Is Chocolate Eco-friendly?
Chocolate is big business. The average UK citizen spends £75.25 a year on it.
Energy Saving Trust reports that a 2018 study found that in the UK, the chocolate industry is responsible for two million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The number shouldn’t come as a surprise if you consider the cocoa, milk, manufacturing and shipping involved. According to the same study, dark chocolate is a better option than milk if you’re considering carbon emissions.
The impact of climate change tends to be most felt in the same areas as where chocolate is farmed – Central and West Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Besides, the cocoa industry has also been associated with deforestation and child labor.
Undoubtedly, the manufacturing of chocolate products is the most energy-intensive part of the whole journey, but the fact of how chocolate is moved around during its production process should not be underestimated. Transporting chocolate in highly-packaged, air-filled egg form is not the most efficient form of delivery, because at the end there is not much chocolate in a truck. Bars are more comfortable in this sense. For example, IKEA has decided to take this logic to a natural conclusion with the creation of a flat pack chocolate Easter bunny. Unilever and Mars both expressed serious interest reducing their supply chain emissions.
Although there is a long way to go for making chocolate industry sustainable, there seems to be a growing will to change the industry, alongside growing innovation.
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