Campbell’s Raises the Bar High, Vows to Decrease Water Footprint
When your company has been making food products--including, of course, soup--the last 140 or so years, instilling change within an organization has it challenges. Nevertheless, the Campbell Soup Company has made some impressive gains the last several years. Part of the reason for Campbell’s progress is that the company has set aggressive, hard-nosed energy and water reduction goals. One executive with whom I spoke last week talked about the company’s agenda to halve its water and energy consumption 50 percent by 2020. By setting numbers that at first appear lofty and jarring, you spark innovation and ideas throughout the company. Tying bonuses to energy reduction does not hurt, either--and in fact foments a creative tension that motivates folks to find scaleable solutions. To that end, Campbell’s is working on its supply chain and seeks to reduce water consumption of its five most important agricultural ingredients. Water and energy benchmarks aside, Campbell’s greatest legacy may be the work its employees are doing in Camden, New Jersey, home to its headquarters. Camden is one of the poorest and most struggling cities in the United States. Other companies make the excuse that its food products are not the problem: Campbell’s ditches that debate aside, and delivers money, food, and volunteer hours to combat child obesity and make a difference for the 23,000 schoolchildren throughout Camden. The process is completely open source, and will be a template for other companies and organizations that seek to improve the lives of children across the USA and even the world.