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Klimaprotest Schild Respect your mother

Climate-friendly chocolate - why products must also be good for your children. And your children's children of your children.

Did you know that some foods are real climate killers? Unfortunately, chocolate also emits countless greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, we will never give up our desire for climate-neutral products, because where there is a will, there is a way.

hand on heart If you take a closer look at the countries from which the ingredients of our products come, one thing becomes clear: our bar is not particularly regional. While some raw materials such as sunflower protein and currant powder come from Europe, our main ingredients such as cocoa, hemp seeds and coconut blossom sugar are grown and processed in more distant countries. As much as we would like to get all our raw materials as close as possible directly from German fields - when it comes to sourcing some ingredients, there is unfortunately no alternative to our choice. What would a chocolate bar be without cocoa?

Fridays for Future protest sign One World

Rainforests also have to die for cocoa cultivation

In addition to soybean, coffee and palm plantations, cocoa plantations are among the main causes of rainforest deforestation. The rainforests are being cleared and cocoa monocultures are growing for miles. Without the protection of the rainforest, the shade-loving trees need more water and usually have to be additionally protected with pesticides and herbicides. This then leads to increased water consumption of an average of 1700 liters of water per 100g of chocolate bar. In addition, there are CO2 emissions that arise during production. - One kilo of cocoa mass causes an average of 3.5 kg of CO2.

Although there is now a CO2 price for companies that place such products on the market, in our opinion the price is far too low. A current study shows that increasing the price of CO2 certificates would lead most efficiently to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.

No product is emission-free

Admittedly, no matter what product you make, emissions are almost always released. One should consider: The transport is comparatively low in terms of the emissions of a food. Transport accounts for around 4% of emissions on average. Other factors such as manufacturing, production, water consumption or cultivation methods often play a greater role: An Allgäu cheese or a Frankfurt sausage can cause far higher emissions through animal husbandry and processing than cocoa beans or fruit from the other side of the world. So not only the origin is decisive, but also how climate-friendly raw materials are produced. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that there are a number of factors that contribute to the CO2 account of our products. An unsolvable problem? no way.

Climate-friendly chocolate – how does it work?

In order to put our goal of "climate-friendly chocolate" into practice, we have several solutions:

  1. Because all of our suppliers and raw materials are organically certified, our suppliers contribute to the protection of natural resources such as soil, water and air by avoiding the use of pesticides and chemical-synthetic fertilizers, as well as chemical additives. In addition, organic-certified companies promote biodiversity by mainly sourcing raw materials from mixed cultures. By operating in cycles and by adapting cultivation to climatic conditions, they conserve both energy and raw materials.
  2. We have recorded the CO2 emissions of our nucao original together with ClimatePartner: from raw materials to packaging to logistics and disposal, our bar emits 457 g of CO2. We offset all of these unavoidable CO2 emissions by supporting a recognized forest protection project in Peru that is certified according to international standards, as well as a project for clean drinking water in Madagascar. With our ClimatePartner label with ID number, our customers can see how and where the CO2 offset took place - TÜV Austria certified.
  3. But that's not enough for us: we plant a tree for every product sold. Together with our partner Eden Reforestation Projects , we have already planted a hell of a lot of mangroves (and other tree species) and are well on the way to not only planting trees, but restoring entire forests and ecosystems. We also cooperate with the Bergwaldprojekt eV association, which is committed to a healthy, diverse forest in the DACH region.
  4. We reduce emissions wherever we can, in cultivation, supply chain & production: for example through green electricity, a heat pump, energy efficiency and the processing of climate-friendly materials such as Sympatex.
sustainable cocoa bean cultivation

We're still a long way from our goal

By creating our CO2 balance sheet, determining reduction measures and then offsetting the unavoidable CO2 emissions, we took action. We are on a path that represents a continuous optimization of our CO2 balance through long-term reduction measures. This process is not only dependent on innovations, but also triggers innovations.

In the future, we want to work even more intensively with all actors along the supply chain and expand the cooperation, above all through regular visits, shorter supply chains and regional reference.

Lettering 7 million trees and counting

Together with our suppliers and partners, we create a self-assessment concept that enables us to analyze risks such as the origin of the ingredients and the number of stages in the supply chain and to further expand our awareness of sustainable management. The project should result in a catalog of requirements for sustainability, in which we have defined social (exclusion of child labour, good working conditions, fair wages) and ecological criteria (lower water consumption in
agriculture, CO2 reduction efforts, environmentally friendly transport) are covered. In perspective, there is also the possibility of using blockchain technologies to track relevant data (e.g. on location, wages and working hours) along the supply chain without an external inspection body and thus ensure more transparency on the part of all actors.

Would you like to learn more about our sustainability concept? Then take a look at our Impact Report . This not only gives you insights into the holistic nature of our corporate philosophy, but is also regularly updated as soon as new goals have been achieved.

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Eden Reforestation Projects employees with seedlings for reforestation

Sustainable chocolate bars - how nucao ensures fair conditions and a greener world

Sources and further information:
(1) https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/die-co2-preise-explodieren-101.html
(2) https://www.pv-magazine.de/2021/02/09/studie-hohe-co2-bepreisung-effektiver-fuer-klimaschutz-als-eeg-foerderung/)
(3) Mekonnen, MM and Hoekstra, AY (2011) The green, blue and gray water footprint of crops and derived crop products, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15(5): 1577-1600.)
(4) https://www.nachhaltiger-warenkorb.de/wie-umweltschaedlich-ist-schokolade/