Client Story

Mondelēz International

Aiming for long-term net zero carbon goals by accelerating new products and technologies

As the impact of climate change accelerates and conscious consumerism is on the rise, business leaders are seeking more ways to achieve net zero carbon goals.

Mondelēz International is a leading global producer of snack foods, including the much-loved OREO cookie and belVita breakfast biscuit brands. As an organization with a global footprint, the company is aiming towards the goal of net zero carbon by 2050.

One of the key areas with the potential to have a big overall impact contributing to delivering on this goal is in the company’s biscuits category.

Mondelēz International worked together with us to explore a wide range of new ideas and disruptive technologies that could help accelerate progress against the company’s sustainability goals to support the company’s larger purpose to empower people to snack right. The result of the project was an enhanced sustainability strategy, which will continue to enable the company to help deliver on its mission to lead the future of snacking by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.

Leading the future of snacking

Key successes

  • Accelerated thinking to help inform Mondelēz International’s roadmap to achieve a long-term goal of net zero carbon
  • Ran ideation workshops with a range of experts to identify opportunities and shortlisted eight technologies to help decarbonize global products
  • Ensured recommendations that influenced the company’s carbon plan
Picking beans

Rethinking the biscuits value chain with an aim to make it more sustainable

Mondelēz International is on a mission to empower people to snack right which includes goals to make its snacks more sustainable by using less energy, water, and waste, with ingredients consumers know and trust. The company’s 2021 ESG report highlighted 10 years of progress towards achieving sustainability goals.

Many biscuits

At the same time, the company’s R&D function has been working together to accelerate progress against the company’s long-term ambition of net zero carbon emissions specifically for the company’s biscuits category and evaluating programs that could help contribute to progress against the goal.

This acceleration is in line with the company’s long-term growth strategy, announced in 2021 which in addition to acceleration and focus now includes sustainability as a fourth pillar of the strategy for Mondelēz International.

Finding technologies to help empower people to snack right

As a long-term partner of Mondelēz International, our team was well-versed in using innovation to push the bar. Together, we reviewed disruptive baking technologies, explored ways to optimize packaging and investigated the market potential of ingredients such as pea protein.

Leveraging our insights into the company’s ESG strategy, the joint team launched a technology landscape scan exploring viable technologies for carbon emission reductions. This process supported the strategic focus on the greatest opportunity for Mondelēz International in emission reductions at scale, which is in more sustainable sourcing of key ingredients.

Next, the team interviewed a wide array of Mondelēz International specialists, including crop and ingredient scientists working with the Cocoa Life and Harmony Wheat programs. The key was to understand what these programs were already delivering, and where these experts saw opportunities for reducing emissions further.

Using these insights, our team framed an ideation session with our experts from across our business who brought insights from their work in technology, agritech, manufacturing, and consumer products and packaging. The goal of this session was to generate different ideas for relevant technologies that could aid Mondelēz International’s decarbonization goals.

Simultaneously, our experts conducted desktop research and reviewed market case studies to understand the current technology landscape and what Mondelēz International’s competitors were doing.

Visualizing the path to net zero

Using these inputs, our team worked with Mondelēz International to design a virtual ideation workshop for employees from key functions, led by R&D, and including brand and marketing, supply chain, and procurement. To inspire greater ideation, participants were grouped by decarbonization theme rather than product category. Themes included land stewardship, rethinking product formulas, and waste as a resource. Across three ideation sessions, we identified, rationalized, and developed solutions.

Following the workshops, each technology was evaluated based on business viability, technology readiness level, feasibility of implementation and emissions reduction potential. Viable solutions and technologies were mapped onto a sunray diagram, and emission reduction potential plotted onto a waterfall chart to help Mondelēz International understand how they could close the gap between current emissions and the long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions.

PA’s work to create an engaging, interactive workshop really facilitated fast learning. We were able to quickly assess the potential impact of new technologies.”
Research Fellow, Mondelēz International
PA was instrumental in helping us use the ideation workshop to better understand our internal programs, evaluate external opportunities and then make connections and align our talent to new technology priorities.”
Biscuits R&D Platform Lead, Mondelēz International

Ingenuity timeline

  • Communicated the challenge – We created a visualization of the carbon footprint overlaid on the value chain, an effective tool to help key stakeholders understand the challenge
  • Assembled a breadth of expertise and experience – Our experts brought together knowledge and ideas from across the joint team to discover how to help further reduce carbon emissions
  • Created excitement about the art of the possible – The team developed a visual, high-level roadmap with 29 technologies that were evaluated with key stakeholders
  • Strategized and prioritized for Mondelēz International’s needs – Our final recommendations were based on the emissions reduction potential of the technology, as well as alignment with Mondelēz International’s broader strategy
  • Leveraged deep technical expertise to shape each initiative – For each of the initiatives, we developed briefing packs to illustrate the potential impact on emissions, and set out recommendations including potential partners to support implementation

Enhancing the strategy for more sustainable snacking

With our guidance, Mondelēz International’s R&D function was able to identify four pillars of accelerated decarbonization activity: net zero manufacturing, next generation cocoa, regenerative farming, and ingredients of the future. Deep dives on each of these pillars considered specific challenges such as how the company could incentivize farmers to adopt more regenerative farming practices or how plant microbiomes could be enhanced to help drive crop yields. The output was a series of recommendations, setting out required next steps for the implementation of technologies with the highest emissions reduction potential.

We used the technology deep dives and recommendations to get buy-in from our leadership and the investment to explore new approaches. Our R&D and sustainability teams can now partner together to rapidly validate whether high-priority technologies can be piloted, matured, and deployed at a scale fast enough to achieve our company’s long-term net zero goals.”
Research Fellow, Mondelēz International
Holding the basket

Findings developed will be investigated under key ingredients, including cocoa and wheat, and have been added to the corporate net zero plan. With an enhanced strategy in place, Mondelēz International can continue its core mission of making snacks the right way and meeting the aspirations of its consumers every day.

We’re all about doing business the right way to achieve more sustainable growth. It’s a big mission. And one that is critically important. Now, with a robust strategy in hand – one that leverages disruptive technologies and innovative approaches – I’m confident we’ll continue driving lasting change faster than ever before.”
Biscuits R&D Platform Lead, Mondelēz International

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