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Walkers reducing the carbon footprint of crisps

Challenge

Reduce the carbon impact of the lifecycle of crisps.

Problem

Walkers are UK crisp manufacturers owned by PepsiCo. The company aims to lead on reducing the impact of the lifecycle of their product and achieve and retain the Carbon Reduction Label from the Carbon Trust.

Solution

Walkers reduced their carbon footprint by 7% over the first two years, largely through improvements in the manufacturing process: 41% of the reduction was achieved from reduced gas use and 37% from reduced electricity use. However, over 40% of the impact comes from the ingredients and one change in the supply chain procurement reduced this: buying potatoes from suppliers based on starch content rather than weight. Prior to this the suppliers were using energy to keep storage sheds artificially humid, resulting in a greater energy demand during cooking to remove moisture.

The other strategies used were:

  • only using British potatoes, to cut down food miles
  • improving production efficiency to reduce gas by 11%, electricity by 22% and water consumption by over 700 million litres in their Leicester factory
  • making a 4.5% reduction in emissions associated with producing crisp packets
  • recycling over 90% of waste
  • reducing the weight of packaging
  • running delivery lorries on biodiesel and using fuel-efficient driving.

Benefits

Overall saving of 4,800 tonnes of CO₂ compared to 2007 footprint
Leading on carbon footprinting in the food sector
Engaged employees in the efforts to reduce impact

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