Posted on 28 March 2017.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC UK), has announced that leading UK paper cup manufacturer, Benders Papers Cups, has produced distinctive coffee cups which will carry the PEFC certification label for its client Falkingham & Taylor (Vending) Ltd. They have been manufactured to mark the occasion of Hull becoming UK City of Culture for 2017.
The special City of Culture 2017 coffee cups will carry PEFC’s distinctive “two trees” label, thereby providing coffee lovers with the assurance that the materials used in the manufacture of the commemorative certified cups have been both responsibly and sustainably sourced.
Based in Hull, Falkingham & Taylor (Vending) Ltd., is a family run business with over 50 years’ experience in the vending industry. The company services a wide variety of customers across a range of sectors, including; heavy industrial, manufacturing, food manufacturing, local government, leisure, education, retail, office, pubs, clubs, and café bars.
Hull, known for being the home of the poet Philip Larkin, the Ferens Gallery and the Hull Truck Theatre Company has been named the UK City of Culture for 2017.
Commenting on the City of Culture coffee cups, Benders’ Marketing Manager, Adrian Pratt, states: “Benders is committed to sustainable sourcing of its raw materials. PEFC Chain of Custody certification provides full traceability for all paper cups manufactured from materials sourced in sustainably managed forests.”
Benders Paper Cups is dedicated to the manufacturer of paper hot cups. All its cups are made in the UK at its BRC/IOP AA Grade factory in Wrexham, North Wales, and supplied across the UK and Europe to the Workplace and On the Go sectors covering vending, specialty coffee, QSR and ‘To-Go’ markets. Benders’ has a long history of producing paper cups and is part of the Flo, and Dopla group of companies. The company employs around 150 staff at its Wrexham facility.
PEFC, as the world’s leading forest certification system, has certified more than 300 million hectares of forests to PEFC’s internationally recognised Sustainability Benchmarks, supplying more than 18,000 Chain of Custody certified companies with responsibly sourced timber and wood products, such as those used in producing fibre-based paper products such as packaging.
Today, more and more companies from SMEs to global brands are keen to demonstrate that the fibre they use in their packaging materials comes from a certified sustainable source. This is important as consumers are increasingly conscious of how their purchasing decisions impact on the world’s natural resources.
Posted in Environment, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 27 March 2017.
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland has announced the verification of Truly Grass Fed™ by the Non-GMO Project, North America’s most trusted seal for genetically modified organisms (GMO) avoidance for consumers. Truly Grass Fed™ is a premium range of dairy ingredients from Glanbia designed for customers and consumers who are looking for the best natural choice for their brands and food products.
The Non-GMO Project is a US based non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. It is North America’s most trusted seal for GMO avoidance.
Seán Molloy, Director of Strategy and Supply Development at Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, comments: “There is significant and growing demand from our customers and consumers, particularly evident in North America, for transparency of ingredients used in products. In many cases, it’s what drives their choices. Being awarded verification from a trusted organisation such as Non-GMO Project enables us to support and endorse food and nutrition companies’ natural brands in market.”
He elaborates: “A core element of the Truly Grass Fed™ offer is non-GMO. With growing demand from food savvy consumers for proven naturalness, we are on a mission to prove that our grass-fed dairy system complies with recognised non-GMO standards. Verification by the Non-GMO Project, a US based non-profit committed to preserving and building sources of non- GMO products, proves our natural dairy credentials.”
Customers who include Truly Grass Fed ingredients in their branded products have the opportunity to use the Truly Grass Fed™ endorsement seal on their packaging, which informs consumers what Truly Grass Fed™ dairy ingredients are all about.
The Truly Grass Fed™ brand signifies that products are:
Non-GMO Project verified
At least 95% grass-fed
Animal welfare friendly
Truly Grass Fed was established in December 2016. Operated by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Truly Grass Fed offers a wide range of clean, wholesome dairy ingredients made by happy, healthy cows that graze in open pastures on family farms across Ireland.
Truly Grass Fed is working with a number of valued partners in nutrition and chilled dairy foods offering a range of products including whey and milk proteins, casein, lactose, butter and cheese. Visit www.trulygrassfed.com for more information.
Posted in Environment, Ingredients
Posted on 22 March 2017.
Dublin is one of seven European cities chosen to take part in an exciting pan-European TRiFOCAL project designed to reduce food waste while promoting healthy and sustainable eating. The Eastern-Midland Regional Waste Management Office (EMWRO) is the Irish participant in the project, which aims to find food waste solutions specifically suited to cities.
The EU LIFE funded TRiFOCAL project is being led by a number of research organisations based in the UK, including WRAP the London Waste and Recycling Board (under the joint partnerships of Resource London) and Groundwork London. In its current phase, the project will work with a wide range of stakeholders throughout London to pilot a number of food waste prevention and healthy eating innovations. Successes within London will then be shared with the seven cities in the EU, with Dublin, Barcelona, Brussels, Burgas (Bulgaria) Milan, Oslo and Växjö (Sweden) the first to sign up to join the TRiFOCAL initiative.
Hugh Coughlan, Co-ordinator of the EMWRO, says: “We are delighted to roll out the replication phase of this project in Dublin. It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of an initiative that has real potential to enact positive environmental and health impacts for our capital city and indeed cities all over Europe. In addition, we are hoping the results of this project can be adapted and extended nationally to all parts of Ireland.”
He adds: “Participating in this project perfectly complements other work we are already doing in our region in terms of awareness and education to prevent avoidable food waste and to increase the recycling of unavoidable food waste. On average Irish households throw out one-third of food purchased, at an estimated cost of between €400 and €1,000 per household”.
The TRiFOCAL project seeks to raise awareness amongst those living in and visiting cities. It aims to prevent food waste by changing planning, shopping, storage and meal preparation habits. For further information see http://trifocal.eu.com
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 13 March 2017.
BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, has launched a new certification standard to drive sustainability in the Irish Fishing Sector. The BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard is a third party accreditation that certifies fishing vessels that adhere to strict criteria regarding Care of the Catch, Traceability and Provenance, Training, Welfare and Social Sustainability.
Michael Keatinge, Interim CEO of BIM, says: “The Irish seafood sector and in particular the catching sector understands the ever increasing need to actively demonstrate their commitment to responsible fishing practices. With 7 fishing vessels certified under the updated Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard and a target of 40 by year end; this standard will provide an independently certified raw material source that links in with the sector’s sustainability charter, Origin Green. This integrated approach to Irish seafood is vital for competitiveness, especially on our existing and emerging export markets, where sustainability is a key criterion for business.”
With seafood exports valued at €557 million in 2016 and domestic sales of seafood reaching €239 million, the demand for seafood continues to grow. BIM is working directly with fishermen, fish farmers, processors and retailers through an integrated sustainability programme to ensure the Irish sector operates responsibly and in doing so increases its profitability.
For a traditional industry, the seafood sector has already made significant progress with Ireland’s largest co-op, Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-op receiving the top accolade of ‘Green Business of the Year’ at this year’s Green Awards.
BIM is also working with fishermen and producers through local Fishery Improvement Programmes (FIP’s). These programmes aim to improve the long term sustainability of fisheries over time with volunteers agreeing to engage in specific actions that work to preserve the fishery. The activity of FIPs underpins the BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard. The aim of the FIP is to meet the sustainability standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council and they also enhance producers and processers access to markets that now demand sustainability credentials. Four fisheries have been identified for the first phase of development; brown crab, whitefish (hake, monkfish and megrim), nephrops and albacore tuna.
Another simple but very effective initiative is the BIM Fishing for Litter programme. With five ports participating (Clogherhead, Killybegs, Castletownbere, Union Hall and Ros a Mhil) and another 3 ports expected to participate this year, the programme enables fishermen to collect marine litter in heavy duty Fishing for Litter bags that can be brought ashore for appropriate disposal and recycling. In 2016, close to 8 tonnes of waste was collected and disposed of from the marine environment. The Fishing for Litter programme links in with BIM’s existing Net Recycling programme and since 2005, has recycled 600 tonnes of fishing nets.
Social Sustainability is another key element in BIM’s Sustainability programme and to demonstrate this at the Skipper Expo, BIM have teamed up with ReCreate, a national social enterprise, to divert certain fishing net materials aimed for landfill to be repurposed towards creative projects. Clean and unused net cut offs provide inventive art materials and ReCreate provide these art materials to groups that may not ordinarily have access to supplies. To date, ReCreate has provided over 500 tonnes of materials that have been re-used by over 5,000 children’s art and play projects. BIM are encouraging fishermen to donate clean materials to the programme. The workshops are open to kids of all ages and are taking place in BIM’s Coastal Training Unit at the Skipper Expo show in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on Friday at 3.30pm and on Saturday at 11am and at 2.30pm.
For more information on any of the sustainability initiatives, please visit www.bim.ie or to sign up for the BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard email RSSstandard@bim.ie.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 03 March 2017.
The impact of climate change represents a significant opportunity for Ireland’s dairy Sector but also poses a threat, a special industry conference held recently at the Teagasc Ashtown conference centre, Dublin, heard. The conference included details of a safefood sponsored research project which surveyed dairy industry stakeholders to determine their level of awareness of the potential impacts that Climate Change could create.
Principal researcher on the project, Professor Thia Hennessy of University College Cork’s Department of Food Business said: “This is the first such survey of dairy industry stakeholders on the island and we found that stakeholders from right across the dairy supply chain demonstrated a high level of awareness of climate change as well as a commitment to collective action to avail of any opportunities climate change may bring.”
Research collaborator Trevor Donnellan of Teagasc, continued: “The study confirmed that Climate Change presents both an opportunity and a threat for the Irish dairy sector. The threats identified in the survey included, extreme weather events, the emergence of new diseases and pests. By contrast the development of unfavourable climate conditions in some of the world’s key milk producing countries could offer an advantage to the Irish dairy sector, since the Irish climate is likely to be less adversely affected. One of the major recommendations of this research was that more planning is required to consider how to deal with extreme weather events.”
Welcoming the research, Dr James McIntosh, safefood, said: “Our work to improve public health on the island of Ireland is evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers and the food environment. Climate Change has the potential to impact on almost every aspect of food production and supply on the island and it’s important for us to understand how the provision of safe food and the promotion of good food safety practices across the food chain will be affected, particularly in larger agri-food sectors such as the dairy industry.”
The conference heard that there was a general view that science and technology can play a major role in mitigating Climate Change, but that there are obstacles to getting technology from the lab to the farm. Not all farmers were eager to adopt technological developments and these concerns needed to be addressed. Stakeholders felt that technologies being developed to address greenhouse gas emissions should be discussed with farmers in the developmental stage to establish their practicality.
Katrina Campbell of Queen’s University Belfast, who also collaborated on the research, continued: “Climate Change may also pose a threat for food safety as one of the most prevalent food safety hazards within the dairy industry is mycotoxins which emerge in animal feed. Warmer and wetter climates, as projected for Ireland under Climate Change, would contribute to a proliferation in fungal growth and thereby increase in mycotoxin contamination.”
