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Potatoes on a green mission

How much impact does a potato actually have on the climate? In April 2022, Starch Europe published the results of a life cycle analysis study, which shows a positive trend in the European starch industry as a whole.

Written by KMC

European starch producers have cracked the code when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions and the climate impact of their products. This is evident from the results of Starch Europe’s 2022 Life Cycle
Analysis (LCA) Study. The analysis is based on data from Starch Europe’s members, which comprise 34 European starch producers, and the results provide an overall picture of the industry’s environmental impact.

The LCA is the first of its kind in which all members have collected and reported data in the same way, after which Starch Europe has processed the data in compliance with EU standards. The methodology used also complies with PEF and LCA methodology as prescribed by the ISO 14040 and 14044 (ISO, 2006) standards. According to these standards, an LCA is carried out in four phases,
as was Starch Europe’s LCA.

KMC's climate efforts
At KMC, we are using the recent LCA as a benchmark for our own green mission. Since Starch Europe’s results are industry figures, own performance is not evident from the table. However, if we
look at our own data sets in isolation, we have reason to believe that we are doing well.

We remain strongly focused on reducing our CO2 emissions. Both in our production and out in the fields. Next, we are actively trying to use innovative solutions to achieve improvements, for example by integrating new technologies across the organization. Based on our existing knowledge and data and the technological advances being made, we are continuously working to become better.

Moreover, we are starting up a pilot project that will be able to say something about our growers’ climate footprint in the individual fields based on collected data. Using this tool, we hope that we can maximize the potential for each grower and learn more about the actual climate impact of growing our raw materials.

Towards a common goal
We still have a lot of work ahead of us before we have achieved our goals – both individually and at industry level, but we are seeing and feeling a growing trend. More and more of our customers
want to work with climate-conscious suppliers, and we want to be right at the front of the queue.

Consequently, we have set ourselves a goal: We want to lead the way and be among the first in the starch industry to become carbon-neutral.

It is a bold, but not an impossible ambition. From 2009 to 2019, total emissions by the industry decreased by 7% despite increases in production. In other words, we are on the right track, but still
some way from the goal of reducing the industry’s environmental impact through a 25% reduction in CO2 per ton of starch by 2030, compared to 2019.

With our various initiatives, we hope to be able to move not just KMC, but also our colleagues in Starch Europe towards a greener future.

Want to know more about our sustainable goals and ambitions?

Read the sustainability report in English

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