Sourced: Responsible Sourcing
Kettle Brand’s Natural Promise Extends to its Bag
One of our newly acquired brands is Kettle Brand. Sustainability has been a part of Kettle Brand’s Natural Promise for decades. When you open a bag of Kettle Brand chips, you expect real ingredients made by real people, sustainably. The brand team applied that same principle to the snack’s environmental footprint in 2019 when they redesigned the bag, resulting in a 43 percent reduction in plastic. What’s more, the associated GHG emissions from packaging are down by half and will help keep 2 million pounds of plastic from going to the landfill each year.
The efforts have paid off in another big way: the previous bag design was historically difficult to open without using scissors. Now with less packaging, the bag is easy to open without sacrificing quality.
V8 V-Fusion and Blends Bottles,
Now Fully Recyclable
Working in close partnership, our packaging and operations teams made a seemingly simple change to our V8 labels in 2019 to make the containers easier to recycle. While the V8 bottles have always been easily recyclable, the shrink sleeve labels around them were not. This is a common challenge because rigid plastics, like bottles, are easier to recycle than flexible plastics, like labels.
This becomes even more challenging when a shrink sleeve label covers the full bottle. Current recycling technology cannot always sort bottles that use full-coverage shrink sleeve labels. This meant that prior to this label change, consumers needed to remove the outer label before they put the plastic bottle in their recycling bins.
To overcome this challenge, we changed our labels on V8 V-Fusion and V8 Blends multiserve bottles, from shrink sleeve labels to wrap labels that cover only part of the bottle. Recycling technology can now easily sort the bottles and remove the wrap label in the municipal recycling process. Now our consumers no longer need to remove the labels before placing V8 bottles into their recycling bins. The result: tens of millions of bottles can now be fully recycled with ease. The newly designed packaging hit store shelves in July 2019 and showcases how we continue to make our packaging more sustainable.
Inspiring Better Recycling with How2Recycle
Packaging is a critical piece of our environmental footprint – and one we have made a priority to reduce. What makes it complicated is that often the impact is directly reliant on consumers’ product use and disposal. In order to make more and more of our packaging from recycled content, we need to advance two parallel efforts: keep packaging out of landfills as much as possible and ensure that there is a steady stream of clean recycled material. In 2008, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) launched a project to look into how consumers engage with on-pack labeling and whether there could be a standardized way of helping make recycling easy and guess-free. The result was the first consumer-facing How2Recycle label, launched publicly in 2012.
Three years later, the results are in – and responses indicate that the label inspires better behavior and cleaner recycling streams, also affirmed by our Plum Organics brand team, an early adopter of the label in 2017. So, in 2019, we expanded How2Recycle labels to six additional brands:
- Well Yes!
For 2020, we are reviewing all pack formats across Meals & Beverages and Snacks for additional opportunities to implement the label. Many of these will require label redesign, resizing and/or other adjustments to make the label work, but we are optimistic and look forward to rolling them out soon.
Refreshing What Responsible Sourcing Can Deliver
Following our acquisitions of Snyder’s-Lance and Pacific Foods, we spent much of 2019 reorganizing how we approach and implement our responsible sourcing function. This included evaluating and mapping our key ingredients, revisiting our commitments to make sure they continue to reflect our product portfolio and consumer expectations, building a foundation of data to help identify hot spots and opportunities for remediation, and engaging with key suppliers to conduct due diligence and ensure compliance with our responsible sourcing code.
One key result of the work was the further integration of responsible sourcing into the procurement function. Now, every new ingredient review includes a member of the responsible sourcing team to ensure additional social and environmental oversight and that, right from the start, every approved ingredient is being traced through an ingredient database all the way to its country of origin. This will ensure we are building consistent and systematic traceability beyond country of manufacturing.
Ensuring the Humane Treatment of Animals
Through a whole-bird model, which allows us full transparency into the life cycle of the chicken, we ensure that all the chicken meat we use is raised with No Antibiotics Ever (NAE). In addition, we have aligned with peers in our industry to move toward higher broiler chicken welfare standards by 2024, which would include:
- Providing more space for chickens by reducing stocking density to a maximum of six pounds per square foot
- Offering improved environments including litter, lighting and enrichment
- Processing chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead uses multistep, controlled atmospheric stunning
- Transitioning to breeds of birds approved by Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and, which are scientifically recognized as having higher welfare outcomes (deadline: 2026)
- Using third-party auditing to ensure compliance
With the acquisition of Pacific Foods, 13 percent of our chicken supply is certified GAP 2 by the Global Animal Partnership, which includes three of the five criteria for higher broiler chicken welfare.
In 2012, we committed to eliminating gestation crates from our pork supply chain and have been making steady progress. Over the past year, we learned that while pigs are spending less time in gestation crates, the crates were still used at certain times. We’ve worked with our suppliers and the University of Pennsylvania to better understand housing systems for pigs and their social behaviors. As a result, we are using the Ohio Livestock Care Standards to define our commitment. While we remain committed to ultimately eliminating the use of gestation crates and are partnering with suppliers to limit the amount of time spent by pigs in crates, there may be occasions when keeping pigs out of group housing may be beneficial for the well-being of all pigs by reducing unwanted aggression.
Reestablishing the Scope of Certifications
We also spent time in FY2019 to refresh how we approach supplier diversity and what it should and could include, as well as reestablishing how these certifications are tracked and updated. Based on what we heard from our suppliers and farmers, we are working to make the definition of “diverse supplier” in 2020 more inclusive, expanding the types of certifications we accept and recognizing small business. This allows more of our suppliers to be recognized as diverse, without having to worry about the costliness of certain certifications. This would especially benefit our diverse farmers who may be able to get a different type of accreditation/certification from their local municipalities at a much lower cost.
Our RSPO Journey
When we acquired the Snyder’s-Lance portfolio in 2019, we worked hard to map the brands that joined the Campbell family against our existing 100 percent certified RSPO palm oil commitment. We are excited to be integrating these brands into our commitment and are on target to achieve 100 percent certification by the end of FY2021. Transparency and collaboration will remain key priorities for us as we continue to formalize our commitments and work across the areas of animal welfare, human rights, climate change and unsustainable resource consumption.
Loving the Can Since 1869
While we continuously strive to improve our packaging, our soups have used steel cans for more than a century. Campbell has trusted the can to protect and preserve our food for millions of families. This infinitely recyclable packaging is part of our heritage and plays an important role in our portfolio today. Steel cans are the most recycled packaging material in the United States, with a recycling rate of over 70 percent. That means that the steel used in cans produced by Campbell 100 years ago could very well make up our cans today!