“To counter the potential impact of Climate Change on food safety, new innovative technology and monitoring systems must be invested in to help ensure Climate Change consequences do not become a threat from the beginning point of the dairy food chain. New testing methods to detect contaminants may need to be investigated in order to prevent transmission through the food chain and human consumption,” she added.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Research, Sustainability
Posted on 20 February 2017.
CHEP has been named Supplier of the Year at the 2016 Premier Foods Awards. CHEP was singled out for bringing a new approach to its way of working with Premier, delivering value added opportunities as well as environmental benefits.
Premier Procurement and Central Operations Director Mark Hughes, comments: “Having strong relationships with our suppliers is critical to helping us accelerate our growth. By developing strategic partnerships, we can increase sales in a sustainable and responsible way.”
CHEP UK’s Senior Commercial Manager Damian Coates, says: “Premier actively encourages their suppliers to bring innovative solutions that can work for both parties. This award is the result of a collaborative business plan between Premier and CHEP. The partnership will help Premier improve sustainability with the launch of a new service offer. Our CHEP team, led by Nicola Edmonds, the National Account Manager working with Premier, have delivered all projects on time, or ahead of time.”
Key to CHEP’s performance was the creation and implementation of a new service offer for Premier, with CHEP managing the delivery of pallets into Premier locations, making a significant impact on CO2. CHEP also instituted a transport collaboration with Premier, using Premier’s own fleet. Both initiatives helped to streamline and simplify Premier’s supply chain, cutting truck miles and CO2 emissions.
“Over the next couple of years, CHEP will be implementing another series of initiatives for Premier,” adds Damian Coates, “all innovative ideas to take CO2 out of the environment and improve supply chain efficiency. When it comes to creating a more sustainable supply chain, our two businesses share exactly the same objectives.”
Premier Foods is one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers, with household-name brands including Homepride, Paul Hollywood, Batchelors, Mr Kipling, OXO, Loyd Grossman, Cadbury’s Cakes and Bisto. It operates in 13 locations across the country, with around 4,000 employees.
Posted in Environment, Logistics, Supply chain
Posted on 06 February 2017.
Tetra Pak has pledged that by 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations will be at least 40% lower than in 2015. Working with the Science Based Targets initiative, the company also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58% compared with a year ago.
In doing so, Tetra Pak becomes the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative.
To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak will focus on three areas:
- Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12%;
- Purchasing electricity from renewable sources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
- Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.
In addition, the company commits to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16% per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.
Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak, says: “The collaboration with the SBT initiative has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders.”
Cynthia Cummis at the World Resources Institute (WRI) says: “The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”
SBT is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and UN Global Compact that mobilizes companies to set emissions reduction target in-line with climate science. Since its launch in 2015, 208 companies have committed to set science-based targets and 33 companies across different industries have had their targets approved by the initiative.
For further information, see here www.tetrapak.com/sustainability
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 26 January 2017.
Nestlé has been recognised as a global leader in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change across its supply chain. The international not-for-profit CDP has included Nestlé in its first supplier engagement leader board. CDP assessed actions to reduce emissions and lower climate-related risks in the supply chain in the past reporting year.
Nestlé is one of only 29 companies included out of a total of 3,300 assessed, putting it among just 1% awarded a place. The 29 companies are:
Bank of America
Coca-Cola European Partners
Creative Group of Industries
Deutsche Telekom AG
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV
General Mills Inc.
General Motors Company
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Stora Enso Oyj
Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited
Posted in Environment, Supply chain, Sustainability
Posted on 23 January 2017.
The RSPO has published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report, providing a detailed look at RSPO’s sustainability efforts and outcomes from the past year. Over the years, the RSPO’s focus has remained constant: transforming the market to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To ensure the vision is achieved, the RSPO vigilantly monitors the impact of RSPO on the 3 pillars of sustainability, People, Planet and Profit.
Here are a few highlights from the 2016 RSPO Impact Report:
● High Conservation Area: As of 30 June 2016, the total High Conservation Value area set aside within RSPO Certified concessions amounts to 157,115 ha, an increase of 9% from the last reporting period. That is an area of forest and indigenous communities lands equal to the size of more than 200,000 soccer fields now set aside for conservation.
● Paraquat: At least 40 RSPO growers have phased out paraquat, and at least 33 also have a policy banning, or have already phased out, WHO category 1a and 1b pesticides.
● Resolution of grievances: Out of the 63 complaint cases since 2009, 41 have either been closed or are closed for monitoring.
● Support to smallholders: Since 2013, the RSPO has been running a Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) aimed at improving access to RSPO certification, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and increasing production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). RSPO has certified 109,415 smallholders (individual and schemed) in the last reporting period.
Together with monitoring the RSPO impacts, the report identifies areas of contribution and opportunity for support by the RSPO to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by United Nations in 2015. The RSPO, through its actions, is already working in supporting five of the SDGs: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and life on land. The RSPO continues to support and further integrate the other SDGs into RSPO standards and activities.
The report also includes data from several industries that have committed to 100% CSPO in many European countries, and as of the reporting period Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK have all made significant progress towards reaching their targets.
“RSPO recognises that oil palm cultivation has been linked as one of the major causes of deforestation across the globe. However, with the mandatory assessment becoming part of the RSPO new planting procedure, our members have been able to increase the HCV certified areas. This practice hence eliminates the loss of forests with outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value,” says Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO. He adds: “the most important priority in the sustainable palm oil sector is to continue to help shape government and global policy to strike the right balance between the need for development and environmental protection globally”
To further strengthen its global engagement with the largest consumer and producer markets, the RSPO has in the last year set up additional offices in China and Latin America and now has representatives in India, Thailand and the USA.
Posted in CSR, Environment, Ingredients, Reports, Sustainability
Posted on 20 January 2017.
Danone and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have announced a partnership aimed at accelerating the global transition to a circular economy. For decades, conventional supply chains have been linear; taking, making and disposing of resources often to landfill. With the global population set to reach nine billion by 2050, access to quality food and water is becoming an increasing challenge.
Founded in 2010 by renowned yachtswoman, Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, collaborating with businesses, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
As the Foundation’s ninth Global Partner, Danone will embark on a three-year partnership to further embed circular economy principles both inside and outside Danone. It marks an important step in Danone’s quest to produce quality products that preserve natural resources cycles, while also enabling future growth for the business.
Through this partnership, Danone’s teams will access extensive education and training through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to generate widespread understanding of the circular economy and drive behavioural change. The Foundation will advise and support Danone central and local teams in their effort to transition brands toward circular economy.
Danone will also become a Core Partner in the Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative, leveraging cross-sector collaboration to re-think and re-design the future of plastics, starting with packaging. Danone’s participation in this initiative will contribute to the company’s efforts to co-build the circular economy of packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics, as outlined in the company’s Packaging Policy released in November last year.
Danone Executive Vice President of Strategic Resource Cycles, Pascal De Petrini, says: “At Danone we are committed to treasure every single drop of water or milk or every gram of plastic. Over the past years, we have been transforming our approach, and are convinced that systemic change is key to foster sustainable business growth and preserve natural resource cycles. Working with EMF will allow us to accelerate our shift to a more circular value chain while continuing to bring health through food to as many people as possible.”
Danone operates across four business lines: Fresh Dairy Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters and Medical Nutrition. Present in over 130 markets, Danone generated sales of €22.4 billion in 2015, with more than half in emerging countries. Danone’s brand portfolio includes both international brands (Activia, Actimel, Danette, Danonino, Danio, evian, Volvic, Nutrilon/Aptamil, Nutricia) and local brands (Oikos, Prostokvashino, Aqua, Bonafont, Mizone, Blédina, Cow & Gate).
Posted in Environment, Supply chain, Sustainability
Posted on 19 January 2017.
Although a number of EU policies have the potential to combat food waste, their potential is not being exploited, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. Action to date remains fragmented and intermittent, while coordination at European Commission level is lacking. The latest EU proposal for dealing with food waste, the creation of a platform, does not fully address the problems raised in their report, say the auditors.
Food waste is a global problem which requires action at all levels. Current estimates indicate that, globally, around one third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost. This waste represents huge economic and environmental costs.
Progress to date has been hampered by the lack of a common definition of ‘food waste’, and the lack of an agreed baseline from which to target reductions. This is despite repeated calls from the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of the Regions, the G20 and others for the EU to help reduce food waste.
“Our report to the Commission identified a number of missed opportunities and potential improvements which would not require new legislative initiatives or more public money,” says Bettina Jakobsen, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “But by focusing its efforts on establishing a platform, the Commission again misses an opportunity to deal effectively with the problem. What we need now is better alignment of existing policies, better coordination, and a clear policy objective to reduce food waste.”
The auditors’ report examined how current policies could be used more effectively, recommending that the Commission should:
* strengthen the EU strategy to combat food waste and coordinate it better, with an action plan for the years ahead and a clear definition of food waste;
* consider food waste in future impact assessments, and better align the different policies which can combat food waste;
* identify and resolve legal obstacles to food donation, encourage the further use of existing donation possibilities and consider how to encourage donation in other policy areas.
However, Mrs Jakobsen warns that the new Platform does not contribute significantly to food waste strategy, and that there was still no single, clear definition of food waste. “Our recommendations on how to develop future policy have either been ignored or only partially accepted, while the draft guidelines just pass the problem on to the Member States,” she adds.
In their report, the auditors examined EU action taken so far to reduce food waste and how the various policy instruments work. They found that the EU had not contributed to a resource efficient food supply chain by combating food waste effectively.
Food waste is a problem along the entire food supply chain, say the auditors, and action should be targeted all along the chain. The emphasis should be put on prevention, as the benefits of avoiding waste outweigh the cost of dealing with it later.
The auditors found that there had been a notable lack of assessment of the impact of EU policies on the fight against food waste. Major policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries and food safety all have a role to play and could be used to combat food waste better.
Special Report No 34/2016: ‘Combating food waste: an opportunity for the EU to improve the resource-efficiency of the food supply chain’ is available in 23 EU languages.
Posted in Environment, Nutrition, Supply chain
Posted on 17 January 2017.
One year after announcing its bold ambition to become carbon positive by 2030, Unilever has taken another significant step on its renewable energy journey, with the signing of a contract to use biomethane (also known as green gas/biogas) at five of its sites in the UK and Ireland.
Unilever UK & Ireland has signed a deal with a renewable energy company GENeco, which means that from 1 January 2017, its offices in Leatherhead (Surrey) and 100 Victoria Embankment (London), and its food and drink factories in Norwich, Trafford Park and Cork, will use by 10,000 MWh of biomethane to power the sites’ heating and significantly reduce carbon emissions from the sites. With electricity already coming from certified renewable sources, the purchase of a certified supply of bioemethane means that Unilever has become carbon neutral (from energy sources) at these five sites.
