What’s in a carbon footprint? Stonyfield Farm has decided to find out, as part of its company-wide effort to help reduce climate change.
As part of this endeavor, the New Hampshire-based organic yogurt manufacturer has embarked on a project to map the carbon footprint of its 200 different products.
To do this, Stonyfield Farm is tracking the entire process that each product goes through, from beginning to end, and calculating the resources it takes to create that product.
“We started measuring our carbon footprint back in the early 1990s before the term had even been coined…We were stunned to find out that milk production—that is, on the farm—was the single biggest part of our footprint,” Stonyfield explains on its website.
These days, it uses cutting-edge software by the German software producer, SAP, which has been hired by Stonyfield Farm’s parent corporation, Danone, to help calculate the figures for the French yogurt maker’s 30,000+ products.
According to SustainableBusiness.com, the software actually tracks the life of the product throughout the production process, transportation and sales process. By doing so, Stonyfield Farms and other subsidiaries of Danone can determine where the company’s highest emissions are, and make adjustments accordingly.
To facilitate that measurement and changes, the company has set up nine cross-functional groups of employees it calls Mission Action Program, or MAP teams. The teams focus on areas of potentially high environmental impact, such as facility greenhouse emissions, and address ways to reduce that impact.
Through this process, the company has set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to limits that are in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or three percent annually, to 80 percent by 2050. It has also set the admirable goal of ensuring that 50 percent of its energy is sourced from renewable energy by 2017.
For a comprehensive view of Stonyfield Farm’s personal efforts to curb climate change, watch the company’s webinar.
You can also learn about your own carbon footprint at Native Energy (courtesy of Stonyfield Farm).
Image courtesy of Notnarayan.
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.