By: Dave Stangis, Chief Sustainability Officer
At Campbell, Earth Day is every day, but our teams make a special effort to bring awareness and impact to life for Campbell employees the week leading up to Earth Day.
Hard to believe, but Earth Day has been around for more than 45 years. What started as an idea has evolved into a cause. I will fully admit to not remembering Earth Day as a kid and even as I grew older, it felt like a distraction from what I was doing in the early days of my career.
When I was starting out, I worked in the Environment, Health and Safety areas in the automotive, utility and tech industries. Focusing on the environment was never a “cause” in my “business” mind – it was a risk to be managed and there were efficiencies to be found. Earth Day started out as a yearly reminder to do less harm – turn off the lights, recycle a bit more and remember to conserve.
But here at Campbell, we’ve moved so far beyond that mindset – it’s inspiring! We still take some time out every year to build awareness and engagement, but now Earth Day is a time to celebrate progress and accelerate innovation to deliver on our Purpose and Real Food Philosophy.
Our new Sustainability Strategic Framework drives this work to ethically and sustainably grow, source, produce and share Real Food that Matters for Life’s Moments.
We’re focused on protecting natural resources and livelihoods on farms. With Goldfish® crackers, Milano® cookies and many other baked goods in our portfolio, Campbell has identified wheat as a priority ingredient to source more sustainably. We’ve partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN program to do our part to make fertilizer efficiency and soil health the norm in U.S. grain production, not only because of the environmental benefits, but also to help improve farmers’ bottom lines.
Through our Responsible Sourcing program, we’re working to ensure ethical and sustainable practices in our supply chain. One example of this is Arnott’s chocolate from West Africa that is Fair Trade certified. Fair Trade ensures that cocoa farmers are paid a fair price for the chocolate they sell and given a premium to invest back into their cocoa production or the community. Fair Trade certification also safeguards against practices like child labor.
In our manufacturing operations, we are promoting the stewardship of natural resources. We’ve set commitments focused on water, greenhouse gas emissions and waste. We’re also leading the industry on food waste measurement, reporting and goal-setting.
Across the world, roughly one-third of all food produced intended for human consumption is lost or wasted. At the same time, one in nine people remains undernourished. This inefficiency amounts to economic losses of close to $1 trillion per year. Campbell is committed to doing our part to address this challenge and has set a goal to cut our food waste in half by 2030. We’ve publicly reported the amount of food waste we generate in our operations by destination and we’re working to steadily reduce that waste through efficiency and innovation.
Campbell has long been committed to supporting and empowering people in our hometown communities. We’ve made important strides through Campbell’s Healthy Communities program, the Campbell Soup Foundation, cash and in-kind support and employee volunteerism. With the launch of our new company Purpose and Values, we have taken a fresh look at our community strategy to ensure it is aligned with Campbell’s priorities and our communities’ needs today. To that end, we’ve launched Giving that Matters, a new giving platform for employees to allow them to deepen their engagement with the non-profits for which they have passion and strengthen the communities where we live and work.
So, as you observe this Earth Day, consider the things you can celebrate that make a positive impact on the resources we all share and consider how you can innovate to stabilize our climate, ensure water quality and quantity, and eliminate waste.
Learn more about our sustainability strategy and framework!