Heinz On Track to Reduce Waste, Water, Energy Impacts by 20 Percent

Heinz On Track to Reduce Waste, Water, Energy Impacts by 20 Percent

With the release of its 2009 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, the H.J. Heinz Company this morning unveiled its progress on achieving its environmental goals of cutting its footprint by 20 percent across four categories by 2015.

The report shows that the company is well on its way: compared to the 2005 baseline Heinz is using as a target, it has made significant progress in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, energy use and water consumption per metric ton of production.

Heinz has managed to cut its carbon footprint by 13.4 percent since 2005, its energy use is down 15.8 percent, solid waste generation is down 27.4 percent, and water is down 15.7 percent in the same time frame.

And year over year, the rate of improvements are picking up slightly, as the graphic below shows; between 2008 and 2009 Heinz cut its normalized greenhouse gas emissions and energy use each by nearly 10 percent, water use by 12 percent and waste by over 16 percent.

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Among the other goals Heinz has set for environmental stewardship are a 15 percent in total packaging used, a dedicated focus on its agricultural methods that will cut water usage and GHG emissions by 15 percent each while improving tomato yields by 5 percent, and a 10 percent reduction in the fuel used by its transportation fleet.

Heinz has achieved its results to date through a number of initiatives. Its CSR report highlights packaging innovations that have cut the materials needed for bottles used in products around the globe, as well as a partnership with Graham Packaging that led to the first food package containing post-consumer recycled content to meet FDA guidelines.

In 2007, GreenBiz.com reported on some of the ground-level projects Heinz was undertaking to acheive its sustainability goals, including reusing potato peels in biofuels.

As a food company, agriculture figures prominently in Heinz's sustainability projects. Heinz is making some progress on its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and water use each by 15 percent by 2015 while also improving tomato yields by 5 percent: Farms in California, Australia, China and New Zealand have all already surpassed the yields goal to date.

The other sustainable ag goals are slower to progress, but the company is working on carbon sequestration projects with the Sustainable Food Laboratory, and announced today that water-efficient drip irrigation use has nearly doubled on its California tomato farms.

The full 2009 Heinz CSR report is available online at Heinz.com/csr2009.