Our bakeries go through a lot of flour. Tons and tons of it. We are bakers and flour is the magic ingredient. We mix, shape, boil, and bake flour into our literal bread-and-butter. As we watch the incredible transformation that a ton of flour undergoes, it’s important to consider the effect our use of the flour has on the planet.
Agriculture is currently one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions. While the largest share of emissions come from livestock, crop production also contributes significantly. As a global bakery company and the largest food producing component of the Lantmännen we must consider the carbon footprint of bread and with that all stages from field-to-fork.
Many factors contribute to bread’s overall footprint, but the growing of the grain is the step in the chain that has the greatest environmental impact and consequently also the one that holds the most potential for improvement. From the "cradle-to-gate" assessment of one ton of plain wheat flour, farming is found to contribute with approximately 60% to the flour’s environmental footprint causing carbon emissions during planting, irrigation, harvest, milling and shipping. The fertilization of the soil is the main culprit – studies reveal that more than 40% of the emission come from fertilizer use, including the manufacturing of the chemicals*.
The big steps to reducing our carbon footprint
62% of Unibake’s total emissions derive from our supply chain and activities like farming related to the raw materials we use. Hereof, flour is our biggest single raw material emission contributor by far (23%). A footprint that is hard for us to change because it starts outside our own business.
This is where the uniqueness of our ownership kicks in. Over the years, our good colleagues in the Lantmännen Group have gained strong experience with climate friendlier solutions.
The scale and specialist knowledge that derives from the field-to-fork value chain that we are part of provide us with a unique opportunity to influence the flour footprint in our bakeries – an example of how we as a bakery company strongly benefit from our ownership.
To achieve net zero emissions, we need to reduce emissions as much as possible. We focus on seven crucial areas.
The Science-based targets Initiative (SBTi) commits us to support the Paris agreement in reducing the global warming to a limit of 1.5 degrees by 2030. It clearly demonstrates our climate ambition and commits us to be transparent and to calculate all emissions from our entire value chain. Committing to science-based targets maximizes the impact of our actions by including the hardest-to-do emissions in our Scope 3 and aligns our global climate ambition with the Paris Agreements (1.5℃).
Achieving net zero emissions will involve big changes and it can be very challenging to calculate, address and reduce the emissions that occur throughout the value chain. However, science-based targets are undeniably good for the planet - and in Unibake we believe that they are good for business, too. We can achieve net zero if we collaborate closely with our suppliers to develop climate friendlier ways to do business.
Our 7 crucial areas help us to build strong action plans with the necessary focus in all of our countries.
How we calculate our data:
- Flour, raw materials and packaging: based on material purchased volumes (ton) and emission factors form global CO2e databases (CO2e/ton)
- Energy: Based on yearly energy volume (MWh) and emission factors from global CO2e databases (CO2e/ton)
- Transportation: based on transported volume (pallet-km) and emission factors from global CO2e databases (CO2e/pallet-km)
- External warehouses: Based on warehousing spend (SEK), emission factor from global CO2e databases (CO2e/SEK)
- Business travel: Based on number of FTEs, average communting km per FTE + emission factors from global CO2e databases
- Company cars: Actual driven km, emission factor from global CO2e databases (CO2e/Km)
- Investements: Based on investment spend (SEK), emission factor from global CO2e databases (CO2e/SEK)
- Services: Based on services spend (SEK), emission factor from global CO2e databases (CO2e/SEK)