De Waaij’s research took Meelunie’s organic tapioca starch supply chain from Thailand to the US and made a cradle-to-gate assessment of the transportation of one 40-foot container. The supply chain involves multiple partners, over whose internal processes Meelunie has limited influence. But the research does mean we now have a better overview of the emissions per supply chain activity.
The real eye-opener was that over half of all supply chain CO2 emissions occur in creating the finished product, with the cultivation of cassava roots accounting for 37% and production of tapioca starch 36%. We had previously assumed that seaborne transportation was the largest source of emissions.
De Waaij recommends four steps to improve the supply chain’s sustainability performance: measure, reduce, compensate and communicate. Meelunie has translated this into the following commitments:
Once these four steps have been achieved, we plan to apply them to other supply chains. In the short term, our focus is on fine-tuning our CO2e calculator, so we can calculate not only emissions from deep-sea shipping movements but also our pre- and on-carriage by truck, train and barge globally. The increased accuracy of our measurements will also help us identify how best we can reduce and compensate those emissions.
Working as our CO2 coordinator, Jeroen de Waaij will be leading this work and developing a CO2 strategy for the coming years, as part of Meelunie’s efforts to stay a frontrunner in our industry when it comes to sustainability.