Big confectioners and greenhouse gas emissions

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Greenhouse gases are contributing to temperature rises that could impact crops such as cocoa
Greenhouse gases are contributing to temperature rises that could impact crops such as cocoa

Related tags Carbon dioxide Greenhouse gas has scoured reports from the top five confectioners to unearth efforts being made to slash CO2 emissions.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), greenhouse gases (GHGs) are contributing to temperature rises that will present challenges to society and the environment.

These temperature changes may also affect crops key to confectioners, such as cocoa. We look at what the big firms are doing to cut emissions.


Hershey logo white

Estimated CO2 emissions: ​416,281 metric tons CO2e* (North American plants only – 2011 data)
Progress: ​15.2% reduction in emissions from 2008 baseline
Future target: ​Cut emissions 13% by 2015 from 2009 baseline

Hershey is reporting its CO2 emissions to the independent Carbon Disclosures Project​ (CDP) and also communicates progress in its Corporate Social Responsibility Report​. However, it only reports levels in North American plants.

The company is using compressed-air systems, biogas recovery and boiler control efficiency projects to slash emissions.

It has installed wastewater treatment facilities at four plants to capture methane gas to use as a fuel and has converted a boiler at a plant in Hawaii to burn macadamia nut shells resulting from processing.

Hershey receives rebates of $133,857 from utility partners for its environmental efforts. The company said it saved $21.3m from all its environmental initiatives in 2011.

Kraft Foods/Mondelez 

kraft new

Estimated CO2 emissions: ​3.3 million metric tons CO2e* (2010 – Kraft Foods)
Progress: ​5% reduction on 2010 baseline
Future target: ​Reduce GHG emissions by 15% compared to 2010 baseline

Data for the newly inaugurated Mondelez International is not yet available, so the figures above relate to Kraft Foods prior to the split.

Kraft​ is another confectioner reporting emissions to the CDP. The vast majority of its emissions come from the US.

It has reduced CO2 emissions by replacing ozone-depleting refrigerant chillers with energy-efficient anhydrous ammonia systems.

The company has also moved to smaller high-efficiency boilers and new energy-efficient lighting that uses a new type of metal halide to allow for more efficient T5 tubes to be installed in older T8 fluorescent light fittings in distribution centers and factories.


Nestle confectionery heart logo

Estimated CO2 emissions: ​7.1 million metric tons CO2e*(2010)
Progress: ​Unknown
Future target: ​Reduce emissions 5% by 2015 compared to 2010 baseline

Nestlé​ also reports to CDP and is taking a taking life-cycle approach from farmer to consumer to reduce emissions. The figures presented above represent the company’s emissions for its entire operations and not only confectionery.

Nestlé is using natural refrigerants to reduce F-gases and is also deriving energy from spent coffee grounds. Around 12% of the energy used in Nestlé factories comes from renewables.

The company has also shifted from road transportation to rail and short-sea shipping, which has helped to slash 2,400 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2011.


Mars bar logo

Estimated CO2 emissions: ​Mars Incorporated - ​1.8 million metric tons CO2e (2011) / Mars Chocolate – 599,000 metric tons CO2e (2011)
Progress: ​Emissions reduced 5% between 2007 and 2011 (Mars Incorporated)
Future target: ​Cut operational emissions 25% by 2015 compared to 2007 baseline

Mars has failed to respond to CDP requests to report CO2 emissions, but has communicated levels in its recently published Principles In Action Summary​ 2011.

The company says that 56% of total GHG emissions relate to products and services it purchases and agricultural raw materials.

Mars says it is working with partners such as the University of California to reduce emissions in the supply chain.


ferrero logo

Estimated CO2 emissions: ​407,963 CO2e (2010)
Progress: ​14% reduction between 2009 to 2010.
Future target: ​Cut 40% of emissions from operations by 2020 compared to 2007 levels

Ferrero has no obligation to report CO2 emissions to the CDP as it is a private entity - however it communicates progress in its corporate social responsibility​ reports.

In 2007, Ferrero set up a subsidiary called Energhe​ to boost efficiencies with thermal energy.

Ferrero uses mainly natural gas cogeneration for energy at its plants, but also uses liquid biomass cogeneration and some photovoliac and windpower.

Also in 2007, Ferrero partnered with energy company Egea, to create a high efficiency cogeneration plant “Alba power”.

This tele-heating scheme uses hot water as a heat fluid transfer to provide all the energy to heat the city of Alba in Italy, including Ferrero’s factory.

*Carbon Disclosures Project Scope 1&2 emissions

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