Mondelez makes snacking right for the environment

Mondelez Philippines is committed to making its manufacturing operation carbon neutral. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MONDELEZ PHILIPPINES

There should be no guilty feeling when snacking right. Consumers of Cheez Whiz spread, Oreo cookies, Tiger energy biscuits or Toblerone chocolates in particular don’t have to worry about the environmental impact of such popular food products as the factory where these are produced adheres to reduced carbon emission in its operation. In fact, Mondelez Philippines, which manufactures the iconic snack brands for the local market is the newest partner of the Net Zero Carbon Alliance.

NZCA is a private sector-led movement toward attaining net zero carbon emissions among businesses in the Philippines by guiding and helping partners achieve their company’s net zero carbon program.

Launched by the Energy Development Corporation, NZCA aims to engage in collaborative efforts with its partner companies and organizations to achieve carbon neutrality by or before the year 2050.

As a member of NZCA, Mondelez Philippines pledges net zero greenhouse gas emissions across full value chain by 2050.

“From the communities we work closely with, to the consumers who buy and enjoy our snacks, we do everything we can to ensure snacking is made right, all the way along our value chain,” shares Mondelez International managing director in the Philippines, Aleli Arcilla.

“There is an increasing snacking need in the country, but consumers do not want to have to choose between snacking and eating right. People want convenient and delicious snacks they feel good about eating made with less energy, water, and waste, with ingredients they know and trust. That is why we have stepped up our efforts to provide snacks made the right way, and with less impact on the planet.”

Green manufacturing

It did not take much to convince NZCA to accept Mondelez in the alliance considering the existing decarbonization programs of the company.

“We see them as one of the thought leaders in their industry that can influence others to join us in our journey toward net zero. Doing so is not only good for the environment. It is also crucial in future-proofing all businesses that are all affected by the ill effects of climate change,” says Frances L. Ariola, lead convenor of NZCA and head of Corporate Communications of the EDC.

“We need more companies like them to also take a strong stand toward climate change to have a more positive impact on our planet,” she adds.

According to Ariola, Mondelez has committed to share their net zero journey and accomplishments that other partners can learn from.

“Our goal in NZCA is to help them track their net zero activities through our net zero gateway, a platform that we developed to help our partners learn more about going net zero and capture their progress based on the net zero carbon framework that we put together for all partners,” she explains.

In the Philippines, the snacks company has been working steadily since 2018 to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from its manufacturing activities. Past initiatives included installing a biomass boiler inside its facility in Parañaque City. This utilizes a biodegradable fuel source of rice hull instead of traditional fossil fuels.

For the past five years, Mondelez International locally has been using 100 percent renewable energy for its plant, switching to hydro power in 2023 to make its well-loved snack products.

Since 2018, the company’s Philippine manufacturing plant has reduced its carbon emissions by as much as 96 percent.

Its mother company, Mondelez International, joined the Science Based Targets Initiative’s Net Zero Carbon Ambition two years ago and has submitted a time-bound plan consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius protocol. According to the said benchmark, the world’s average temperature should not exceed that of pre-industrial times by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. The 1.5C threshold was established in the Paris Agreement in 2015, a treaty of 195 nations.

Furthermore, Mondelez International confirms a goal to seek no deforestation across its primary commodities by 2025, in accordance with European Union Deforestation Regulation and SBTi guidance. The company has already made targeted investments and progress in three key areas around the world, namely in more sustainable ingredient sourcing, operations, and logistics.