Kraft's carbon footprint comes from outside its 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 like the agricultural commodities that go into Kraft food products.

Kraft, 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."

Unless Kraft comes out against genetically modified foods, there's no reason to think the efforts to improve crop yields won't revolve around GMOs. The company did not specify how it plans to improve the lives of farm workers, and there was no mention of how animals it uses for food are raised or treated.

The press release states that based on 2010 figures, Kraft Foods has set the following goals for 2015:

  • Increase sustainable sourcing(2) 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

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