Reducing Food Waste: Campbell’s Soup to Turn Scraps into Power

reducing food waste

How cool is this? Campbell’s Soup Company is combatting food waste by turning food scraps from its soup production into biogas to power its facilities.

Reducing food waste on the consumer level is awesome, but one way to make a huge dent in the wasted food problem is to get corporations on board. A household cutting back food waste by 35 to 50 percent is great, but when a large food company does the same, we’re talking about hundreds of tons of food diverted from the landfill every single day.

In fact, this new scheme could keep as much as 450 tons of food waste like carrot peels and potato skins out of the landfill and instead turn it into green energy. Not only will they reduce food waste, but by replacing fossil fuels with biogas, the company is going to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

They’ll be producing enough green energy to meet 25 percent of their power needs, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider that they already get 15 percent of their power from a 60-acre, 9.8 MW solar system on a site adjacent to the factory.

Yes, Campbell’s is still a huge company, and they have a long way to go on the ingredients front – they still use factory farmed meat and GMO ingredients, for example – but you have to give them props for their efforts to reduce food waste and source clean energy. The biogas plant is under construction now and should begin providing clean energy by mid-2013.

What do you guys think about this? Does their commitment to clean energy make you more likely to buy soup from Campbell’s, or does the ingredients issue trump the clean energy efforts for you?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by iriskh

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6 thoughts on “Reducing Food Waste: Campbell’s Soup to Turn Scraps into Power”

  1. I don’t like canned soup so the answer is no.
    Glad they are creating biogas. shocking that they (and most consumers) let their vegetable scraps go into a landfill instead of compost and return to soil.
    Go easy on the strokes. The article points out that this is profitable.

  2. This is great, but I just can’t say “yay Campbell’s,” because I’m pretty peeved with them for fighting against labeling GMOs.

  3. I live just a few towns away from Campbells headquarters in Camden, NJ, and while there are some practices I hope they change as soon as they can, I’m very impressed with the company as a whole. First of all, they choose to stay in Camden, one of the poorest and dangerous cities in the country. They do all sorts of good work in the city, from sponsoring urban gardens to helping with education. They also do amazing work with the Food Bank of South Jersey. This year, they helped the food bank develop a product from New Jersey peaches that would have ended up in the landfill because they were bruised or not the acceptable size. It’s called Just Peachy salsa, and Campbells developed the recipe and canned the salsa for them – free of charge. Volunteer Campbell employees helped and even hand labeled every jar. All proceeds from the sale of the salsa go directly to the food bank. The salsa is all natural and delicious.

    I wrote about it on my blog

    I’m glad to see this information about Campbells. I didn’t know about it, and it gives me one more reason to be impressed with them. I think it’s really important that we do give companies like Campbells their props when they do something like this. I’m sure it encourages them to do more.

    1. That’s so great to hear!

      I am always torn when companies who I have problems with also are doing a lot of good. I think you’re right though. If we don’t give props to companies for making an effort, what reason do they have to make any other positive changes?

  4. It’s all cool and good but I personally do not buy Campbell’s products. Scare vegan options, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs and loads of sodium. Bleh.

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