Last month’s United Nations Climate Summit brought renewed attention to the public dialogue about climate change.
If you’re following this issue, you may be interested in knowing that a number of major U.S. companies, including Campbell, have been taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a concerted effort to reduce the risk of climate change.
At Campbell, we are acutely aware of the potential impact that climate change and greenhouse gases could have on the Earth and our food system, so we’ve been taking concrete action over the past decade to drive sustainable practices across our operations and supply chain – long before the recent U.N. Climate Summit.
We’re making tangible progress under a long-term strategy that’s focused on reducing our environmental footprint, from the field, to the plant, to your table. Our expanding commitment to sustainability is integrated with our business plans and encompasses sustainable agriculture, procurement, supplier engagement and performance reporting.
I’m proud of our actions, which reflect a heritage of environmental stewardship that is rooted in our belief that we have a responsibility to conserve the Earth’s natural resources for future generations.
With more than 24,000 solar panels, our solar project in Napoleon, Ohio is the largest solar panel field at a private location serving one customer in the U.S. This field now generates about 15% of the electricity used by Napoleon, the largest soup plant in the world.
Overall, 8% of our Campbell’s global electric power is now being sourced by renewable energy and we’re investing in further opportunities, from wind turbines to biodigesters that convert waste to energy. We have enhanced our internal ROI evaluation processes to favor energy conservation and GHG reductions in our capital projects, and we continue to advance our renewable strategy with solar, fuel cell, wind and waste to energy installations.
Campbell sources our tomatoes from independent family farms and we use more than 2 billion pounds a year. In 2012, we relaunched our Sustainable Agriculture Program. Almost all of our tomatoes are grown in California. So we’re working directly with our family farms to implement drip irrigation, which cuts water consumption by about 25% per acre while reducing the carbon footprint and increasing yields significantly.
Today, about 42% of our tomato crop is grown using drip irrigation, compared with 29% two years ago. As a member of The Sustainability Consortium, Campbell is also working to advance fertilizer optimization – another key to reducing GHG emissions from farming.
In April, we announced new commitments during Wal-mart’s first Sustainable Product Expo. These commitments include:
I think it’s important to note that our positions on resource conservation, including climate change, haven’t been set by industry or business trade associations or elected officials, but by Campbell executives that have challenged the status quo and established accountability above many industry standards.
We’re proactively managing our resources and taking concrete action on climate change because it’s sound business…and the right thing to do for the future of the planet. Our 2014 CSR Report further details our commitments and opportunities.
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