The Mind Your Step report, from Friends of the Earth and Trucost, estimates how much land and water brands such as Apple, Kraft and Gap use in a year to produce a range of products including smartphones, leather boots, coffee, chicken curry ready-meals, t-shirts and milk chocolate.
The finding show:
- Nearly 13 metric tons of water and 18 square meters of land are required to make a smartphone, with two-fifths of the water impact due to pollution at the component manufacturing and assembly phases;
- A pair of leather boots requires 14.5 metric tons of water. However, where leather tanneries dump untreated chemicals into the environment — as is common in tanning districts such as the Hazaribargh region of Dhaka, Bangladesh — this figure rises to 25 metric tons;
- Over one year Kraft is estimated to have required an area of land the size of Belgium just to make its range of chocolate products.
A Trucost report published earlier this month found the market for safer chemicals is estimated to have 24 times the growth of conventional chemicals market worldwide, from 2011 to 2020.