Tate & Lyle has announced today that the carbon footprint of its retail cane sugar is 380 grams of CO2 per 1 kilogram bag. Tate & Lyle sugar will carry the Carbon Reduction Label later in the year.
A 12 month project, using the PAS 2050 methodology and the Carbon Trust’s Footprint Expert tool, measured the carbon footprint for Tate & Lyle’s UK cane sugar refining business from the sugar cane field, to supermarket shelf, to consumer consumption and waste disposal. The project also calculated the carbon footprint of bulk granulated sugar for supply to industrial customers at 300 grammes CO2 per 1kg.
Raw cane sugar milling is almost carbon neutral. Cane grows in the field, waste fibre from the cane powers the factory and the cane re-grows each year, often up to 10 times without the need for replanting. It is then transported by Tate & Lyle to its UK refinery by ship; widely regarded as the most energy efficient mode of transport only producing very small levels of CO2 emissions per tonne shipped.
The company committed to measure and reduce its carbon footprint in December 2007, when it also announced plans for a new biomass boiler at its Thames site. The new biomass boiler, which is currently being commissioned, will provide Tate & Lyle with 70% of its energy needs at the London refinery allowing the company to reduce its use of fossil fuels.
Simon Houghton-Dodd, Head of Quality and Sustainability at Tate and Lyle Sugars said: “We have received a great deal of interest in our carbon footprint from customers. It is great that we can demonstrate that because of the methods used in sugar cane farming, milling and refining, although it is grown so far away, Tate & Lyle cane sugar has a very low carbon footprint; there is no conflict between choosing to support trade with developing countries and seeking to minimise your carbon footprint."
Euan Murray, General Manager Carbon Footprinting, Carbon Trust said: “Tate & Lyle’s project shows that ‘food miles’ should not be the main consideration for consumers who are trying to buy green. The Carbon Trust’s rigorous and independent certification process shows that products that source raw materials from developing countries like Belize and Ghana, don’t necessarily have higher footprints.
Consumers repeatedly tell us that they want to be able to make informed climate friendly choices when they shop. Seeing our Carbon Reduction Label on basics like sugar lets them know that Tate & Lyle is committed to reducing the carbon footprint across the supply chain of that product. The Carbon Trust congratulates Tate & Lyle for taking on this project and for their commitment to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.”
Notes to editors
Tate & Lyle has an overall target to reduce energy consumption by 3% per annum and this has been in place since 2000. In addition, the company is a net-exporter to the National Grid from its London refinery.
For more information on the Carbon Trust
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· The Carbon Trust is the leading international organisation helping companies measure, reduce and communicate the carbon footprints of their products and services. The carbon footprint of a product or service is the total carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during its life, from production to final disposal.
· The Carbon Trust and Defra co-sponsored the development of PAS 2050 by BSI British Standards, published in October 2008. The PAS 2050 is the first international standard for companies to measure the carbon footprint of their products and services.
· In 2007, The Carbon Trust also launched the Carbon Reduction Label to help companies communicate the impact of their product carbon footprinting work to consumers. Companies that display the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label (on pack, online or elsewhere) are making a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of their product or service.
· The Carbon Trust has worked with companies on more than 65 product carbon footprinting projects and 3,000 individual product lines. They have worked with many internationally recognised brands including PepsiCo (Tropicana, Walkers and Quakers), Tesco, Coca Cola, Marshalls, and Kimberly Clark.