Posted by: hepowers | November 24, 2009

Heinz – Gotta Love That Ketchup


On this morning, I noticed that Heinz is reporting a second quarter profit drop of 16% compared to last year even though sales had climbed 2% to $2.67 billion.  Wow, that’s a lot of tomatoes.  Heinz has been around forever it seems and as an avid consumer of their ketchup, I decided to check out their web site and see how they measure up in terms of corporate social responsibility.

Very good actually!  It took a long time to read through their various programs and initiatives.  Here are a few highlights from their 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report:

Heinz Micronutrient Program:  This title conjured images of genetically modified foods but thankfully I was wrong.  The program began in 2001 and distributes packets of tasteless powder packed with iron and other nutrients which are added to food.  60 packets, a year’s supply for one child, can be supplied at a cost of $1.50.  In 2003, Heinz worked with the Helen Keller Foundation to help Indonesia after the tsunami to distribute the ‘largest, most successful micronutrient program in the world.’  Heinz has reached 3 million children so far with this program.

– In the Environment section of their annual report, Heinz has created many sustainable goals with excellent results.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Reduce energy consumption by 20% per metric ton of production by 2015; between 2005 and 2009, they had already reached a 15.8% reduction;
  2. Reduce water use by 20% through re-use and improved technique by 2015; since 2005, they have achieved a 15.7% reduction globally;
  3. Reduce solid waste by 20% by 2015 through improved recycling and re-use of waste; since 2005, they have surpassed the goal with a reduction of 27.4% globally.

There are a few countries who could learn about environmental goals and results from this company.

– Heinz donates food and money, generously around the globe.  In Venezuela, their donation program make deliveries three times a year to 29 non-profit organizations, reaching ‘nearly 1,000 children and teenagers, 280 adults and 350 elderly citizens.’

So, if you were wondering how socially responsible your Heinz ketchup was, it scores really well.  Henry John Heinz founded the company in 1869 in Pennsylvania and today they sell 650 million bottles of ketchup a year.  Perhaps one of the reasons for their long term success lies in their mission statement:  ‘As the trusted leader in nutrition and wellness, Heinz – the original Pure Food Company – is dedicated to the sustainable health of people, the planet and our Company.’  Definitely a company who looks beyond it’s boardroom and bottom line.


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