The biomethane – which is fully traceable and certified – is generated by GENeco’s anaerobic digester in Avonmouth, which converts inedible food waste and sewage into energy.
This new contract supports the overarching work that Unilever has already undertaken in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan in 2010, the global fast moving consumer goods company has cut its manufacturing greenhouse gas footprint by 39% per tonne of production since 2008 – the equivalent of one million tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Charlotte Carroll, Sustainable Business Director, Unilever UK & Ireland, says: “In 2015, just as world leaders came together for COP 21 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference), our business committed to making our operations carbon positive by 2030. The ambitious target encouraged us to look carefully at our sites through a fresh, sustainability lens which helped to inspire our landmark agreement with GENeco.”
Charlotte Carroll continues:“With Biomethane or ‘green gas’ still in its relative infancy compared to other forms of renewable energy, this agreement marks a significant step forward in helping us source 100% renewable energy for five of our UK and Ireland sites. Recognising that this is only the start of our journey, we hope to build on this great foundation and eventually convert waste from our own operations into energy to truly support a circular economy.”
GENeco has been carbon neutral and zero waste to landfill in its operations since 2013. Biomethane generated at its Bristol site is produced from household food and sewage waste; from here it can be injected into the national gas grid to power thousands of local homes, or used as vehicle fuel.
GENeco managing director Mohammed Saddiq says: “This deal marks a significant step change in the decarbonisation of UK industry and we are very pleased to be working with Unilever to help in their aims to become carbon positive. We believe that in order for the UK to meet the 2020 targets as defined in the Renewable Energy Directive, there will need to be an increasing role for biomethane in the UK’s heat networks.”
In late November 2015, Unilever outlined its ambition to become carbon positive, eliminating fossil fuels from its operations and directly supporting the generation of more renewable energy than it consumes. Through the ambition, which is part of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever will:
* Source 100% of our total energy across our operations from renewable sources by 2030
* Source all electricity purchased from the grid from renewable sources by 2020
* Eliminate coal from its energy mix by 2020
* Directly support the generation of more renewable energy than the company consumes and make the surplus available to the markets and communities in which it operates.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 16 January 2017.
Arla Foods Ltd production facility is the most environmentally friendly dairy in the world. Situated outside Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, this ambitious £150 million project succeeded in creating their zero carbon vision with the application of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology.
Spread over a floor space of 6.5 hectares, this inspirational production facility produces 1billion litres of milk per annum and utilises the very best in energy saving and water recycling techniques.
Leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for gas to power solutions, Edina, supplied two MWM TCG 2020 V20 engines capable of generating a total power output of 4MWe and 3.8MWt. The MWM engines are fuelled by a combination of natural gas mixed with biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of some of the process waste product.
The natural gas/biogas integration system was designed and supplied by Edina and allows the generators to operate on natural gas only or natural gas with the inclusion of a proportion of biogas.
In addition, the CHP is designed to work in Island Mode Operation, in the event of a power outage at site, the CHP is configured to hold all essential loads until site power is re-established. Edina worked closely with the client to finalise a solution via their load shedding electrical infrastructure.
Commissioned in September 2013, the dairy is the most technological advanced and efficient of its kind and achieves zero waste to landfill. Arla’s ‘mega dairy’ sets a new benchmark in environmental standards on a global scale.
Edina continues to work with the food processing industry across the UK and Ireland, supporting clients to reduce their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and deliver improved business competitiveness. The inclusion of CHP to any factory will improve sustainability criteria, save on current operating costs and protect from the known future electrical power cost rises from the electricity grid.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 06 January 2017.
Water treatment has always been a major topic of interest for the food and beverage industry within the UK. The use of large volumes of water for various washing and cleaning regime’s means that the industry relies heavily on water treatment in order to reduce on their effluent disposal costs and in some cases recycling.
The development of modern Membrane Bio Reactor technologies (MBR) such as the Mitsubishi hollow fibre membranes allow the industry to benefit from compact, high performing treatment plants which are highly automated and easy to operate.
Modern remote access systems with data acquisition and real time monitoring allow plant operators to be in total control of their plants 24/7. MBR Installation references include a number of Branston Ltd, potato washing, packing and processing sites.
Cleaning and the packing of potatoes has a high water usage which brings with it significant economic and environmental issues. Branston needed a safe method to recycle the water rather than continuously drawing water from a borehole.
The process of recycling the wash water is complex as the water has to be purged not only of the inevitable soil content but also of the nitrogen and phosphorus within it from fertilizers and from organic contamination.
Branston announced that: “By working with several local agencies, we have successfully created a water recycling unit which, after just a few months of being up and running, is reducing our mains water usage by an incredible 52%.”
Indeed up to 90% of water at the South West site is now recycled, with any excess waste being safe to discharge off site.
With several award winning plants already supplied to the food and beverage sector MSE Systems has become a trusted partner in the supply of complete water treatment plants within the UK. For further information visit www.msesystems.co.uk.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 22 December 2016.
Pentair Haffmans has won the 2016 UK AD & Biogas Award, hosted by the Anaerobic Digestion Association (ADBA), in the category of ‘Best Process Optimisation’ for its advanced biogas upgrading technology.
Taking place on the evening of 6 July as part of this years’ UK AD & Biogas Trade Fair, the UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards showcased the very best plants, successes and people across the anaerobic digestion industry in the UK & beyond.
Ivan Williams, Pentair Haffmans Commercial Director and Haffmans Systems Business Leader, comments: ‘’On behalf of the Pentair Haffmans team we are honoured to receive this award from the AD Biogas Association, UK. We are strongly committed to our One Pentair Values of Win Right and Customer First. We highly appreciate the trust our customers continue to show in our products and services and remain dedicated to developing new, innovative and sustainable solutions for an ever changing world.’’
The judging panel recognised the positive impact that Pentair Haffmans’ technology brings to the operation of a biogas upgrading plant. Pentair Haffmans’ Advanced Plus biogas upgrading system recovers 100 per cent of the methane, which eliminates the environmentally-harmful methane slip that usually occurs with other upgrading techniques.
In addition, the CO2 by-product can be recovered and sold, providing plant operators with an additional source of income. The portion of environmentally-harmful greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere is reduced to almost zero, which makes this technology a future-proof investment.
Recently, Pentair Haffmans has extended its product range with the Compact Enclosed Skid CO2 Recovery System that can be connected to any existing biogas upgrading plant. In total, 71 entries across 17 categories were shortlisted for the award. For further information visit www.pentair.com.
Pictured (left to right): Charlotte Smith, ADBA; Olaf Müller, Vice President Hygienic Process Solutions; Francois Huberts, Haffmans Sales Manager Biogas Systems; Ivan Williams, Commercial Director CO2 & Biogas Systems; Ivan Rigney, Sales Director Food & Beverage Process Solutions UK, Ireland, Russia, & Eastern Europe; Jorgen Ballermann.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 14 December 2016.
Irish agri-tech business BHSL has agreed €13 million in sales of its pioneering manure-to-energy technology which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry. The 8 new BHSL Energy Centre units are being sold to large UK poultry farms and will all be installed by March 2017.
The patented technology will be shipped from BHSL’s plant in Ballagh, County Limerick, and represents the first fruits of an expansion strategy announced by the company’s chairman Denis Brosnan upon his appointment in October.
BHSL’s technology converts poultry manure into energy, which is then used to provide heating for future batches of chicks. BHSL’s system is the only one available that meets both US and EU environmental regulations, and allows farmers to use manure for power and heat rather than the traditional practice of transporting and spreading it on land as a fertiliser which is increasingly restricted by law due to pollution concerns.
This week BHSL also celebrated a world industry first, with technology it has installed in Maryland in the US and Norfolk in the UK producing electricity for the first time. The ability to generate electricity in addition to heat allows farmers use the power generated for other purposes on farm when there is less demand for heat in the poultry houses. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solutions which generate electricity will also help farmers play their part in meeting the EU’s 2020 renewable energy targets
BHSL estimates that farms may be able to meet all their energy needs by using their manure as a fuel, thereby reducing costs and improving the sustainability of intensive poultry production.
BHSL has also expanded its sales team, adding 5 new employees to focus on opportunities in Poland, German and the Netherlands, in addition to existing sales and marketing initiatives in the US and UK.
BHSL recently commenced a process to raise at least €7 million in new equity to support its global expansion and open offices in the US, continental Europe and the Middle East. It expects to complete this process by the end of February.
BHSL Managing Director Declan O’Connor comments: “We are very pleased to have agreed sales of 8 new units in recent months, as we implement our commercialisation strategy, and poultry farmers become more aware of the cost savings and environmental regulatory benefits of using our technology. We are preparing for a busy period in the months ahead, with the aim to make sales in excess of €40m in the company’s next financial year.”
BHSL’s founder and Director of Research & Development Jack O’Connor says: “It was always the desire to generate electricity in addition to heat, and it is an exciting milestone to have now achieved this at sites in both the UK and US. Poultry farms have big electricity bills and there is enough manure created to provide both heat and electricity. In fact by generating electricity all the manure on a site can be utilised, completely removing the need to land spread manure which is increasingly considered a pollutant and restricted by law.”
Farmers who use BHSL’s system can benefit from:
- Reduced environmental impact: A significant reduction in the environmental impact thereby ensuring compliance with an increasingly strict regulatory environment, both in the US and EU
- Lower energy costs: A potential 95% reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating a new batch of chicks, who must be started at a temperature of 32 degrees celsius/90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Improved animal welfare: Improved biosecurity and animal welfare, with reduced risk of diseases
- Improved performance: Faster growth – chicks reaching target weight 3 days quicker
- Additional revenue: Revenue earned from the sale of excess electricity and a (non-polluting) fertiliser by-product.
Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Innovation, Sustainability
Posted on 13 December 2016.
GEA has been awarded a contract by Mataura Valley Milk to construct a nutritional powders plant in McNab near to Gore in the south island of New Zealand. The plant will process fresh milk and ingredients into added value nutritional powders as well as standard skim milk and whole milk powders. The value of the order to GEA is a figure in the mid double-digit millions (EUR).
The new plant, expected to begin production for the 2018 season, will produce around 140 tonnes of nutritional powder per day. Included in the GEA scope is a milk reception and standardisation plant, powdered and liquid ingredients handling, batch formulation, evaporation and drying, powder handling and filling into 25kg bags. It will also feature a high degree of process automation and product traceability. Energy efficiency and environmental impact have also been a key focus in the plant design.
Mataura Valley Milk is majority-owned by Chinese Animal Husbandry Group (CAHG), a Chinese company. Roughly half of the premium nutritional powder produced by the new plant will be exported to China, where Mataura Valley Milk expects steady growth in demand for this product.
