How do we calculate the environmental impact of our products?

A travers l’exemple du Kiri à la crème

At Bel, we are committed to offering biodegradable and/or ready-to-recycle packaging by 2025. We have formalized our commitments in our Responsible packaging policy

To meet this goal, we carry out life-cycle analyses on our products. This standardized method consists of assessing the potential environmental impact of the products and their packaging, at every stage of their “life”, from the extraction of natural raw materials to the final processing of waste.

These analyses guide the eco-design and updating of our packaging.

In April 2021, Bel Group invested in eQopack, a life-cycle analysis tool dedicated to packaging and developed by Quantis. It complies with ISO 14 040 and primarily uses the Eco Invent database.

The life-cycle analysis method applied to Kiri with cream

In 2009, we carried out an initial life-cycle analysis of our Kiri® with cream products, made at our plants in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France, and Chorzele, Poland.

The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers using the life-cycle analysis method in accordance with ISO 14 040 and 14 044, and the data collected from the Group and our suppliers of raw materials and packaging. It was supplemented by the PwC – Ecobilan database and the ecoinvent database. It was carried at our plants in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France, and Chorzele, Poland.

The study considered the “production, packaging and distribution of 1 kg of Kiri with cream” to be a functional unit (FU).

It determined the product’s impact at every stage of its life, on the basis of four indicators: non-renewable energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and the generation of residual waste.

  • Production of raw materials
  • Production of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging
  • Transport of raw materials and packaging
  • Cheese production and packaging
  • Transport and storage of cheese throughout the distribution logistics chain (from BEL warehouses to the point of sale)
  • End of life of primary packaging

The main results

  • Raw materials, such as milk and cream, and packaging are the two main contributors to the impact of our Kiri products.
  • Raw materials, such as milk and cream, constitute the biggest contributor, excluding the production of industrial waste.
  • Packaging is the second biggest contributor to the overall environmental impact, with a significant impact on water (~ 20%) and energy consumption. Packaging accounts for 9% of greenhouse gases in this study.

Focus on packaging

The packaging of Kiri with cream products is made up of cardboard, displays and aluminum to guarantee their quality and food safety, from our production sites to the refrigerators of our consumers.

Primary packaging (aluminum portion and cardboard) directly purchased by the consumer accounts for more than 80% of the impact.

Secondary packaging (cardboard and display) accounts for 10% to 20% of the impact, and tertiary packaging (pallet) less than 2%.

Focus on packaging materials: cardboard and aluminum

Aluminum is the source of 60% of greenhouse gases and non-renewable energy consumption. However, when considering the product as a whole, aluminum represents only 4.5% of greenhouse gases.

For its part, cardboard requires a great deal of water.

Would you like to find out more about our life-cycle analyses? Contact our teams: [email protected]