PureCircle, the world's leading producer and marketer of high-purity stevia products announced it has cut the carbon footprint of its products by 15 percent since last year and is now a quarter of the way to its 2020 carbon footprint intensity goal.
PureCircle Director of Corporate Sustainability Ajay Chandran explained, “This is the third carbon footprint we’ve completed across our supply chain from farming to extraction and purification. The footprint reduction shows the rapid progress we’re making towards attaining our 2020 goals of carbon intensity reduction of 20 percent.”
The company has been able to achieve carbon reduction by continuing non-carbon intensive farming and processing practices, optimizing production scale and developing innovative products. As a result in the most recent fiscal year, PureCircle sold enough stevia to enable the food and beverage industry to eliminate close to 40,000 MT of greenhouse gas (GHG), which is the annual equivalent of removing 7,000 cars from the road.
“The exciting thing is,” said Chandran, “there’s a real impact when using PureCircle stevia in a product reformulation—say for instance a 30 percent reduced-calorie beverage. Based on BIER (Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable) industry research, natural caloric sweeteners are the second biggest driver of emissions outside of packaging. In a 30 percent reduced-calorie, naturally sweetened beverage, PureCircle stevia can have a carbon footprint one-fourth or less than benchmark sugar standards. Therefore using stevia to replace other natural caloric sweeteners has an impact not only on the carbon footprint but also the calorie footprint.”
The PureCircle carbon footprint was calculated following the GHG Protocol Product Standard—the foremost methodology for product lifecycle analysis of carbon emissions. Elements of the GHG protocol through World Business Council on Sustainability Development and World Resource Institute methodologies were also applied to ensure the methodology met the highest standards possible. To ensure transparency, a third-party organization was employed to calculate the carbon footprint. Calculations were computed by Verco, a leading independent carbon footprint expert. The footprint was further peer reviewed by a foremost environmental impact expert, Marcelle McManus, Ph.D., University of Bath, U.K. Briefly, PureCircle’s 2020 goals are to reduce its carbon intensity by 20 percent from its 2011 baseline and enable a cumulative reduction of the food and beverage industry’s:
- Carbon emissions by 1 million metric tons
- Water consumption by 2 trillion liters
- Calories in global diets by 13 trillion
The 2020 goals serve as an important next step in PureCircle’s sustainability journey, following the company’s publication of its Sustainability Commitment in 2011 and first Carbon and Water Footprint in 2012.