Walkers crisps retains its carbon label

Crisp maker Walkers has become the first company to retain its carbon footprint reduction label after cutting its emissions by 7% over two years. The firm is committed to achieving further reductions over the next two years.

Walkers’ emission reductions are the first to be verified under PAS 2050, the standard to measure the embedded carbon in products and services launched by BSI British Standards and the Carbon Trust (ENDS Report 406, pp 26-28 ).

The firm was one of three to test carbon labelling, making a commitment to reduce its footprint by 3% by 2009. Firms that fail to meet the reduction target are banned from using the label.

Changes to the PAS 2050 methodology mean that the embedded emissions from a standard bag of Walkers crisps have increased from 75g to 85g.

Nevertheless, Walkers says that savings largely achieved through a reduction of manufacturing gas and electricity consumption have cut 6g of CO2 equivalent from the footprint of a standard bag of crisps - a total saving of 4,800 tonnes of CO2 e. Working with suppliers to use lightweight secondary packaging and improve the transportation and distribution of potatoes also contributed to the cut. The gains were achieved despite an increase in the carbon intensity of its grid electricity supply.

Walkers’ owners, PepsiCo, has pledged to convert all energy used in its operations to renewable sources within 14 years and to achieve zero waste to landfill across its total supply chain by 2018.

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