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Cadbury Schweppes Unveils Plan to Cut Emissions

Cadbury Schweppes announced Saturday a plan to cut its net "absolute" carbon emissions, touting itself as the first United Kingdom food manufacturer to commit to using "absolute" measures in fighting climate change.

By 2020, the confectionery company famous for its Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs and other sweets intends to slash half of its net absolute carbon emissions, with at least 30 percent from in-company actions.

"We recognize that if we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to be 'absolutely' committed," said Cadbury Schweppes CEO Todd Stitzer in a statement. "This means re-thinking the way we do business, embedding sustainability into every decision we take."

The manufacturer follows in the footsteps of companies from the retail and service sectors that have tried to limit their overall carbon footprint using absolute measures, as opposed to the amount of carbon emissions relative to finished product.

Its strategy involves minimizing energy use through efficiency improvements, switching to more environmentally energy forms and, as a last resort, offsetting.

Cadbury Schweppes also plans a 10 percent reduction in packaging per ton of product, and a quarter less packaging in its seasonal and gift products.

The type of packaging it uses, too, will change. Its goal calls for the 60 percent use of biodegradable packaging, and with all of its secondary packaging being recyclable.

All manufacturing sites located in water scarce areas will implement water programs.

The environmental strategy, dubbed "Purple Goes Green," also aims to empower its employees to take action against climate change, as well as creating partnerships to reduce the carbon footprint of its supply chain and the food industry at large.

"However, we realize we cannot minimize the environmental impact of the manufacturing industry alone," Stitzer said. "We need to work with our people, our peers and partners in our supply chain to reduce the size of our collective carbon footprint - acting as a united force for good."

The director of the business program of Forum for the Future, a sustainable development charity, lauded the decision.

"The food industry is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, so it's heartening that such a significant brand has committed to taking a leadership position on this issue," said Dr. Sally Uren.

The move follows a series of actions by the company's environmental program during the last 15 years.

For example, its switched to sourcing some of its electricity from renewable sources, such as hydro-power fueling its Tasmania manufacturing site. In 2005, the company switched from coal-fired boilers to natural gas boilers at its site in Bournville, England.

The company targeted water usage at sites such as the one in Bangalore, India, where methods of recapturing and re-using water are used to achieve zero water discharge.

Source: GreenBiz

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