German software corporation SAP is helping French food group Danone to measure the individual carbon footprints of 35,000 of its products, as the food firm tries to reduce its emissions by 30 percent from 2008 to 2012.
Many food companies can put figures on the the carbon footprint of a product category, such as their yogurt range, SAP says, but by using SAP’s enterprise performance management systems to measure each step of each product’s life cycle Danone can now compare, for example, the carbon footprint of strawberry yogurt to that of banana yogurt.
The system is integrated with Danone’s manufacturing processes, meaning that 80 percent of data is recorded automatically. The collected data can be audited and fully traced, and is updated monthly, SAP says.
The SAP system was first used by two Danone companies in Spain. It was then successfully tested by two other dairy businesses in Belgium and by Stonyfield Farms in the United States. By the end of the year, the new solution will be present in 40 of Danone’s business units, covering around 70 percent of its revenues and over 35,000 products.
Through using the detailed carbon measurement system, Danone reduced its footprint by 22 percent in 2010, and is on track to meet the 2012 goal, SAP says.
SAP emitted 8 percent more greenhouse gases in 2011 than 2010, its first year-on-year rise in such emissions since 2007, but its emissions per euro of revenue were down 6 percent, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.