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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kraft’s Water Targets Exceeded

A couple of weeks back I noticed that Steve Yucknut, Vice President, Sustainability at Kraft announced that the company has reduced water usage by 21% since 2005. That is ahead of target and represents a whopping 12 billion liters saved.

But I imagine that the challenges in the water sustainability space parallel those for carbon emissions (I highlighted some of these challenges in my post World’s Largest Companies Not Doing Enough).

How much is enough? For climate change I think there is some consensus that enough is avoiding catastrophic climate change. Perhaps it should be avoiding any climate change, but few believe that that is now practicable. We do know that we are not currently doing enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. I don’t know what ‘enough’ is for water.

And just like climate change there are also different methodologies. A quick web search showed that the metric used by the Coca-Cola Company is intensity based - liters of water per liter of product saved. 2005 to 2007 shows a 5% reduction (2.6 down to 2.47 liters). PepsiCo has a target to reduce consumption by 20% by 2015 based on 2006 baseline.

I don’t provide this data to compare or judge Kraft with Coca-Cola or PepsiCo. Simply to illustrate that the challenges in climate change targets are not limited to carbon emissions but apply to other areas of sustainability too.

1 comment:

  1. Points all well taken Kevin. At Kraft we track both absolute and normalized information relative to energy, water and waste. We find value in both methods. Because of our overall size and always evolving portfolio, we really need both. Normalized tends to be what we refer to most often internally, as that takes out the impact of product mix on both a long term (divestitures/acquisitions) and short term (seasonality) basis