Chicken of the Sea Sustainability Report: More than 80% of Emissions From Suppliers
More than 80 percent of the 75,600 metric tons of greenhouse gases that canned seafood producer Chicken of the Sea was responsible for in 2011 came from its third party suppliers, according to the company’s first corporate sustainability report.
The company said 61,616 metric tons came from indirect sources. Some 4,508 metric tons were direct emissions and 9,441 were from purchased electricity.
Freight transportation accounted for 78 percent of the emissions, while the company’s premises accounted for 19 percent. Employee commuting accounted for 2 percent of the total and the final 1 percent of emissions came from business travel (see graph, below).
Chicken of the Sea says that the results “point to an opportunity” to work with its third party suppliers on CO2 emissions programs. The company is also implementing efficiency programs at its own facilities. The tuna company has so far installed high-efficiency motors in its machines—which help conserve energy and prolong equipment life. For the large freezers that store pre-packed tuna, Chicken of the Sea is using high-efficiency and non-ammonia models, the report says.
The company also named lighting upgrades as a future area in which it can increase its efficiency. It calls the cost of a complete retrofit “prohibitive” but plans to replace existing facility lighting with LED models.
The figures above come from the company’s first carbon footprint assessment. Chicken of the Sea carried out the assessment with the help of Strategic Sustainability Consulting, an organization with expertise in corporate carbon accounting methodology data. The assessment covers the company’s use of electricity, natural gas, propane and refrigerant gas, its landfilled waste, recycled waste and composted waste as well as its freight transport, employee commuting and business travel.
In 2011, Chicken of the Sea diverted 64 percent of its waste from landfill. The company sent 1,291 tons to landfill, sent 880 tons of semi-sold waste for processing and composting and sold 868.8 tons of waste as animal feed. The remaining 428.6 of plastic, cardboard, metals, batteries and motors were either recycled or sold for salvage, the report says.
Chicken of the Sea describes its landfill diversion rate as “pretty good” but says that it has plans to improve the metric in the coming year. In 2012 it plans to reduce edible waste by optimizing its packaging process and investigating a system to recycle waste vegetable oil, and also plans to reduce its scrap metal waste. The company also says it will add the recycle symbol to all its applicable products in a bid to boost consumer recycle rates.
The company’s Lyons, Ga., canning facility uses around 429,000 gallons of water a day, the report says. Around half of that water is used for thawing frozen tuna loins prior to processing and canning. Around 40 percent is used for cooling cans and around 10 percent is used for cleaning, the report says. Chicken of the Sea says that it is constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of fresh water that it draws from the local municipal system.
Because of its involvement in fishing, Chicken of the Sea underwent a thorough review of its supply chain in 2011, which led to a new supplier code of conduct. The code of conduct covers, among a host of other labor and ethical criteria, environmentally responsibility and environmental authorizations and compliance.
The code of conduct says that all suppliers must “minimize adverse impacts on the environment” and “are encouraged to conserve natural resources, to avoid the use of hazardous materials where possible and to engage in activities that reuse and recycle.” It also calls for all suppliers to have all applicable environmental permits. Chicken of the Sea says it is continuing to develop a more formalized auditing plan for its supply chain, which will be introduced within the next two years, the report says.
In October last year, John West, a leading brand of canned tuna and salmon in the UK, launched an online tracker to help customers find out the origin of their fish. By entering the barcode and can code of their purchase on the John West web site, customers can identify the fish’s origin right down to the boat that made the catch.
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