PepsiCo Tracking The Carbon Footprint Of Orange Juice

02/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In this era of increasing environmental awareness, it's almost hard to believe that a company like PepsiCo doesn't already track its own eco-impact, but this news item says they're starting now -- with orange juice. When big companies start studying their carbon footprint, everybody has to take notice:

PepsiCo, feeling the (ever warmer) winds of change ruffle its hair, has decided to be proactive in measuring its own carbon emissions. Its test case is orange juice - how much does a glass of Tropicana contribute to global warming?

The company hired experts to measure emissions in every part of the orange juice-making process: Fertilizing the field, transporting orange cartons, running the factory. Turns out, growing is the single biggest source of emissions, as the nitrogen fertilizer used on citrus groves needs a lot of natural gas to make, and turns into a greenhouse gas when spread on the fields.

What will they do with the information? Hard to say. A best-case scenario might be seriously reducing their impact and labeling their products' carbon footprints as Japanese brewer Sapporo has started doing. But that's probably not coming.

In any case, awareness is an important first step.

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