“This contract, which was long-awaited to win by GEA, serves as further proof of our technological leadership and strong market position in the field of dairy processing,” explains Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. “It also demonstrates the continuing investment appetite of our customers as they attempt to satisfy the growing consumer demand on the Chinese market for milk-based infant formula and other high-quality milk products – and that in an environment impacted by regulatory changes. Although the challenging economic conditions mean that GEA’s order intake in the fourth quarter of 2016 will not repeat the record level achieved in the same quarter of the previous year, we are confident that customers throughout the world will continue to invest in our process technologies and place major orders for all product areas and applications.”
Posted in Energy, Environment, Ingredients, Packaging, Processing
Posted on 01 December 2016.
The move towards sustainable food retailing shows no sign of slowing down, with consumers more aware of environmental issues than ever before. Research from Globescan revealed that 92 per cent of shoppers think food companies should focus their efforts on securing the future sustainability of food, with two-thirds believing that farmers should be paid more for their produce. As more food retailers start to reap the benefits of marketing lower carbon products, will they now put their money where their mouth is and support the supply chain in developing new anaerobic digestion (AD) infrastructure?
“The vast majority of the UK’s 200 on-farm AD plants have been built with Feed-in Tariff support,” says Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA). “With that incentive heavily reduced and constrained, we are now looking at how we build the next 200. As many retailers enjoy the ‘green halo’ that comes from marketing low carbon products, is it now time for incentive cuts to be compensated by the support of supermarkets and large food retailers?”
The role that retailers can play in the future of AD is just one of the topics on the agenda at the ADBA National Conference 2016, taking place at One Great George Street, Westminster on 8 December. Now in its eighth year, the 2016 event will bring together industry, academia and policy makers to assess how the UK’s changing relationship with the world and the priorities of a new government can create future opportunities. Key speakers include Matthew Bell (Committee on Climate Change), Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP, Richard Court (National Grid), Chris Huhne (Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate), Alison Fergusson (Ofwat), Iain Gulland (Zero Waste Scotland) and David Newman (President, World Biogas Association).
Taking a lead on food waste
Another keynote speaker at the ADBA National Conference is WRAP’s Dr Richard Swannell, who will present on the current global food waste challenge and how food waste recycling and AD can help reduce food waste. “The UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 sets out a clear challenge to tackle food waste. The aim is to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains. There is a strong case to reduce food waste and to increase separate collection and recycling around the world, not only for the benefit of the environment but also consumers, food producers and the AD industry. My talk will consider how the world might manage food waste more successfully, looking at the scale of the challenge ahead of us and also the size of the prize for the sector.”
Global AD industry set to reach $1trn and deliver green energy more cheaply than coal
The rewards to be had are great – with its current value set at $19.5bn, significant improvements in AD efficiency and plant operation, through advances in R&I currently being discussed, will see the global biogas industry growing exponentially and producing green energy more cheaply than coal. At the same time AD will be playing a critical role in addressing some of the world’s most imminent and critical challenges, including climate change, waste recycling, wastewater treatment and sanitation, and food and energy security.
According to Charlotte Morton, the UK’s strong research and development base – in partnership with its mature and robust operational sector which comprises over 540 AD plants – means the UK is well placed to take a leading role in the global AD revolution: “Improving the AD process – for example, by looking at ways to match the digestion efficiency being achieved in nature – is just one area of focus for our world-leading academic researchers. With a return to a more supportive policy environment, this could start to deliver the industry’s huge potential around the world. The UK has a golden opportunity to be a global leader in what has the potential to become a $1 trillion biogas industry, exporting expertise and equipment worth billions of pounds, and creating tens of thousands of jobs to replace those being lost in the fossil fuel industries.”
The scale of the opportunity will be a key topic at the ADBA National Conference, which will also cover why England is still lagging behind Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in regard to separate food waste collections; where green gas fits in the UK’s energy strategy; how water sector deregulation is changing organic waste markets; and how the biomethane sector will develop between 2017-2021.
For the full programme and to book your place, go to adbioresources.org.
Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 25 November 2016.
Companies that clearly demonstrate the climate change credentials of their products could secure a competitive and commercial advantage, with two thirds of consumers across the UK, France and Germany saying they would like to see a recognisable carbon footprint label on products. This was a key finding from a study of over 5,000 consumers across Europe’s three largest economies, which was conducted by YouGov for the Carbon Trust in the run up to this year’s international climate change negotiations in Marrakech.
This could create growth opportunities for greener products, services and brands, especially in France where three-quarters of the shoppers say they would feel more positive about a company that has reduced the carbon footprint of their products, of which 30 percent would feel much more positive. A majority of consumers in the UK and Germany felt the same, with 56 percent and 50 percent respectively saying they would also feel more positive.
“It is possible that we are seeing a ‘Paris Effect’ after the success of securing a global agreement on climate change last year,” says Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust. “Businesses that communicate their achievements in reducing emissions can secure a reputational advantage over competitors.”
Product carbon footprint labelling was originally introduced into Europe by the Carbon Trust in 2007, with major commitments from retailers and consumer goods companies. However, although carbon footprint labels are still found on supermarket shelves today, there has been an overall reduction in the use of labels as levels of consumer concern appeared to wane in the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.
However, the survey did highlight an apparent value-action gap. Although a majority of consumers express that it is a good idea to use a carbon footprint label, just over half admit that they do not generally think about a product’s carbon footprint when making purchasing decisions.
But this is counterbalanced by a significant group of actively green consumers – approximately one in five shoppers in the UK, France and Germany that do consider climate change impact when making purchasing decisions. And 37 percent say that it is important for them to know that businesses they buy from are taking action to reduce the carbon footprint of their products.
“It seems we are reaching a tipping point,” Messem explains. “The demand for sustainable products is there in principle and actively green consumer behaviour is following in its wake. And this is not just happening in Europe. For example at the Carbon Trust we are actively working with the Chinese government on a major new scheme to enable greener purchasing behaviour, with a pilot taking place in Guangdong, which is an economic powerhouse of a province with a population of over 100 million.”
“We now have a binding global deal on climate change and consumer attitudes are shifting, which will create opportunities for companies with more sustainable products,” Messem adds. “Businesses need to be aware of the risks and opportunities that this will create. Environmental impact is increasingly a criteria for competition, alongside price and quality. Stronger regulation and changing consumer demand is a powerful combination, businesses that take early action and build sustainability into their brand will reap the rewards.”
Posted in Environment, Marketing, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 23 November 2016.
Irish businesses are being called on to take action in helping to save the bees. The National Biodiversity Date Centre and Bord Bia have launched a Framework for Businesses as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which identifies actions that companies can take to help protect pollinators and the livelihoods of farmers who rely on their invaluable pollination service.
Companies are being urged to sign up and implement the plan’s business guidelines. The guidelines suggest 18 practical actions that any business can take in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of the actions include:
- protecting areas that are providing food and shelter for pollinators
- mowing lawns using a pollinator friendly regimen
- install a bee or insect hotel
- raising awareness in your community or supply chain
- planting pollinator friendly bulbs, trees, shrubs and flower beds
- and reducing the use of pesticides.
The Importance of Bees and Pollinators
Pollinators, especially bees, make up an important part of Ireland’s biodiversity. Irish pollinators are in decline, with one third of Ireland’s 98 bee species threatened by extinction in Ireland. The annual value of pollinators for human food crops is at least €53 million. Dr. Jane Stout, deputy chair of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group, says: “Without pollinators it would be impossible for farmers or gardeners to affordably produce many of the fruits and vegetables we need for a healthy diet. Pollinators are also necessary for a healthy environment and landscape. Without them, the 78% of wild plants in Ireland that require insect pollination would disappear.The overall strategy, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, makes Ireland one of the first countries in Europe with an approach to address this problem.”
Commenting on the Irish agri-food industry’s efforts, Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia’s director of sustainable development, says: “Bord Bia has worked closely with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support the implementation of the Pollinator Plan through Origin Green, it’s national sustainability programme for the agri-food industry. Support of the Pollinator Plan offers businesses multiple benefits, such as demonstration of their sustainability credentials and a way of differentiating a business to key customers who require strong sustainability commitments in an increasingly competitive market. Together with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we are asking businesses. regardless of their sector or size or land holdings to play an active role in helping pollinators.”
Along with the business benefits that come from supporting the Pollinator Plan, registered companies will receive a certificate of participation, as well as support in developing plans to take pollinator friendly actions within the business. Once businesses have taken pollinator friendly actions, they may also receive recognition for their work by logging their efforts on the publicly available mapping system, ‘Actions for Pollinators’. Furthermore, commitment to the plan encourages and increases employee engagement through relevant training and events and improves employee health and wellbeing, as well as supporting community engagement and strengthening relationships with local groups.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015 – 2020
Last year, the National Biodiversity Date Centre and Bord Bia, along with 68 governmental and non-governmental organisations, came together to form a shared plan of action, to help pollinators and improve biodiversity across Ireland. The national plan provides a framework to support Corporate Social Responsibility objectives, as well as coordination and support through Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme.
For more information or to sign up, visit www.biodiversityireland.ie/pollinator-plan.
Pictured with an insect hotel that provides shelter for insects and is an example one of the practical actions a business can take are: Dr. Jane Stout, deputy chair of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group, and Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia’s director of sustainable development.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 22 November 2016.
Tetra Pak has expanded its Technical Services portfolio with the launch of a dry lubrication kit for packaging line conveyor belts and distribution equipment. The new solution helps customers cut water and electricity consumption, and reduce the man-hours required for machine maintenance.
Traditional conveyor lubrication, known as wet lubrication, uses high quantities of water mixed with oil, leaving both the equipment and factory floor wet. With the new solution, the process is nearly dry. It does not require the use of water but just very small quantities of oil. A drop of food grade oil roughly the size of a pea (80mm3) is directly added to the conveyor belt to reduce its friction with the package.
Tetra Pak dry lubrication kit.
Unlike wet lubrication, which uses tens of thousands of litres of water, dry lubrication offers producers a number of advantages, including:
- An improved environmental footprint, saving an average of 35,000 litres of water per filling line each year and reduced electricity costs;
- A fully automated system that ensures precision;
- A 75% reduction in man-hours requested in maintenance; and
- Improved health and safety for staff on the operation floor.
Klara Svedberg, Director of Parts, Consumables and Upgrades at Tetra Pak, says: “We are pleased to offer a much more efficient lubrication solution to our customers, helping them to improve operational performance and reduce costs. With an estimated 50% reduction in running costs compared to wet lubrication, the benefits of switching to dry lubrication systems speak for themselves.”
The Tetra Pak Dry Lubrication kit includes the application systems, lubricant and installation. It takes approximately five minutes to install, thereby ensuring minimal disruption to operations.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Packaging
Posted on 14 November 2016.
Avery Dennison has collaborated with partners throughout the supply chain namely Viridor and PET UK, to help Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) reduce waste, costs, and the carbon footprint of Smartwater production in the United Kingdom.
