"We are keenly focused on breaking new ground in sustainable growing practices to reduce the carbon footprint of our products," says Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
"Our business is inextricably linked to agriculture, and we are keenly focused on breaking new ground in sustainable growing practices to reduce the carbon footprint of our products," Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, says. A pilot program to achieve this goal for PepsiCo's Tropicana brand orange juice even attracted the attention of TIME magazine.
"Our business is inextricably linked to agriculture"
Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
After identifying fertilizer in the growing process as the greatest contributor to their orange juice's carbon footprint, PepsiCo-Tropicana began discussions with Yara to find a greener solution. The result is an ongoing five-year trial with orange producer SMR Farms and the University of Florida to test calcium-based YaraLiva fertilizer, which has a range of advantages over traditional Ammonium Nitrate applications.
YaraLiva calcium nitrate is a more efficient fertilizer, requiring less to achieve equal or higher yield and has the potential to decrease the carbon footprint of orange juice production by 50 percent.
Mitch Willis, Tropicana Manager of Citrus Procurement Quality, said, "The outcome of this test is to prove the effectiveness of the low carbon footprint fertilizers - that you can have a low greenhouse gas (GHG) fertilizer and it still produces a great crop and a great tasting juice."
Yara has also responded to environmental concerns in the Nordic countries, after an initial approach by the organization Svenskt Sigill (Swedish Seal). This group, which includes the Federation of Swedish Farmers, two food labeling organizations and various dairy and meat co-operatives, has put animal welfare and green concerns high on the agenda, and issues 'seals of quality' to food and other agricultural products in Sweden.
Yara was asked to supply low carbon footprint products for conventional agriculture in order to avoid a situation where only organically produced food would gain the climate brand of approval. The response was a guarantee of Swedish Seal standards for Yara's entire product range.
"A study carried out by the National Board of Environmental Protection showed that 92 percent of consumers are interested in knowing more about how products are produced, and whether they are produced in a way that is better for the climate," Karin Lindow from Svenskt Sigill said.
Yara's Carbon Footprint Guarantee states that the GHG emissions from the production of Ammonium Nitrate based fertilizers have been reduced by 50 percent. In practice this means that for every hectare fertilized with 120 kilos N per year, the reduction of emissions is the same as cutting out about 3400 kilometers of driving by car.
Behind the issue
One 'secret ingredient' behind Yara fertilizer's smaller carbon footprint is the positive effect of its award-winning de-N2O catalyst, which has drastically reduced the GHG emissions linked to fertilizer production from its nitric acid plants. The average carbon footprint of Yara fertilizers is less than half of the carbon footprint of an average fertilizer producer.
"The Carbon footprint campaign has allowed us to take credit for work we have already done - investments in catalyst technology," Tore K Jenssen, former Head of Yara HESQ, explained. "Our recent investments in Europe have more than halved the carbon footprint of our Nitrate products."