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Campbell’s Cuts Packaging, Creates More Waste

Campbell’s saved more than 4.5 million pounds of steel, plastic and paper packaging materials in 2010, but its waste disposal rate was up 15 percent, according to the firm’s latest corporate social responsibility report.

The food company said that improvements in the past two years eliminated more than 9.3 million pounds of packaging materials. Campbell’s developed formal sustainability guidelines on packaging in FY2009.

Last year, its packaging changes included converting Pepperidge Farms’ Baked Naturals line of products to recycled paperboard and completing the first test of returnable corrugated cases for Goldfish products.

The company redesigned the packaging of its Shapes and Jatz products in Australia, reducing paperboard by 440,000 pounds and eliminating 12,000 pallets from distribution. In 2010 it also transitioned one of its supplies of PET beverage bottles to a local supplier in Canada, eliminating the use of 750 trucks.

A complete redesign of the Monte Carlo product line under the Arnott’s brand saved 15 tons of packaging materials, Campbell’s said. And the company completed its first lifecycle assessment for a soup product, including an assessment of packaging materials.

But the company’s waste disposal rose by 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, from 0.019 to 0.022 tons of waste per ton of food produced. Campbell’s recycled 83 percent of all waste generated in production in 2010, down from 84.5 percent the year before.

The company’s 2020 goals include recycling 95 percent of waste, eliminating 100 million pounds of packaging and delivering 100 percent of global packaging from renewable, recyclable or recycled content materials.

Campbell’s achieved cuts in greenhouse gases, energy use and water use in 2010. Last year the company eliminated nearly 29,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions at its manufacturing emissions, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions per unit of food produced by more than four percent.

The firm cut energy and water use, both relative to ton of food produced, by two and three percent respectively. It met its goal set under the now-discontinued EPA Climate Leaders program, of reducing CO2 emissions per production unit by 12 percent between 2005 and 2010.

In February, Campbell’s finalized a power purchase agreement (PPA) and land lease arrangement to construct a 60-acre, 9.8 MW photovoltaic system at its largest plant.

By 2020, from a FY2008 baseline, Campbell’s aims to cut the environmental footprint of its product portfolio in half, as measured by water use and greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product produced. It also aims to reduce energy use by 35 percent per ton of product produced, and source 40 percent of energy from renewable or alternative sources.

And for its top five agricultural ingredients, Campbell’s is aiming to reduce water use by 20 percent and energy use by 30 percent per ton, from a 2008 baseline.

Campbell’s issued its first Corporate Social Responsibility report in 2008 and its second in 2010.

The company appears on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, was named number two on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List by Corporate Responsibility magazine, named number one in the HIP100 (Human Impact + Profit) Portfolio, added to the Maplecroft Climate Innovation Index, named to the list of 2010 World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere magazine and named a Catalyst Award winner in 2010.

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One thought on “Campbell’s Cuts Packaging, Creates More Waste

  1. Great article! This really brings to light the ‘whack-a-mole’ issue when striving towards greater environmental responsibility. Sometimes addressing certain issues carries ramifications that spring up in other areas of operations. This Jekyll & Hyde aspect of progress deserves more conversation because companies should be lauded for their achievements, but not necessarily reprimanded for ‘all’ consequences. http://www.WeStayGreen.com is a green product review site that allows consumers to discuss such issues and allows for the companies involved to join in the conversation. This way consumers and companies can work side by side to improve the products we use everyday.

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