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By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor | 09/04/2008
Danone: Economic development in poorer countries
Since 1995, environmental management has followed the “Charter for the environment,” at Paris-based Danone Group (www.danone.com). Production and packaging objectives set for 2000-2010 were achieved by 2008, and it has a Carbon & Water footprint tool in place to measure its environmental footprint. Reducing CO2 and water consumption throughout its supply chain are among Danone’s priorities. Danone collects and recycles packaging in 23 countries. Targeting the reduction of weight in its packaging by 10 percent, and the weight of 1.5 liter bottles has been reduced by 35 percent. And working with the French food safety agency (Afssa) should in time, allow bottles to be produced with 25 percent of recycled PET. Carbon emissions have been reduced by 26 percent by more efficiently transporting product throughout Europe. In 2000, Danone set up a program to audit plants, based on operating permits, water supplies, waste, atmospheric emissions, storage of materials, refrigeration installations, energy, noise, managing the environment, land and waste. The audit is conducted by a third party organization. In 2007 and for the third consecutive year, Danone is one of the “Hundred most sustainable companies worldwide,” according to Innvest. And the company has established the Danone communities fund, to support businesses whose social impact is in line with Danone’s, thereby contributing to the economic development of poorer countries while maximizing environmental responsibility.
Cargill: Meat scraps into energy
Responsible for the environmental footprint and safe operation of more than 1,200 facilities, Wayzata, Minn.-based Cargill (www.cargill.com) has pledged to improve its greenhouse gas intensity 8 percent, improve water efficiency 2 percent, and energy efficiency by 20 percent, and to source 10 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2010. Cargill Meat solutions uses meat scrap waste to make methane and replace high-cost natural gas, reports CNBC. Process water waste is treated in large lagoons covered with giant tents to capture the biogas, a powerful greenhouse gas emitted. The methane gas is then fed to the plant’s boiler room to generate steam and hot water. The system has displaced 20-25 percent of all natural gas demand and reduced Cargill’s greenhouse gas emissions by 325,000 tons annually.
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