This Earth Day we take a look at one of the many ways Campbell is working to safeguard our future through collaborative sustainability initiatives.
By Megan Maltenfort, Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
Water is an essential resource for all life. It is equally vital for Campbell’s operations. From growing our ingredients to producing our food, we need clean water that is readily available. But in many parts of the world, including the United States, water resources are at risk due to growing demand, pollution and changes to our climate.
As part of our sustainability initiatives, Campbell employs water risk management practices. This past year, we engaged in an in-depth water risk assessment using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct and Ecolab Water Risk Monetizer tools. These tools help us understand potential current and future water risks at our manufacturing facilities globally.
Within the United States, we continue to monitor local water issues impacting our sites in Ohio and California; Ohio due to agricultural runoff and California because of persistent drought conditions.
In addition to looking at water risks in our operations, we’ve been working to identify risks with our farmers too- specifically with our wheat growers. Campbell sources wheat for some of our Pepperidge Farm products, like Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies, from the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed presents some challenging water quality issues. Based on the geography of the region, things like soil nutrient loss from local farms and a surge in stormwater runoff from cities and towns, result in fertilizer and pollutants running into the Bay. This affects water quality and aquatic life.
In partnership with Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, the sustainability business unit from Land O’Lakes, Inc. and local growers, we are piloting a project that equips farmers with the education and tools to use data to maximize their profitability, minimize soil nutrient losses and in doing so, protect both the health of the watershed and the resiliency of their farms.
Through this project, we now know that of the 10,000+ acres assessed in 2018, 55 percent of those acres use cover crops, reducing soil erosion and improving soil fertility and quality. We also know that 50 percent of the assessed acres are using variable rate technology to ensure farmers know the precise location, quantity and quality of the nutrients being used.
Partnering with farmers is just one example of how Campbell is working to protect our shared water resources. It will take engagement along our entire supply chain—from farms to our own manufacturing operations—to ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems, a safe water supply and abundant water availability for years to come.