“The food industry has seen countless challenges in the last two years,” said Miguel Patricio, Kraft Heinz CEO and chair of the board of directors.
“It is during these challenging moments when true innovation happens, and collaborations are most important. Working with our many partners, we are developing solutions to foster a more inclusive workforce, address climate challenges, and combat food insecurity."
Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
In its 2022 ESG report, Kraft Heinz said it had committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operational footprint (Scope 1 and 2) and global supply chain (Scope 3) by 2050 and a near-term goal of halving emissions by 2030.
The company has made progress in the area of waste reduction and its broader goal of reducing waste to landfill intensity by 20% across its manufacturing facilities by 2025. A the end of 2021, the company achieved a waste-to-landfill reduction of nearly 15% through methods such as converting leftover packaging into new end uses and diverting 'sludge waste' from landfill by utilizing it for composting.
Another area the company is targeting is reducing the amount of food waste which accounts for an estimated 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
In Canada, the company reduced food waste by 25% in 2021 as compared to 2017.
"When we think of food waste at Kraft Heinz, we think of it in terms of our highest priorities. We focus on the entire value chain in terms of where food waste can be reduced. This includes sourcing, production, transportation, shelf life, use and end-of-life. We analyze and test how processes, products and packaging can be optimized. We investigate where unneeded byproducts or unwanted finished products can find other uses versus going to landfill, such as beneficial land application and product donations to those in need," noted Kraft Heinz.
In 2018, Kraft Heinz committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. By the end of 2021, 84% of the company's global packaging portfolio met that goal.
"The majority of our packaging is paper-based, glass or metal materials that are recyclable. The other portion of our packaging is mostly made up of flexible plastic films or rigid plastic containers," said Kraft Heinz.
As part of its broader sustainable packaging goal, Kraft Heinz created a fully circular Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle in Europe by 2022 including a recyclable cap. The bottle is expected to be rolled out globally, starting in Europe, by the end of 2022.
The company is also currently developing and testing a fiber-based microwavable cup for Kraft Mac and Cheese slated for release by the end of 2022.
"We continue to pursue technical alternatives and more sustainable packaging across key areas of our portfolio," noted Kraft Heinz.
The company is also working to implement more sustainable agricultural practices and responsible sourcing methods with a focus on human rights, animal welfare, and deforestation. The company has made several commitments in this area including sourcing 100% of its eggs globally from cage-free or better (e.g. free-range) hens by 2025. The company is on track with 64% of eggs coming from cage-free hens, said Kraft Heinz.
It is also on track towards its goal of purchasing 100% sustainable sourced tomatoes for its Heinz Ketchup products by 2025.
More plant-based and organic options
Another major part of its focus is creating more "nutrition- and consumer-conscious products" starting with increasing the number of plant-based and organic options.
Last year in the UK market, the company launched three varieties of Heinz Beanz Burgerz, a vegan mayonnaise, and vegan alternative to Heinz Salad Cream. The company also launched introduced Heinz Veg Hoops with 30% extra vegetables, and lactose-free Philadelphia Original Brick Cream Cheese.
In the US, Kraft Heinz continues to expand its certified organic offerings across its well-known brands including Heinz tomato ketchup products, Classico sauces, and certain Capri-Sun juices.
“Innovations like the fully circular Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle and new plant-based products like vegan mayonnaise are great examples of how Kraft Heinz is working to lead the future of food,” said Rashida La Lande, EVP, global general counsel, and chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at Kraft Heinz.
“This work demonstrates the potential that lies at the intersection of doing what’s good for the planet and addressing important consumer needs at the same time.”