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ConAgra To Reduce Emissions 20% by 2015

conagraConAgra Foods has set five goals for 2015 related to corporate sustainability, including reducing its emissions 20 percent per pound of product, when compared to 2008.

The consumer food company also aims to reduce its water use 15 percent per pound of product compared to 2008, and divert 75 percent more waste to landfills, according to a press release.

In terms of its packaging, ConAgra intends to reduce packaging per pound of product by 10 percent. Another related goal is boosting packaging from renewable sources from 45 percent to more than 50 percent. ConAgra also plans increase use of recycled content in all of its packaging by 25 percent.

The fifth area is supply chain engagement. ConAgra says it will “encourage continuous improvement of the supply chain in the areas of energy, water, materials and waste,” as well as work with growers to enhance sustainable farming practices.

Here is ConAgra’s most recent corporate responsibility report (PDF).

In 2008, the firm emitted 2.074 million metric tons of CO2, up from 2.033 million metric tons in 2007 (see image).

There was a corresponding increase in electricity use, to 1.965 billion kilowatt hours in 2008, from 1.903 billion kWh in 2007.

The company said it planned environmental assessments at 38 of its facilities in FY09, up from 29 in FY08.

At its Lamb Weston potato business, the company has invested in wind energy via renewable energy credits, offsetting 100 percent of its electricity associated with production of Alexia frozen potato products and Lamb Weston headquarters electricity, or 16.6 million kilowatt hours. In January, that plant was among the first food manufacturing plants in the U.S. to earn EPA’s Energy Star rating for food processing.

The company was able to lower its water use to 13 billion gallons in 2008, down from 13.3 billion gallons in 2007.

Among its accomplishments in the past year, ConAgra says it was the first company in North America to use post-consumer recycled plastic in its frozen meal trays, diverting 8 million pounds of plastic from landfills annually.

In the past year, the company won the World Packaging Organization’s WorldStar Award for Hunt’s Ketchup, designed to be compatible with bottle-to-bottle recycling.

ConAgra also was named to the CRO Magazine’s annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens list.

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