British Sugar has become the first sugar business to certify the carbon footprint of its granulated sugar using the government’s new PAS 2050 standard.

It has calculated that 0.6g of CO2 equivalent is produced for every gram of sugar made. There are no plans yet to include the figure on packaging, but BS managing director Gino De Jaegher said it was necessary to establish a baseline from which sugar production’s carbon footprint could be improved.

“Extracting sugar from beet and delivery accounts for 65% of the overall carbon footprint for a kilogram of sugar, while farm emissions account for the remaining 35%. Of this, diesel, fertiliser and emissions from the soil are the biggest contributors.”

Mr De Jaegher said British Sugar had made great steps forward with its sustainability programme, but further improvements could be made elsewhere in the production process from farm to factory. He rejected suggestions that this could result in a grower protocol for “low carbon” beet. “We will continue to work with the NFU and BBRO to find the best ways of doing things and this information will be passed back to growers through area managers.”