According to Joe Franses, director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners: “This example shows how we can turn the crisis of resources into a business opportunity through close collaboration across the value chain. Businesses which can be truly innovative with the products and services they provide, optimising the resources they use and encouraging consumers to do the same, have the potential to transform our economy.”
Xander van der Vlies, sustainability director for Avery Dennison Materials Group Europe, says that CCEP wanted to further improve Smartwater production in line with its focus on recycling, sustainability and creating a circular economy: “Avery Dennison was a natural choice of partner for this project, given our ambitious year-on-year sustainability goals, and the various initiatives we promote around the reduction of waste created in the self-adhesive label value chain. We have close relationships both with PET UK and with CCEP’s waste management company Viridor, and together we have been able to establish a strategy that saves on waste and emissions while at the same time giving CCEP concrete business benefits and cost reductions.”
More than 50 million bottles of Smartwater were produced in 2015. The PET liners used (carrying the self-adhesive labels before dispensing) generated more than 40 tonnes of waste in that year, costing around £8,500 in disposal/handling costs. Under the new recycling scheme, PET UK shreds and extrudes the waste PET liner and then produces a material suitable for making new items such as PET staple fiber, strapping or thermoformable sheets. There will also be significant savings in CO2 emissions – around 180-200 tonnes in 2016.
Van der Vlies notes that creating awareness on PET recycling will continue: “Since we launched this initiative with PET UK in 2014, we have signed up many wine, spirits, beer, and beverage brands. Avery Dennison has set an ambitious sustainability goal for 2025 of eliminating 70% of liner waste from the industry value chain.”
Posted in Environment, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 10 November 2016.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) 14th Annual Roundtable Meeting (RT14) urged corporate leaders, NGOs, policy makers and academics to step up and join forces to ensure an effective and sustainable palm oil ecosystem. Following the success of the RSPO NEXT discussion last year, which called for stakeholders “to work together, rather than competing to be more sustainable than your neighbour,” this year’s RT14 theme, “Learning to Live Together: From Vision to Transformation” is prompting stakeholders to share knowledge and practical expertise.
“Inclusive partnership is more crucial than ever at this stage as we embrace the concept of market transformation in committing of not leaving anyone behind. Stakeholders must increase their participation to improve effectiveness. Now comes the hard question. How do we ensure these certification schemes are benefiting sustainability? Only through strong collaboration and collective action, we will be able to achieve this vision,” said Datuk Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of the RSPO.
The RT14 also emphasised social issues within the palm oil producing regions, related to contract labour, gender, migration and occupational health and safety and how the whole supply chain and invested stakeholders can contribute in addressing these issues, and move towards a truly sustainable future for the industry.
During the conference, the RSPO reaffirmed its commitment to lead the change by ensuring that no stakeholders are left behind in the process of transformation, which includes the smallholders by providing them with access to global markets.
“There are over 3 million oil palm smallholders worldwide, who account for 30% of the total global production of palm oil while making up 40% of the land coverage used for palm oil cultivation. As part of RSPO’s efforts to support the smallholders, we have implemented various activities and local outreach in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and more recently Colombia and Ghana,” Datuk Webber added.
In addition, at the RT14 the RSPO launched a video campaign to promote its new RSPO Trademark Mobile App, which will allow consumers to identify and geolocate products carrying the RSPO Trademark in a bid to increase consumer awareness on Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to help consumers have a say with their shopping choices.
The progress made on Jurisdictional approach were also highlighted at the conference. In particular, the government of Ecuador achieved a major milestone by demonstrating firm support of sustainable palm oil. The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of Ecuador’s highest producing regions. Effort is concentrated on transforming parts of the landscape that have been deforested for agricultural use with a transversal focus on sustainability. Launching a pilot programme utilising RSPO principles, the government has established coalitions with stakeholders such as palm oil companies and non-profit organisations like Ancupa and UN-REDD (UN-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).
The RT14 was held in the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Thailand from 9th to 10th November 2016 and was attended by H.E. General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand along with over 800 representatives from leading figures in the palm oil industry, corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers, and academics as well as social and environmental NGOs from 46 countries.
Posted in Agriculture, CSR, Environment, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 02 November 2016.
According to the latest figures from IRI, a leading provider of FMCG market intelligence and predictive, actionable insight, government targets to reduce the number of plastic bags used by English shoppers has not only been met, but exceeded. A price levy of 5p per bag came into force in England last October, following similar charges enforced some time ago in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Previously, supermarkets gave away the bags for free.
Whilst the introduction of the levy saw sales of “5p levy” plastic single use bags increase from 138 million units (52 weeks to 12 Oct 2015) to 1.1 billion (52 weeks to 10 Oct 2016), an additional 985 million bags, this is a significant drop from the 8.5 billion bags reportedly given away free by supermarkets in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014. The number of shopping bags overall, including ‘bags for life’, increased from 258 million to 1.7 billion, an additional 1.4 billion bags. Supermarket value sales of plastic and fabric shopping bags increased from £50 million to £147 million, with much of this additional £97 million of revenue going to charity.
“While it still appears that large volumes of plastic bags are being used by shoppers, the Government’s target of an 80% reduction in plastic bag production was easily met,” according to IRI’s Head of Strategic Insight for Retail, Martin Wood. “The total of 1.1 billion single use bags in 2015/16 is just 13.2% of the 8.5 billion figure, so close to a 90% drop, which is astonishing.”
While sales of natural fabric bags, such as cotton, jute and Jaco, grew by 23% in value, these only account for a fraction (under 1 million) of the additional bags sold. According to IRI’s Retail Advantage, which measures supermarket value and volume sales data, the biggest growth came from woven/plastic bags, which sold an additional 431 million bags.
More surprising was a clear growth in sales of bin liners, following the price levy, up from £156 million to £169 million in value sales, a rise of 8.25%, and up 11.3% in volume sales to 90 million packs (52 weeks to 1 October 2016) – at a time when most household categories are in decline.
IRI’s Wood, adds: “The correlating growth in the bin liner category suggests that some people who previously used free plastic bags for collecting and disposing of their rubbish are now having to buy bin liners instead!”
According to IRI data, the average price per bag paid came down across all types of multi-use bags, except insulated bags, which went up from £1.24 to £1.50/bag.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 01 November 2016.
No food company deliberately creates unnecessary waste. However, the volume of food waste created over the festive period is typically 30 per cent higher than the rest of the year. Finding a cost-effective, speedy and green way of treating this additional waste can be a headache for food firms at their busiest time of year. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an increasingly popular food waste treatment option turning waste into renewable energy – biogas. The last seven years have seen an unprecedented growth in the number of AD plants throughout the UK, rising from less than 50 in 2009 to 381 today (excluding the water sector). A fifth of these plants (79) process food waste, turning this valuable resource into renewable energy and biofertiliser (digestate).
In December, it is estimated that 230,000 tonnes of additional food waste is generated in the UK. If this extra waste was sent to AD, it would create 124 MWe of energy – enough to power 220,000 homes throughout December, or a city the size of Southampton.
The Price of Food Waste
While the priority for food businesses should always be food waste prevention and minimisation, the increased complexity and uncertainty around Christmas ordering and production schedules means that an increase in food waste at this time of year is inevitable. Each Christmas, two million turkeys, 11 million potatoes, 17 million sprouts, 12 million carrots and 7.5 million mince pies are wasted, as shopping habits change and consumption rises. The cost of this additional festive food waste to the UK economy is an eye-watering £64 million per year. But not only does this increase in food waste impact on food firms’ profit margins, there is also an environmental price to pay – leaving food waste to rot in landfill causes the release of methane into the atmosphere, a gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Sending food waste to an anaerobic digestion plant (also knows as an AD plant or biogas plant) significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfill and incineration. A naturally occurring process of decomposition whereby organic material including crops, farm and food waste is broken down, anaerobic digestion is a waste treatment option that is quickly becoming a favourite of food manufacturers, producers and retailers. And it’s not solely down to the associated ‘green halo’ that comes from doing the right thing for the environment; today’s modern AD plants are also a flexible, cost-effective and hassle-free way to treat waste food.
Last Christmas North London-based Willen Biogas turned thousands of tonnes of mince pies into biogas.
No Room at the (B)inn
As waste volumes increase during the festive period, waste hauliers’ capacity fills up fast. Food companies can suddenly find themselves faced with a mountain of surplus Christmas food waste that their usual waste carrier is unable to take – or will only treat for a vastly inflated fee. No company wants its waste hanging around for longer than is absolutely necessary, and some sites also have the additional issue of waste permits, which may prohibit them from keeping their waste on site for any length of time. Food firms should plan ahead for an alternative place to send their additional Christmas food waste and seek out their local AD plant.
Headache Gone – Waste Collected Within 24 hours
Last Christmas, food businesses based in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire sent thousands of tonnes of mince pies, sprouts and turkeys to London-based AD plant Willen Biogas. “We helped a number of local food companies with their last-minute Christmas waste problems, arranging collection, transport, depackaging and treatment of their food waste at short notice,” says Willen Biogas Chairman, Adrian Williams. “Our cost-competitive waste treatment options can be used for one-off loads or we are happy to discuss longer term contracts depending on our client’s requirements.”
Located just off junction 25 of the M25, the state-of-the-art, modern 1.5 MW AD plant processes around 60,000 tonnes of food waste every day – and has capacity to handle any local Christmas surplus. Fitted with sophisticated front-end depackaging equipment, it can handle all types of food waste, including packaged, (with the exception of palletised loads) and accepts deliveries with as little as 24 hours’ notice.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 21 October 2016.
Knutsford-based Packaging Automation has been recognised for its green credentials after being selected as a winner of a new environmental award. Packaging Automation, who manufacture innovative, versatile and cost effective filling and tray sealing solutions, has received the award from leading waste and recycling company, ACM Environmental PLC, for becoming a 100% Zero to Landfill Business.
The award acknowledges that none of the waste produced by Packaging Automation is sent to landfill and instead more environmentally sustainable methods are used to recycle, recover and reuse it. By working in partnership with ACM, Packaging Automation has pledged a commitment to a low carbon future by following the principles of the waste hierarchy to achieve
the diversion of 100% waste from landfill.
Russ Sampson, from ACM Environmental (Manchester and Merseyside), says: “We are delighted that Packaging Automation is the first recipient of a new Zero Waste to Landfill Award. We are delighted to be working in partnership with them to help implement an environmentally-sound waste management strategy and to see them achieve, and sustain such impressive landfill diversion results is extremely gratifying.”
Neil Ashton from Packaging Automation says: “We are extremely proud to be working with ACM to support our environmental policies. Waste reduction is a topic that is important to many of our customers, so achieving zero waste to landfill is an important step to ensuring we are in tune with their commitment to the environment. It is also pleasing that the work we have done with ACM culminating in the award has also delivered cost savings for our business.”
