Video (Only Availabe to UK Residents)
So how exactly do you measure a carbon footprint of an individual product? Well to calculate the footprint of Walkers Crisps the Carbon Trust looked at the key stages in Walkers supply chain from sowing potato and sunflower seeds, to getting the crisps on the shelves, to finally disposing of the packet. From this they calculated the energy consumption directly involved in each of these stages, and converting this into the resulting amount of carbon emissions. The results from each were then accumulated to give an overall figure.
The final result equated to 75g of CO2 per 34.5g of Cheese & Onion crisps. Walkers plan to calculate the carbon footprint of all their products.
"We wholeheartedly believe that taking action to raise awareness of carbon as an issue is the right thing to do and are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our products. We hope this will empower people to make more informed choices about the products they are buying."It is always a pleasure to see an international market leading brand focus on how it can improve its environmental impact, the implementation of energy saving initiatives throughout the supply chain will benefit the company through proportional cost savings. The fact that they have implemented a concept from the Carbon Trust, known as the "Carbon Label" which in order to carry the stamp the brand must make a solemn promise to reduce their CO2 emissions, has been mildly discussed in the UK already (that products should be marked with details of its carbon footprint or to a lesser extent if they were imported by air). Hopefully we will see other brands follow Walkers, Boots (Organic Shampoo - 148g) and Innocent (Smoothies - 294g) lead by mapping out their environmental impact and displaying it on their products, allowing consumers to make informed choices next time they shop, because it is what 66% of consumers want according to research conducted amongst 1159 consumers from across the UK by GfK NOP during October 2006.
Neil Campbell, Walkers Crisps
As part of their partnership Walkers and the Carbon Trust have reduced the carbon footprint per pack by 33%. Maybe next time you see a bag of Walkers they won't say "70% less saturated fat", they might say "33% less CO2 emissions".