Environmental Leader

Campbell Sustainability Report: Normalized Water Use Drops 3.8%

Campbell Soup Company cut its normalized water use by 3.8 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 9.06 to 8.72 cubic meters per metric ton of food produced, according to the company’s latest corporate sustainability report.

Its absolute water use dropped from 26.7 cubic meters in 2010 to 25.25 million cubic meters in 2011. The company is targeting a 50 percent cut in its water use per ton of production by 2020, measured against 2008 levels.

In 2011, Campbell performed a site-by-site mapping of water usage and cross-referenced the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Global Water Tool to address near- and long-term water scarcity. According to the results, by 2025 five Campbell facilities will be in areas where renewable water will be scarce or extremely scarce.

All of the company’s plants have implemented water conservation measures and established systems to ensure that water in its operations is sufficiently cleaned and treated before releasing it back to the environment, the report says.

The company’s normalized greenhouse gas emissions fell 3.3 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 0.295 to 0.287 metric tons of CO2 per metric ton of product produced. Since 2008 the company’s normalized emissions have fallen almost 8.5 percent.

Campbell’s US-based facilities saw almost a 2.5 percent year-on-year reduction in normalized emissions. Its international facilities reduced their normalized emissions 4.75 percent over the same time period (see graph, below).

The company’s absolute emissions dropped from 850,376 to 831,706 metric tons of CO2, a decline of just over two percent year-on-year.

The company has a goal of cutting its emissions by 50 percent per metric ton of production by 2020 when measured against a 2008 baseline. To do this Campbell has estimated it needs to draw 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

Campbell’s has installed a 60-acre, 10 MW solar field at the company’s largest manufacturing site in Napoleon, Ohio, where 24,000 sun-tracking panels generate 15 percent of the electricity to operate the plant. It is also constructing a 2 MW solar array in Sacramento, Calif.

In an effort to cut its emissions and other environmental impacts, Campbell’s has committed to using LEED building standards for all its new buildings. In June 2011, its new Employee Center in Camden, N.J., received LEED Silver Certification.

The company’s absolute energy use dropped 4.2 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 10,154,522 mmbtu to 9,835,859 mmbtu. The report does not provide energy use figures normalized against production.

Campbell’s waste recycling rate dropped from 83.1 percent in 2010 to 80.2 percent in 2011. The company attributes the drop in its recycling rate to the closure of its Utrecht, Netherlands, facility. The shuttering eliminated a 100 percent recycled waste stream. Campbell’s is targeting a 95 percent recycle rate by 2020.

The company’s figure for total solid waste generated fell from 383,385 metric tons in 2010 to 301,445 in 2011. The report says this adds up to a 7 percent reduction year-on-year, but Environmental Leader’s calculations put the reduction at a much larger 21 percent reduction.

Campbell’s total tonnage of non-recycled waste fell around 7.5 percent year-on-year, and it disposed of 0.019 metric tons of waste per metric ton of production in 2011, down from 0.022 in 2010.

The company’s packaging goal is to cut 100 million pounds from its products and source 100 percent of its packaging materials from sustainable materials by 2020. In the last three years the company says design improvements have cut 24 million pounds from its packaging. Last year saw the company’s Pepperidge Farm brand redesign its Goldfish and Deli Flats packages and reduce plastic usage by 65 percent. Light-weighting of Campbell’s new V8 PET beverage bottles saved more than 540,000 pounds of plastic in 2011, the report says.

Environmental Leader’s coverage of the company’s 2010 report can be found here.