As consumer awareness about climate change grows, a few companies are emerging as leaders in the area of carbon footprint labeling. For instance, last month the supermarket giant Tesco became the first UK retailer to display the full carbon footprint of milk.
Ever wonder what goes into the calculation of a product’s carbon footprint? If so, be sure to read the fascinating article “PepsiCo explains how it measured the carbon footprint of Walkers Crisps,” published today in Marketing Magazine.
In this Q&A with Martyn Seal, PepsiCo Europe Sustainability Director, you’ll learn about how and –just as importantly –why PepsiCo calculated the footprint of one of its most popular snacks.
From the article:
(PepsiCo) asked the Carbon Trust to calculate the footprint of a standard bag of Walkers crisps by:
- Drawing up a map of the key stages in our supply chain – from growing potatoes and sunflower seeds, to getting the crisps on the shelves, to finally disposing of the packet.
- Looking at the energy consumption directly involved in each of these stages and converting this into the resulting amount of carbon emission.
- Adding up the carbon emissions from each of these stages to get the calculated value.
The lifecycle of a packet of Walkers:
- 1: Raw materials: Potatoes, sunflowers and seasoning & packaging (53%)
- 2: Manufacture: Producing crisps from potatoes (34%)
- 3: Packaging our crisps (34%)
- 4: Distribution (10%)
- 5: Disposal of the empty packs (3%)
(More information is available at the Walkers website.)
Once the original carbon footprint was calculated, Walkers worked closely with its supplier to reduce it. The result was a 7% reduction in carbon emissions , achieved through improved energy efficiency. Seal estimates those efficiencies save Walkers about $638,000 (£400,000) each year.