Walkers to Cut Carbon Emissions by Bringing Potatoes Full Circle
Walkers, one of the largest buyers of British potatoes, is partnering with British clean-tech firm CCm Technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, by turning its potato waste into fertilizer. Using innovative carbon-capture technology, potato peelings leftover from making chips will be transformed into low-carbon fertilizer and returned to farms where potatoes for Walkers chips are grown across the UK.
Following a promising trial of the fertilizer, which was applied to potato seed beds this year, Walkers is planning to install CCm’s specialist equipment at its Leicester factory next year, to begin wider production in preparation for its 2022 crop. Once supplied at scale, the fertilizer is expected to reduce Walkers’ potato-based carbon emissions by 70%. The technology is designed to connect to the factory’s anaerobic digester, which uses food waste to generate nearly 75% of the electricity needed at the plant. The newly-installed equipment will use the by-product waste from the anaerobic digestion process to create the fertilizer. By turning potato waste into a reusable resource, Walkers is driving more circularity in the potato growing process, helping farmers reduce their impact on the environment. Walkers brand owner, PepsiCo, is also looking to bring the benefits of the new, circular fertilizer to further European markets and other crops.
David Wilkinson, PepsiCo’s senior director of European Agriculture commented:
“From circular potatoes to circular crops, this innovation with CCm Technologies could provide teachings for the whole of the food system, enabling the agriculture sector to play its part in combating climate change. This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey; we’re incredibly excited to trial the fertilizer on a bigger scale and discover its full potential.”
Pawel Kisielewski, CCm founding director added: “By enabling the sustainable reuse of waste resources and the locking of captured carbon back into the soil, our partnership represents a significant step forward in proving that agriculture can play a role in carbon reduction and the circular economy.”