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A sweet way to reduce carbon emissions 

June 02, 2015

For the first time in 40 years, annual carbon emissions have plateaued. In 2014, global emissions remained at 32 billion metric tons, unchanged from 2013. The International Energy Agency said that the results were "encouraging" but that it was "no time for complacency".

While there is a general consensus that more has to be done to reduce our carbon footprint, the world's population keeps growing and the demand for food continues to rise alongside.

There will be over 9 billion people in 2050, half of that in Asia Pacific. By then, the global urban population is expected to make up 66 percent of the world's population, or more than 6 billion people.

These trends markedly point to an increase in carbon emissions and it is a fundamental responsibility to assess and reduce the environmental impact. And we cannot do it alone.

In China, Cargill has worked to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the supply of fructose to customer Coca-Cola. Instead of the traditional truck delivery method which accounts for carbon emissions, Cargill set up a sweeteners factory right next to the Coca-Cola plant in Luohe. This enables a direct pipeline transportation system which feeds fructose directly from the Cargill factory to Coca-Cola's.

"On top of carbon emissions, the truck delivery method used more water and energy," said Dennis Seah, Cargill Food Ingredient System Go to Market leader for Asia Pacific. "The pipeline system allows us to conserve water and steam previously used to wash the transport trucks after each delivery, and conserve electrical energy used to pump products into the trucks."

Since the pipeline system was installed, it has saved over 3,000 metric tons of water and over 18,000 kilowatts of electricity every year. Additionally, it has reduced carbon emissions by 110 metric tons annually.

"This is the first time we collaborated with Coca-Cola for this over-the-fence pipeline system," said Jerry Liu, business unit leader for Cargill Starches and Sweeteners China. "Cargill aims to continue to support our customers in an environmentally friendly way. We are working on a new plan which will bring an annual carbon emission reduction by 10,000 MT."