Calorie-free sweetener brand Truvia has surpassed its 2020 goal of a 25 percent reduction in its water intensity in just 18 months, according to an update on its sustainability performance.
From June 2011 to December 2012 the brand cut its water use by 45 percent. The company says that its reduction in water use comes primarily from increased yields of the sweet component that the company extracts from the stevia plant to make its product.
In light of the performance Truvia will revisit its 2020 goal. Over the next year, the company says it plans to make “significant progress” in identifying and implementing water saving measures.
Truvia says that minimizing water use in the extraction stage is of critical importance because it reduces the potential for water stress in local communities and can reduce energy use through pumping systems.
The brand also cut its waste production by 45 percent in the same period. The company has a goal of cutting this metric by 50 percent by 2015 and of becoming zero waste by 2020.
Truvia’a primary waste stream is spent leaf, a by-product of extraction as the best tasting part of the leaf is extracted through a process of steeping. The remaining spent leaf is wet and heavy. Truvia is currently evaluating potential recycling options, which would have a dual benefit of fertilizing existing crops while reducing the need to remove and transport the plant by-product from the fields.
In January, Truvia achieved product carbon footprint certification by the Carbon Trust. Parent company Cargill worked with the Carbon Trust to certify Truvia’s carbon footprint and verify its waste and water footprints throughout its supply chain, and says Truvia is the first stevia-based sweetener to be awarded product-level carbon footprint certification.
At that time the company announced that it had cut its carbon emissions per ton of product 35 percent by December 2012, over the 2011 baseline. Truvia has a goal of cutting this metric by 50 percent by 2015.
According to the update, Truvia has identified measures to further reduce its greenhouse emissions over the course of 2013. These include replacing existing energy sources at its primary processing sites with renewable energy sources such as waste-to-energy and renewable biomass; and investigating the potential for more advanced, efficient manufacturing technologies.