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Mind Your Step

Report Helps Manufacturers Calculate Products’ Land, Water Footprints

Mind Your StepA new report aims to help manufacturers calculate the land and water footprints of the products they sell.

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.


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