Posted in Environment, Packaging
Posted on 05 October 2016.
Sustainability and in particular environmental protection have been key issues for Swiss milk processor Emmi for over 20 years. Now, the company is going a significant step further by setting itself specific objectives in four important sustainability-related areas. These objectives have been defined in communication with various stakeholders, including WWF Switzerland. The environmental protection organisation will also continue to support Emmi in implementing and cultivating its sustainability commitment as a critical and demanding partner in future.
Emmi’s sustainability commitments are as follows:
Reduce CO2 emissions by 25 % by 2020 (compared to 2014, in relation to the quantity of processed milk)
To reduce its CO2 emissions, Emmi will continue to lower its energy consumption as well as opting for more sustainable energy sources.
Process milk from sustainable production
To achieve this, all of Emmi’s Swiss milk suppliers will have to meet a catalogue of sustainability criteria by 2020. Particular importance in this regard will be given to the conditions in which the dairy cows are kept – most notably access to open pasture and feed – in the belief that milk production based on roughage is ecologically sensible and conducive to animal welfare. Switzerland provides a solid platform for achieving this natural and economical form of milk production. In return, Emmi is also committed to paying its Swiss milk suppliers an above-average price.
Reduce food and packaging waste by 20 % by 2020
Emmi will achieve this by generating less waste of packaging and raw materials in production and looking for ways to reintegrate waste into the materials cycle. Emmi will also contribute to reducing the food waste of its customers and consumers.
Invest in the development of employees
Emmi’s aim is for every single one of its 5,750 employees to have personal development objectives. This will not only contribute to employee satisfaction, but is also designed as a tool for combating skills shortages. By 2020, Emmi therefore aims to be in a position to fill half of its vacancies with internal candidates.
By setting itself these objectives, Emmi aims to develop in areas that are particularly important to sustainability. In addition, it will support flagship projects in each of the four focus areas that it considers to be particularly pioneering or exemplary from a sustainability perspective and that could influence the further development of its own sustainability commitment.
Emmi will publish an up-to-date review and initial measures to achieve its sustainability commitments in its Sustainability Report (to be released in summer 2017).
True sustainability is a competitive advantage
Competitive pressure among milk processors has steadily risen in recent years. Emmi’s goal in this competitive environment is clear: to position itself as a provider of innovative, high-quality products. An integral part of this positioning is a credible, ambitious commitment to sustainability.
Urs Riedener, chief executive of Emmi.
According to Urs Riedener, CEO of the Emmi Group: “Consumers are increasingly demanding true commitment from companies. However, they also reward this commitment with their loyalty. In this respect, Emmi’s ambitious sustainability efforts are an important prerequisite for future business success.”
After reporting extensively on numerous sustainability aspects throughout its entire value chain in recent years, Emmi is now going a decisive step further by committing itself with respect to the public and wider society to highly specific objectives in four particularly relevant areas.
WWF as a sparring partner
The commitments in these four focus areas were developed over several months in close communication with various stakeholders. Emmi’s main aim in doing so was to compile a range of expectations that it could then evaluate internally in terms of feasibility.
A particularly valuable partner in this process proved to be WWF Switzerland, which supported Emmi with valuable know-how related to climate protection and agriculture as well as carrying out a critical review of Emmi’s business activities. The WWF also demands that its partner companies set ambitious goals in their commitment to sustainability. To achieve these goals, Emmi will require the continued support of external specialists. The partnership with WWF Switzerland that was recently approved by the Emmi Board of Directors will ensure the company can count on this support. In return, Emmi is committed to maintaining openness and transparency with regard to its sustainability commitment.
Posted in CSR, Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 04 October 2016.
By Allan Bruun, Industry Manager, Dairy, Market Unit Food, Alfa Laval
Are you looking for a self-priming pump that improves energy efficiency and reduces noise levels, as well as meeting the latest hygienic design standards? Using airscrew technology, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime sets a new standard in self-priming pump technology.
Based on the Alfa Laval LKH premium range of centrifugal pumps the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is specifically constructed for pumping liquids containing entrained air, making it an excellent choice as a CIP return pump. The Alfa Laval LKH Prime is 40 percent more energy efficient and operates at noise levels 80 percent below conventional liquid-ring pumps. As all pumps in the LKH family, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is EHEDG certified and authorized to carry the 3-A symbol.
Versatile and efficient, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is therefore of interest to dairy owners and operators who are concerned with:
- Reducing energy consumption
- Improving the work environment
- Reducing installation costs.
Reducing Energy Consumption
The hydraulic efficiency of the Alfa Laval LKH Prime reaches over 50% (Image 1). This means the Alfa Laval LKH Prime offers an added advantage over liquid-ring pumps, which typically reach efficiencies of approximately 30 percent. Its high efficiency is easily attainable at a wide flow range, which translates into substantial savings no matter the duty point.
Improving the Work Environment
The Alfa Laval LKH Prime also contributes to a better work environment. It reduces the noise emission level by up to 80 percent compared to conventional liquid-ring pumps. With a noise level of a mere 74dBA, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime efficiently eliminates the need for these protective measures.
Reducing Installation Costs
While the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is primarily designed for CIP return duties, the hygienic design means it may also be used to pump dairy products. For instance, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is a reliable pump for emptying milk tanks. Because of the pump’s ability to handle both CIP return liquid and dairy products, it is possible to eliminate the need for a separate liquid-ring pump.
The Alfa Laval LKH Prime combines the gentle product treatment and hygienic design of the LKH range with the liquid-ring principle. In many cases, this can reduce the number of pumps required for an installation from two to just a single pump.
Reducing the installation costs from two liquid-ring pumps to one Alfa Laval LKH Prime pump results in:
- Lower capital investment, one pump instead of two
- Lower piping, cabling and automation costs
- Lower spare parts and service costs.
Service is a key element of any Alfa Laval offering and the commonality of spares, including the shaft seal, in the LKH range translates into reduced spare parts inventory and fast maintenance.
As the pump starts up, a liquid ring is formed in the pump head canister (image 2) and the recirculation pipe is filled (2), thereby achieving the initial prime. This liquid ring is formed in the space between the diameter of the inlet pipe, and the outer diameter of the offset canister housing the airscrew. The resultant liquid ring creates a water seal between the airscrew hub and the top of the canister (3).
An air column is created between the airscrew hub and the liquid ring (1). The air column is separated into air pockets by the airscrew and then forced into the impeller’s suction stage. Some of the priming liquid re-circulates over the recirculation pipe (2). Air is removed until the content is just a few percent and no pockets are generated. The pump then acts as a traditional centrifugal pump, transferring the liquid from the suction stage (4) through the discharge (5).
When there is no air present, the canister and recirculation loop have no function and are completely filled with liquid. The liquid passes through the canister into the impeller’s suction stage. Here again, the pump acts as a traditional centrifugal pump, transferring the liquid through the discharge at a higher velocity and pressure.
The Alfa Laval LKH Prime Pump delivers:
- Reduced energy consumption
- Improved working environment
- Reduced installation cost
- And have spare parts commonality with the Alfa Laval LKH pump range making it easy to service.
Allan Bruun is Alfa Laval’s Dairy Industry Manager, responsible for the heat transfer and fluid handling business. Allan coordinates commercial and technical market intelligence between sales channels, dairies and central Alfa Laval functions seeking to optimize the customers’ processes and increase the competence level of the organization. Allan holds university degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering as well as business administration. Contact: email@example.com.
About Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly 100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena. Alfa Laval is listed on Nasdaq OMX, and, in 2015, posted annual sales of about SEK 39.7 billion (approx.4.25 billion Euros). The company has about 17.500 employees.
Posted in Enterprise, Environment, Hygiene, Processing, Quality Assurance
Posted on 29 September 2016.
Emmi has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 25 % by 2020. In an important step towards meeting this objective, the largest Swiss milk processor is switching to sustainable electricity. To this end, it is set to rely entirely on renewable energy and on BKW as its partner. BKW will supply Emmi with around 110 gigawatt hours of hydroelectricity a year – enough to meet the needs of all Emmi facilities in Switzerland.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Emmi has decided to rely entirely on hydroelectricity for all of its 36 facilities in Switzerland, enabling the largest Swiss milk processor to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 14000 tonnes.
BKW was already supplying several Emmi locations with electricity. Based on the positive experiences, as well as its know-how and extensive offering, Emmi has now opted for a full supply from BKW. From 2017, BKW is set to supply all Emmi production sites in Switzerland with around 110 gigawatt hours of electricity each year for a period of three years.
Max Peter, Head of Retail and Supply Chain Management Switzerland at Emmi, says: “With its innovative and flexible procurement model, BKW will enable us to optimally satisfy our electricity requirements as well as take an important step towards meeting our CO2 reduction targets.” Christoph Matter, Head of Sales at BKW, adds: “We are delighted to be able to supply an important customer in Emmi with sustainable hydroelectricity throughout Switzerland.”
Other services that Emmi will be able to benefit from besides the supply of electricity include the BKW Club. Comprising a wealth of information – from the latest analyses of load profile valuations on the stock exchange to the monitoring of defined limits – this online tool provides compact assistance for the energy industry and is available to all of BKW’s major customers.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 23 September 2016.
A commitment to environmental sustainability lies at the heart of the Scotch Whisky industry which has now unveiled even more ambitious green targets, from responsible water use to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Scotch Whisky Environmental Strategy – first launched in 2009 and the only one of its kind covering an entire Scottish industry – has been refreshed to broaden its remit to reflect an evolving world and changing business operations.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which manages the strategy for the industry, says it recognises the need for a thriving natural environment. Scotch whisky is made from three raw materials – water, cereals and yeast – and the industry has a responsibility to minimise its use of natural resources and its impact on the environment.
The refreshed strategy has four themes with voluntary targets to be met by the industry by 2020 and 2050:
* Reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050 some 80% of primary energy will come from non-fossil fuels, such as anaerobic digestion and solar power. In 2008 this figure was 3% and increased to 17% by 2014.
* Responsible water use. Distilling water efficiency will improve by 10% by 2020. This target is based on companies optimising efficient water use at their production sites.
* Embracing a ‘circular economy’ in the industry supply chain. The aim will be to use resources for as long as possible, extracting maximum value from them and recovering and regenerating materials. For example, by 2020 no general waste will go to landfill, compared with 13% in 2008, and product packaging will be 100% recyclable.
* Sustainable land use. The goal is to ensure a secure supply of high-quality raw materials, namely cereals and wood. This includes encouraging the use of wood sourced from sustainable oak forests to manufacture new casks.
Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association deputy chief executive, says: “The refresh of the Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy is a clear sign of bold industry intentions on sustainability. Sound environmental management is an industry priority and goes hand in hand with business growth. Our strategy is collective, building on the work of individual Scotch whisky producers. And strong support from governments and our supply chains will be needed to help deliver on our ambitions. The strategy remains the only one in Scotland covering an entire industry. It sets out challenging voluntary goals that will protect the natural environment for generations to come.”
