Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Corporate Progress or Greenwashing?

I received this press release in my email today. I know I have promoted the company which is probably the purpose behind me receiving it. What I do find interesting is the attention paid to blogs by corporations. It is amazing the lengths a company will go to promote a green image. I'm sure other blogs on other topics receive the same type of messages.

I have no idea whether anything they claim in the press release is true, how close they are to reaching their goals or if they're just greenwashing. I am not endorsing anything but I have finally realized the power of the internet as my soapbox.

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2007


Cadbury Schweppes has launched its new environmental strategy designed to transform the company's manufacturing processes and assets, to minimize the use of energy, packaging and water in response to the challenge of climate change. Central to the strategy is the adoption of absolute rather than relative* targets for carbon emission reductions.

Cadbury Schweppes has pledged a 50% reduction of net absolute carbon emissions by 2020 aiming to reduce not just the 'relative' energy intensity of its global operations but also its absolute* carbon emissions through a balanced program of "saving, switching and, as a last resort, off-setting"**. This reinforces the recent moves by a number of retail and service sector companies around the world and adds considerable momentum to the growing consensus for 'absolute' measures.

In order to focus its strategy, Cadbury Schweppes has set the following targets:

50% reduction of net absolute carbon emissions by 2020 - with a minimum of 30% from in-company actions

10% reduction in packaging used per tonne of product and 25% in the more highly packaged seasonal and gifting items

Use more environmentally sustainable forms of packaging - aim for 60% biodegradable, with 100% of secondary packaging being recyclable

All 'water scarce' sites to have water reduction programs in place

Having launched its environmental commitments, Cadbury Schweppes hopes to unite the industry, joining forces with peers and partners throughout the supply chain, to reduce the carbon footprint of the food manufacturing sector.

Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, said: "We recognize that if we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to be 'absolutely' committed. This means re-thinking the way we do business, embedding sustainability into every decision we take. Not only will this have a strong social and environmental impact but also a positive economic impact too in the longer term.”

The Greening of Canada

In Canada, Cadbury Adams, the largest confectionery company in the country and a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, is taking
Cadbury Schweppes’ global leadership to a local level, expanding its focus on the environment through increased use of renewable energy, youth education programs, employee volunteerism, strategic partnerships, and reductions in packaging and energy use.

“Our goal is to have a positive impact on our environment and in our communities,” said David Sculthorpe, President,
Cadbury Adams Canada. “As business leaders, we have a responsibility and an obligation to help drive change. In today’s environment, how you make a product is just as important as the product itself.”

“Cadbury Adams has demonstrated its ongoing leadership in environmental action among Canadian corporations,” said Tom Heintzman, President, Bullfrog Power. “Choosing clean, emissions-free power for its head office and national distribution centre has been a significant step forward in reducing its carbon footprint and creating a healthier environment for future generations.”

Cadbury Schweppes’ environmental program has been in place for 15 years with a more aggressive push globally and locally within the last few years. In Canada, Cadbury Adams launched its environmental program two years ago and has already taken the following action to reduce its environmental footprint in Canada:

Carbon Emissions

· Implemented head office policies including network-only printers, motion sensor lighting, automatic double sided printing, and transit subsidy program

· Cadbury Adams’ head office and national distribution centre are Bullfrog Powered, sourcing green electricity and reducing carbon emissions by 4000 tonnes annually

· Reduced energy consumption across manufacturing facilities by 6% from 2005 to 2006


· Increased recycled materials in corrugated packaging from 50% to 73% or more than 1300 tonnes annually

· Reduced boxboard waste by over 29 tonnes (12.7%) and shrink wrap usage by 14 tonnes (11%) across Cadbury Easter Portfolio

· Reduced all product packaging by 3% per ton in 2006

Community Involvement – 2006 - 2007

· Planted more than 1650 trees at Parc Downsview Park to help build Canada’s largest, urban, national forest

· Planted more than 1500 native shrubs and grasses on Toronto Island

· Restored hiking trails in Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park

· Shoreline clean up along Ile St-Quentin Regional Park in Trois-Rivieres and along 14 km of the Toronto Waterfront, winning a Toronto Clean, Beautiful City award

Cadbury Adams has also partnered with Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) to create EcoLeague, a program that will rally behind kids from grades 4 to 8 to inspire Canadians to save the planet. Through youth forums, EcoLeague will provide the tools, resources and volunteers to implement environmental action plans in their classrooms, schools, homes and communities.

Green Activism

"We realize we cannot minimize the environmental impact of the manufacturing industry alone,” concludes Mr. Stitzer. “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".

In addition to taking real action, Cadbury Schweppes is also encouraging 'green activism' within the company, with employees empowered to take action, press for change and create a culture of environmental consciousness.

About Cadbury Adams Canada Inc.

Cadbury Adams Canada is the country's largest confectionery company and manufactures, markets and sells some of the country's leading chocolate, candy, cough and gum brands such as Caramilk, Dairy Milk, Mr. Big**, Dentyne*, Trident*, Bubblicious*, Halls*, and
Maynards Wine Gums*. Headquartered in
Toronto, Ontario, Cadbury Adams is a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes plc, a leading global confectionery and beverage company. Cadbury Schweppes is number one in sugar and functional confectionery, a strong number two in gum and the world's third largest soft drinks group.

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For more information, or to arrange an interview with a Cadbury Schweppes spokesperson, please contact:

David Weinstein Stephanie Minna

Strategic Objectives Cadbury Adams

Tel: (416) 366-7735; Fax: (416) 366-2295 Tel: (416) 590-5904

Email: davidw@strategicobjectives.com Email: stephanie.minna@cs-americas.com

*Absolute' vs. 'Relative' carbon emissions: Many companies have commitments to reduce their 'relative' carbon emissions, i.e. emissions per tonne of finished product. This means that as production processes become more efficient their energy intensity is reduced and less carbon is emitted. However under relative commitments, if the business grows the total amount of carbon emitted may also grow. An 'absolute' cut commits a business to reduce not only the emissions per tonne but also the overall footprint despite any growth. This makes absolute targets more challenging, particularly for a sector such as manufacturing.

** Save, Switch, Offset: The strategy outlines a clear hierarchy of control, starting with:

1. Saving by minimizing the use of energy through process optimization and efficiency improvements, or the installation of CHP/co-generation to optimize total energy requirements

2. Switching to more environmentally-friendly energy forms such as low or zero carbon fuels; the purchase of electricity on renewable energy tariffs or the installation of "renewable energy" generation on-site (e.g. solar, wind, biofuel)

3. Offsetting by incentivizing saving and switching by others, as a last resort

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