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They say you can’t improve what you can’t measure, but measurement can be complex and time-consuming, especially when it comes to figuring out how to reduce environmental impacts.
That’s why Kraft Foods is using lifecycle assessment (LCA) to help it make the right changes and get the best results. LCA measures the footprint of what goes into making a product, from farm to fork and beyond.
“Lifecycle assessment is an important part of our sustainability journey,” said Roger Zellner, sustainability director for research, development and quality. “It gives us a competitive advantage, as we now have more insight into how to reduce our products’ footprints, find efficiencies and validate and explain those benefits to customers and consumers. Together, we’re focusing and working smarter and communicating better, which is good for the environment, people and our business.”
This LCA work builds on the multiyear footprinting project Kraft Foods recently used to map its impact on climate change, land and water use. This can reduce the amount of raw materials, such as agricultural commodities, used at the beginning of the supply chain. LCA also can help measure how product and packaging innovations improve on previous designs. For example, in the United States, the Kraft Yes Pack salad dressing team used LCA to confirm their design has a reduced environmental impact, using 60 percent less plastic packaging than the previous container.
At the heart of Kraft’s reductions in packaging is its Eco-Calculator, a proprietary tool that helps packaging designers create more efficient, sustainable solutions based on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and packaging industry groups.
Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. markets biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals under brands including Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, Lu, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident.