Cocoa farmers

Discovering chocolate’s true carbon cost

With multiple ingredients and a complex manufacturing and processing chain, calculating an accurate carbon footprint for chocolate is not as easy as it may seem. As we work towards becoming a carbon positive business, we’re improving how we measure and understand the carbon footprint of chocolate. This story shows how this is also helping us become a forest positive business.

We’ve developed a carbon footprint calculator that breaks down the carbon impact along the cocoa production journey. The graph below shows that by far the majority of emissions come from ‘land use change’.  Land use change impacts stem from the past conversion of forests into agricultural land. Although this takes place long before we enter the journey, we see a responsibility – and an opportunity – to work with farmers on reforestation and crop diversity.

Cocoa graph
Organizational carbon footprint for 2016/17 = 8.23 mill tonnes C02e

As well as practical programs, we reach out to policymakers and other organizations to show the potential for agroforestry methods in tackling global climate and poverty reduction goals.

Giving customers the information they need

Not only is our carbon calculator helping us focus our own efforts on where we can cut the most carbon, we are convinced it will also help our customers make low-carbon decisions. For example, they will be able to measure the impact of their chocolate recipe, and compare it with different types of chocolate, and with other snack items too. Our smart carbon footprint tool can be found online.

Carbon calculator
Carbon calculator
Dark chocolate creates less carbon: producing dark chocolate emits around two-thirds less carbon than milk or white chocolate
Cocoa production in Brazil
Cocoa production in Brazil
Christiaan Prins

Christiaan Prins

VP Corporate Communications for Barry Callebaut. Believer in the urgent business case for sustainability. Married, father of two. Ph.D. in political science. Cyclist, sailer and Fender Strat player.

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