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 19 September 2016.
Coca-Cola HBC Italia will reduce its carbon footprint by 15% and save 40% on its energy costs after installing an ENER-G combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system. The ENER-G CCHP (trigeneration) technology is providing 40% of Coca-Cola HBC Italia’s energy needs at its Marcianise production facility in Campania, southern Italy (www.coca-colahellenic.it) .
The 1280 kWe decentralised energy system is supplying hot water, steam, cooling and electricity to provide 60% of the site’s power demand, 80% of its cooling and almost all of its steam requirements.
This is dramatically reducing Coca-Cola HBC Italia’s reliance on energy supplied from the grid and will achieve annual carbon dioxide savings of 1,343 tons, which is equivalent to the carbon that would be offset by a 1,271 acre forest.
ENER-G designed, installed and commissioned the containerised natural gas CHP system utilising a high efficiency MTU engine. The system is connected to a 500kW absorption chiller and a recovery boiler for the production of steam. It has a thermal capacity of 715 kWth.
The CCHP system produces hot water, steam and chilled water for use in the production and bottling process. This is distributed to the production area and bottling lines via a network of pipes, designed and built by ENER-G.
The high efficiency plant is expected to produce around 7,500 MWh of electricity per year and to operate 6,500 hours per year.
Christian Stella, Managing Director of ENER-G Italia, said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with Coca-Cola HBC Italia, which is a global sustainability leader. Beverage producers require large amounts of energy for applications such as process cooling, sterilisation of bottles and for cleaning installations. Proper management of energy use through the installation of a cogeneration plant is one of the most forward-looking investments in this field, with numerous benefits in terms of increased plant efficiency, lower energy costs, reduced CO2 emissions and fast turnaround times.”
Coca-Cola HBC Italia is part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group and produces famous brands such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Nestea at its Marcianise production facility.
CHP technology converts gas into both electricity and heat in a single process at the point of use. The low carbon process works by generating electricity on-site and recovering the majority of the heat created in the process, in contrast to conventional power stations where heat is wasted into the atmosphere through power station cooling towers. Distribution losses are also avoided since energy generation takes place on-site.
ENER-G, which is headquartered in the UK and has its Italian operation in Milan, has over 30 years’ experience and a strong track record in delivering end-to-end CHP solutions for industrial and commercial customers, and has around 1,400 units totalling over 500MW under contract.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 15 September 2016.
Mondelēz International has once again been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for both the North America and World indices. The DJSI is a globally recognized independent benchmark that conducts comprehensive assessments of a company’s economic, environmental and social performance with a strong focus on long-term value creation for shareholders.
Mondelēz International improved its overall score to reach the 95th percentile of its industry. The company also achieved perfect scores of 100 in health and nutrition, raw material sourcing and water-related risks.
“The Dow Jones Sustainability Index is a gold standard for sustainable business,” says Christine McGrath, Vice President, Sustainability, Well-being and Public & Government Affairs. “We believe our growth is directly linked to enhancing the well-being of our planet and its people, and we focus on areas where we can have the biggest impact, like well-being snacks, sustainable agriculture and reducing our environmental impact. It’s satisfying to see the progress we are making in these areas recognized in our DJSI assessment.”
For the 2016 assessment, the world’s largest 3,400 companies from developed and emerging markets were invited to take part. Only companies scoring among the top 10 percent per industry were eligible for the World Index, while companies in the top 20 percent per industry were eligible for the North America index.
In June, Mondelēz International released its Call For Well-being 2015 Progress Report, which detailed how the company exceeded nearly all of its 2015 environmental footprint goals and set more aggressive 2020 targets to fight the impact of climate change. The report further outlined progress the company has made toward its ambition to be the global leader in well-being snacks.
Posted in CSR, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 13 September 2016.
A biogas facility that fuels a factory with green energy and helps farmers is just one example of kind of the work that has helped Nestlé become food industry No.1 in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The DJSI is a globally recognised independent benchmark that measures the performance of the largest 2,500 global companies across three dimensions: Economic, Environmental and Social.
With an overall score of 92 out of 100, Nestlé received industry-best scores in all three dimensions. The index praised the company for the ‘outstanding steps’ it has taken to embed human rights into supplier management policies, as well as its industry leadership in health and nutrition.
Awarding Nestlé an Environmental score of 100, the index recognised the company’s commitment to ensuring that its products and process are as environmentally and socially friendly as possible.
For example, in Switzerland Nestlé recently partnered with local farmers to open the country’s largest agriculture biogas plant, which uses manure from cattle to generate green energy for its Henniez bottled water factory and the Swiss power grid.
In return, the farmers receive a more environmentally friendly manure, and Nestlé also helps them care for the local environment. Such work was recognised in the DJSI Social dimension, where the company scored 98 out of 100 for Corporate Citizenship/Philanthropy.
Posted in CSR, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 05 September 2016.
A joint project between Nestlé Waters and Groupe E Greenwatt to build Switzerland’s largest biogas plant has focused on producing renewable energy while supporting Swiss farmers. Manure is burned in the biogas facility, which powers the nearby Henniez water bottling site, reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions by 30%.
The project begins and ends with the network of local farmers. In return for their cows’ manure, they receive a highly sought after fertiliser which is organic and nutrient dense – the final product of the fermentation process in the biogas plant. The farmers then reuse it on their crops, saving money as they need to purchase less fertiliser. This exchange is cost neutral and helps create sustainable farming business as they recover valuable nutrients that would be otherwise lost.
The premium fertiliser produced by the biogas plant is easily absorbed by plants, and produces fewer ammonia emissions for the environment.
Nestlé Waters financed feasibility studies and sought partners in 2009, examining possible causes of damage to the Henniez water source. With the collaboration of Groupe E Greenwatt, a facility to produce renewable energy was built next to the bottling plant. The electricity generated from burning the manure, along with coffee waste from local Nespresso and Nescafé factories is sold to the Swiss grid. The heat from the plant powers the Henniez facility, reducing CO2 emissions by 50%.
Supporting sustainable agriculture in this eco project is good for the farmers, the environment, and Nestlé Waters. Henniez’s Sustainability Manger Michel Marcuard says: “It wasn’t easy in the beginning. We had to win the farmers’ trust and convince them that we weren’t going to harm their livelihoods. But now it’s a great partnership – a win-win.”
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 01 September 2016.
The Coca-Cola Company and its global bottling partners (the Coca-Cola system) have met their goal to replenish, or in other words balance, the equivalent amount of water used in their global sales volume back to nature and communities. Based on this achievement, Coca-Cola is the first Fortune 500 company to publicly claim achieving such an aggressive water replenishment target.
The Coca-Cola system also announced progress against its water efficiency goal. The company and its bottling partners improved water use efficiency by 2.5 percent from 2014 to 2015, adding to a cumulative 27 percent improvement since 2004.
Based on a global water use assessment validated by LimnoTech and Deloitte, and conducted in association with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities in 2015 through community water projects, equaling the equivalent of 115 percent of the water used in Coca-Cola’s beverages last year.
“This achievement marks a moment of pride for Coca-Cola and our partners. A goal that started as aspiration in 2007 is today a reality and a global milestone we plan to maintain as our business grows,” says Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “Now, every time a consumer drinks a Coca-Cola product, they can have confidence that our company and bottling partners are committed to responsible water use today and tomorrow. We are keenly aware that our water stewardship work is unfinished and remain focused on exploring next steps to advance our water programs and performance.”
The Coca-Cola system has achieved its water replenishment goals through 248 community water partnership projects in 71 countries focused on safe water access, watershed protection and water for productive use. In many cases, projects also provide access to sanitation and education, help improve local livelihoods, assist communities with adapting to climate change, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, engage on policy and build awareness on water issues. The program aspects mentioned in the preceding sentence do not contribute to Coca-Cola’s replenish volume.
Replenish performance is independently reviewed by LimnoTech and verified by Deloitte. That work is reflected in a 1,188 page report. The methodology for calculating water replenishment benefits was created in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and LimnoTech. It was the subject of scientific technical peer review to verify its accuracy, and uses generally accepted scientific and technical methods. Projects are reviewed annually and evaluated using this methodology.
Some replenish projects directly return water to the source we use while others are outside the watershed our plant uses but are important to help meet needs of local governments, communities and partners where there is a pressing need. Coca-Cola and its partners seek projects that have a direct benefit, can be scaled up to have greater impact by reaching more people and parts of an ecosystem, are easy to learn from and replicate in other places where the challenges are similar, and can be built to be sustainable by the community over time, continuing to replenish water. These efforts, as well as new projects, frequently address local source water vulnerabilities and balance additional sales volume as Coca-Cola’s business continues to grow.
At each of its 863 plants globally, Coca-Cola requires operations to determine the sustainability of the water supply they share with others in terms of quality, quantity, and other issues such as infrastructure to treat and distribute water. Through this process, one of the factors Coca-Cola plants must examine is whether or not their use of water and discharge of water has the potential to negatively impact the ability of other community members to access a sufficient quantity and quality of water. If so, or if there are areas where water sources may still be unsustainable in some aspect, Coca-Cola’s requirement then mandates that each plant develop and implement a Source Water Protection Plan. The plan, among other things, engages others to mutually seek solutions to promote the sustainability of the local water source. This may result in replenish projects or other opportunities. While each plant may not replenish all water to its direct source, Coca-Cola’s policy is to require that all plants work to ensure they do not negatively impact water sources and work with the community on longer term solutions.
Coca-Cola’s replenishment strategy supports the company’s overall water goal to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what is used in its beverages and their production. On the production side, the Coca-Cola system returned approximately 145.8 billion liters of water used in its manufacturing processes back to local watersheds near our bottling plants through treated wastewater in 2015.
“All life depends on water, but less than 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and accessible. From mountain glaciers to estuaries, we must account for the whole system if we hope to secure freshwater for all,” says Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) President and CEO. “This means partnerships matter. This is an important milestone in Coca-Cola’s continued leadership on water stewardship and sets a standard for other water users to build from.”
Coca-Cola collaborates on replenish projects with governments, civil society and other members of the private sector. Some of the many organizations Coca–Cola partners with include Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), Millennium Challenge Corporation, TNC, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNHabitat, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WaterAid, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), Water for People, WWF, and World Vision.
Four programs with significant contribution to Coca-Cola’s water replenishment activities are our global conservation partnership with WWF, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), the company’s Every Drop Matterspartnership with UNDP, which expanded to New World in 2014, and Coca-Cola’s investment in 50 water funds across 12 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, with key partners TNC, FEMSA Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). All of these programs are active and committed through 2020.
Replenish projects work to balance, or offset, the direct water use of The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners across operations in more than 200 countries. The water use is inclusive of water used within manufacturing as well as finished beverages, which includes water from fountain sales. The water footprint of growing agricultural ingredients sourced by the Coca-Cola system is not included in this goal. However, sustainable water practices are part of Coca-Cola’s Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles required for suppliers.
