Kraft Cuts Waste and Exceeds Goals by Double

Kraft Foods Boasts Zero-waste Plants and Reduces Net Manufacturing Waste by 30%

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted July 12, 2010

Believe it or not, the company that started as a wholesale door-to-door cheese business in Chicago in 1903 is now making great strides in waste management and reduction through ambitious efforts in recycling, waste-to-energy projects, and composting.

Kraft has cut its net manufacturing waste by 30% and recycles or reuses 90% of its waste.

The Illinois-based company announced goals to cut net manufacturing waste by 15% by 2011 back in 2005… It has far surpassed this goal, doubling waste reduction.

What’s more, Kraft boasts nine manufacturing plants that don’t use landfills for waste management.

The five facilities located in the United States, a U.S.-based distribution center, and three plants in Canada have achieved zero-waste status by finding alternative uses for garbage, re-envisioning how to recycle waste using local energy facilities, and cutting down on waste in general.

Kraft reports the company’s European plants have next to zero net waste…

With a presence in more than 155 countries worldwide, improving packing and energy efficiency and recycling in plants in even a small way makes a big difference in overall waste.

Kraft’s Australian facility was able to reduce waste by 125 tons last year, simply by increasing the efficiency in the peanut butter manufacturing line.

Mustard seed hulls leftover from the manufacture of Grey Poupon are being used as animal feed in Pennsylvania farms where they are sent from the Allentown plant.

Kraft (NYSE: KFT) is the United States’ largest food, beverage, and confectionery corporation and the second largest in the world, after Nestlé.

The company announced its “six areas of focus” for sustainability, using 2005 as its base year, with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing waste and energy use by 2011.

We’re concentrating on the issues most relevant to our business and the areas where our support can make a difference: agricultural commodities, packaging, energy, water, waste, and transportation and distribution.

Aside from Kraft’s goal to reduce waste at manufacturing plants by 15%, the company pledged to:

• Reduce energy use in manufacturing plants by 25%

• Reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing plants by 25%

• Reduce waste at our manufacturing plants by 15%

• Eliminate 150 million pounds (68,000 metric tons) of packaging material


And based on the company’s 2005 baseline, Kraft has cut packaging in its products — in everything from salad dressings to Life Savers to Teddy Grahams to its famous Macaroni and Cheese — by 174 million pounds.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 17%; energy use by 15%; water consumption by 32%.

The company is the largest purchaser of coffee and cacao beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, a New York-based organization working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainability in agriculture and business and consumer practices.

And while Kraft is comprised of numerous plants, distribution centers, and found in nearly every supermarket chain and independently-owned grocer in the world, the company has managed to cut 50 million miles from its global transportation network.

You can read Kraft Foods’ Responsibility Report, “Working to Build a Better World,” right here.

Green Chip Living has reported on sustainable corporate behavior before, and we are only happy to hear and write of more news of continued efforts by large corporations who find that corporate social responsibility and sustainable practices are good for ethics, the bottom line, and the world to which they’re selling.