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Akhila Vijayaraghavan headshot

Kraft Foods Reduces Packaging and Travel Miles

Kraft Foods recently announced they have cut 45 million pounds of weight from the packaging of their products since 2010. According to their report entitled Creating a More Delicious World, in the last year the company also increased its amount of sustainable agricultural commodities by 36 percent. These have third party verification or certifications. They have also eliminated 12.5 million travel miles from their operations.  Through its innovation YES Pack, the company has seen a 60% reduction in plastic. the Huffington Post reported that this packaging was designed after a thorough LCA process. A more  functional packaging for salad dressing was desired by engineers at Kraft Foods. The one-gallon jugs made of HPDE was creating a lot of wasted dressing. The engineers came up with a solution that was lighter, flexible and made of squeezable materials made of nylon and polyethylene. Kraft engineers then performed a LCA with PE International, a leading LCA firm. The study found that the YES Pack has significant environmental benefits - it required 50 percent less energy during production, uses 60 percent less plastic and reduces CO2 emissions by 70 percent.
Kraft is exploring how it can use LCAs to innovate further. "Sustainability is not an afterthought anymore," said Ryan Portrey, an engineer at Kraft who worked on the YES Pack. "Sustainability is here to stay, and we're integrating it into our mindset from research and development through sales and marketing. We believe that it's our responsibility to look out for our customers and the environment."
Apart from packaging, Kraft is also focused on sustainable sourcing of food. By 2015, they want 100 percent of their coffee beans to be sustainably sourced by their European coffee brands. They are targeting an increase of 25 percent sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities. They have also completed a project which was the first of its kind to map the company's total environmental footprint. This involves tracking carbon, land and water footprint over its entire supply chain. Prior to this, they announced that they reduced wastes is 36 plants worldwide by using employee suggestions. They have ambitious goals that they have set for 2015, using 2010 as their base year. If this current progress report is anything to go by, Kraft is well on their way to achieving these aims.
Akhila Vijayaraghavan headshotAkhila Vijayaraghavan

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net

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