Del Monte Foods Inc. is a vegetable canning company that does make an effort to improve their sustainability efforts in terms of ingredients of non-GMO sourcing, the recyclability of their can, and a short travel distance to transport their product to the canning facilities, which shows an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. I would advise Del Monte to become more clear in their sustainable goals and how they are achieving these goals as well as becoming non-GMO certified as it makes me question their credibility. Overall I would rate Del Monte Green Beans .75 planet.
Del Monte Green Beans consists of green beans, water, and sea salt without the use of preservatives. It would be ideal if Del Monte provided transparency in how their beans are grown concerning their farming practices and who they are grown by. Del Monte does label this product as non-GMO and without preservatives but, it does not have a non-GMO certification by the non-GMO certification project. This leads me to believe that Del Monte is greenwashing their product to say it is non-GMO. Del Monte has environmental goals, “Enhancing soil quality while reducing the use of chemicals through innovative processes like plant breeding, Managing water use in farms and processing/packaging to maximize efficiency and minimize pollution, Proactively addressing climate change, and working to minimize our carbon footprint.” These are great environmental goals but Del Monte does not make clear examples of how these goals are executed or if they are happening. The sourcing of the green beans is not made clear. I researched further for green bean farming to see how they are grown. Green bean farming is not water-intensive and does not cause a high carbon footprint. Additionally, beans are nitrogen-fixing plants that take up nitrogen to become useful for other plants in the soil. For these reasons of not being transparent on certified non-GMO but, green beans being a sustainable crop as long as the farming practices are not harmful to the environment I would rate 1 planet.
Del Monte does not make clear the production of their green beans or where they are grown. I researched the general green bean canning process. The canning process involves hot boiling water to sterilize the cans and salt to preserve beans for long storage use. The only concern with this green bean canning process is that it may be energy-intensive.
For packaging, Del Monte has the goal of increasing sustainability through the Sustainable Packaging Coalition which provides a clear label on how to recycle. The cans are recyclable which leads to reuse of the packaging.
For the transportation of the product, Del Monte makes an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. They state that 95% of their vegetables grown are transported less than 75 miles to canning facilities which highlights that they are making efforts on reducing carbon emissions. It should be mentioned that Del Monte does not make clear the travel distance from packing facilities to distributors like grocery stores. For these reasons, I would give .75 planet because the packaging of the beans may be slightly energy-intensive, the packaging makes efforts to have reuse for their cans and recyclability, and the transportation or distribution of their product makes an effort of reducing their carbon footprint.
Del Monte Foods Inc. has a mission to give back to the community. Del Monte participates in Farm2Family Corporate Giving program which gives back to families in need, “from environmental stewardship, disaster relief, education, youth activities, family care, and healthy living.” In 2022, Del Monte donated 8 million pounds of food and gave $760,000 to local community groups. They also helped families in need from hurricane damage to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in 2017. Del Monte has a section on articles on where they write about their sustainability goals in the news. One includes reducing food waste to prevent climate change. This is a great initiative to show that they are taking action to prevent climate change and provide transparency. I am concerned if Del Monte is participating in monoculture which can lead to heavy pesticide use and decreased biodiversity of crops. I would advise Del Monte to be more transparent to show efforts of becoming officially non-GMO certified, show transparency of their sustainable goals progress, and their production process concerning their farming practices. This would ensure that Del Monte is being held accountable for the sustainable efforts they claim to work towards. For these reasons, I would rate Del Monte a .50 planet.