To learn more about Coca-Cola’s water stewardship program, visit the company’s water stewardship report.
Posted in CSR, Environment
Posted on 24 August 2016.
Arla dairy located in Aylesbury, near London, is the world’s largest fresh milk facility. In 2013 Arla planned the new dairy as a showcase of sustainable development, applying advanced process technologies and renewable energy solutions, targeting a zero carbon facility.
To support this concept, a first Memthane® Anaerobic Membrane Bio-Reactor was installed. This small footprint solution maximizes renewable energy production to cover more than 10% of the dairy biogas need while producing superb quality effluent with over 99% of TCOD removal efficiency.
In 2015, the production increased from 0.7 to 1 billion litre of fresh milk a year. In order to handle the additional wastewater flow and TCOD load generated, Arla chose to install a second Memthane® digester.
Memthane® solution is now a standard and validated technology for resource recovery from dairy wastewater. In South Africa, two dairies combined it with reverse osmosis to produce reuse water in a two step process only. For further information visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in Environment, Processing
Posted on 12 August 2016.
With water scarcity increasingly prevalent worldwide, businesses are far more aware that not only is water a precious resource, but that it should not be wasted and can be harnessed again. Aquabio assists with this forward thinking strategy and provides innovative technologies to treat and reuse industrial wastewater, helping companies achieve their corporate responsibility targets in combination with reducing water consumption and associated costs.
Aquabio is now part of the highly respected Freudenberg Group and is a pioneer in industrial waste water treatment and management, most notably in Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology and water recycling and reuse. The company has developed the implementation of water recycling within a wide range of industries, notably in the food and beverage sector, which is a significant water user. With water scarcity worldwide an increasing concern, there is a need for industry to address the impact of its water consumption. One method to reduce water consumption and enable growth is to effectively utilise existing on-site resources and curb effluent output. Aquabio’s AMBR LE™ solution with reverse osmosis and UV filtration treats industrial effluents to high grade water quality for reuse, significantly reducing the water intake and discharge volumes along with the associated water footprint and costs.
Aquabio has successfully applied its proprietary approach to membrane bioreactors and water reuse in numerous applications since 2001, including the first potable reuse applications in food and beverage in the UK and US. The technology is very versatile and has already been widely used for a number of blue chip companies including Muller Dairy, Chivas Brothers, Bakkavor, Unilever Marmite, Butcher’s Pet Food, Bairds Malt, Shepherd Neame Brewery and Wyke Farms.
For example, a recent constructed plant for Muller at Severnside, Gloucester utilises Aquabio’s unique AMBR LE™ Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) and is the largest application of its kind in the UK. The AMBR LE™ with reverse osmosis processes produce effluent of a high enough quality to be re-used in industrial application, or discharged to stringent watercourse requirements even after concentration in the reverse osmosis stage.
Some 60 percent of waste water at the new plant will be treated to potable standards for reuse. The plant will have the capacity to recycle 550 million litres of water per year. This is enough water to supply the daily demands of over 10,000 people.
The AMBR LE™ process involves the use of back flushable cross-flow type membranes for the separation of biomass from the treated water which guarantees high flux rates with optimised economic and reliable operation. Use of ultrafiltration membranes provides a complete barrier to suspended solids thus ensuring high quality final effluent, guaranteed for watercourse discharge and providing ideal water quality for downstream reverse osmosis treatment to deliver high grade clean water.
In 2015 Bakkavor, the leading international manufacturer of fresh prepared foods, also appointed Aquabio to assist with its sustainability goals and commissioned construction of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and water recycling facility at its Cucina Sano business in Boston, Lincolnshire. The plant is designed to treat wastewater from the production process to ensure full compliance with stringent requirements for local watercourses. Furthermore it incorporates additional treatment to high grade potable water quality for reuse within the facility. The plant is due to be operational this year and will be the fourth plant installed by Aquabio for Bakkavor.
Ben Cooper, Manufacturing Manager of Cucina Sano, says: “We are always working to ensure we can help sustain the environment in which we operate and one of our key areas of focus is water usage. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits of this new plant in helping us achieve our sustainability goals.”
AMBR LE™ technology helps companies achieve waste management targets set across the industry and realise significant water consumption / discharge savings at a relatively low capital cost. Aquabio implements a wholly integrated solution which helps business to dully appreciate the value of water within the factory production lifecycle. This unique approach has ensured that Aquabio is recognised as a company that has the capability and to provide high quality, robust wastewater treatment and reuse solutions coupled with total confidence that these critical goals can be achieved for the entire supply chain.
For further information contact Aquabio on Tel +44 (0)1905 641966 or visit www.aquabio.co.uk.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 02 August 2016.
Lanes Group plc has won a three-year contract with fast-expanding beverage manufacturer Bevisol to take away drinks production effluent for anaerobic digestion. It is making daily tanker collections of 150 cubic metres of waste water created during cider production at the Bevisol plant in Ledbury, Herefordshire. Bevisol has an agreement with Severn Trent Water to send its production effluent to the water company’s anaerobic digestion plants.
Under an agreement with the utilities company, the main destination for the drinks effluent is Severn Trent Water’s new anaerobic digestion unit at Netheridge sewage treatment works near Gloucester.
However, Bevisol has developed a method for blending effluent so it has the right chemical and biological balance to be treated at Severn Trent Water’s other anaerobic digestion plants, if necessary.
Bevisol Projects Manager Tim Powell says: “Because we can guarantee that our effluent has the right pre-treatment balance for whichever plant it is going to, Severn Trent Water’s costs are minimised, so our disposal fees are reduced as well. Lanes Group’s tankering service is the third element in a supply chain that has benefits for all concerned, which is an ideal situation.”
Bevisol invited Lanes Group to take part in a competitive tendering exercise to transport the effluent because Lanes already provides a tankering service for Severn Trent Water, managed from its utilities hub in Stafford.
Lanes Group’s Severn Trent Water Contract Manager Roland Leslie says: “We are delighted to be supporting Bevisol in this way. We have a dedicated driver making up to five journeys a day in a 30,000 litre tanker to service Bevisol’s requirements. Our close working relationship with Severn Trent Water means we can provide Bevisol with all the support it needs to ensure their production effluent is managed effectively.”
Lanes Group expects to transport 40,000 cubic metres of cider effluent a year for Bevisol. The drinks company develops and manufactures a range of alcoholic drinks and related products for the beverage industry.
Posted in Energy, Environment
Posted on 27 July 2016.
Unilever and Hubbub, with the support of WRAP, have launched its Joint Ambition for a Zero Food Waste Britain. The Joint Ambition for a Zero Food Waste Britain has been developed following extensive consultation with 240 organisations and builds on public polling conducted with over 2,000 households. Aimed at tackling the issue of food waste at a consumer, business and policy level, the Joint Ambition contains five core principles:
- Collaboration between organisations from all sectors is essential to reducing household food waste.
- Communication should demonstrate the value of food ensuring as much as possible is eaten.
- Awareness needs to be built on the wider environmental, social and financial impact of food.
- Skills and knowledge need to be built so that people get maximum value from food.
- Consistency is needed for food waste collection systems across the UK
To deliver the principles, Unilever and Hubbub have gained the support of a wide range of organisations who have pledged to help develop fresh messaging on food waste and run engaging campaigns which encourage households to better understand the value of food.
Charlotte Carroll, Sustainability Director, Unilever UK, says: “As a food manufacturer, we understand that more needs to be done to address avoidable food waste, especially as in the UK alone, one fifth of struggling families experience food poverty. That’s why, through our Joint Ambition, we are taking collective action to drive lasting transformational change in this area. With our exciting partnership with Hubbub, who are experts in food waste and behaviour change, we will be delivering a series of consumer campaigns via our much-loved brands, including Wall’s, Knorr and Hellmann’s.”
Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub, says: “The Joint Ambition has been created following extensive consultation with organisations working across the food chain. This demonstrated a huge desire to act on food waste and the importance of collaboration. The Joint Ambition will provide a practical and positive way of turning this desire into action and we are delighted to be working with Unilever to make this happen.”
David Moon, Head of Food Sustainability, WRAP, said: The Joint Ambition highlights the need for a coordinated focus on food waste prevention, communication, skills and the recycling of unavoidable food waste. In this, it is really focused in helping households value their food and drink. Significantly, the Joint Ambition is also well aligned and contributes to the food waste targets and delivery programmes within our industry-wide Courtauld 2025 agreement. We therefore look forward to the Joint Ambition being achieved.”
To kick off the work Unilever and Hubbub recently launched their summer campaign which seeks to inform holiday-goers on how to make the most their leftovers. Supported by research which revealed that over £0.5 billion worth of perfectly edible food is thrown away in the UK when people head off holiday, the campaign encourages consumers to either freeze, gift or cook their leftovers.
Talk Mobile and the Responsible Travel Company have also partnered with Hubbub and Unilever to support the summer campaign by encouraging their customers to consider leftover food as part of their holiday planning.
The summer campaign is the first of a number of practical campaigns which aim to bring the Joint Ambition to life. Hubbub and Unilever hope that a growing band of organisations are inspired to join together to back the Joint Ambition.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 26 July 2016.
What current atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration tells us about the need to stabilise the global climate and the need for a step change in government, city and business action.
By Darran Messem, Managing Director, Certification, Carbon Trust
If as expected atmospheric CO2 averages 400 parts per million (ppm) this year, for the first time in over 800,000 years, 2016 may well be regarded as a pivotal year. In the three decades since the first presentation of man-made climate change to the US Senate, the presenter of which subsequently proposed 350ppm as the ‘safe’ limit, greenhouse gas concentration has accelerated rather than declined. Monthly peak anomalies in global warming have edged close to the UN IPCC ‘best efforts’ threshold of +1.5°C above the pre-industrial average, and sustained regional temperature anomalies have extended beyond +5 °C. Northern hemisphere ice masses have declined; sea levels have risen; extreme weather events have increased in frequency.
With less than four years to go to 2020 it is timely to take stock and reappraise what needs to be done to stabilise the global climate. Reaching 400ppm crystallises a stark choice between two scenarios:
• Continued acceleration of greenhouse emissions and climate change culminating in substantial forced changes in global climate, land use, factors of production and patterns of demand, and corresponding investment in adaptation measures (in UNFCCC terms, a ‘Paris fails’ scenario).
• Managed reduction in emissions through major and rapid changes in technology in energy, transport, production and consumption through nationally determined policy initiatives attempting to hit a sweet spot between national economic competitive advantage and environmental responsibility (in UNFCCC terms, a ‘Paris succeeds’ scenario).
Three key players determine which scenario prevails: Governments, Municipal Authorities/Cities and Corporates. They have influence over the majority of emissions, determine resource allocation, and exert a profound influence over both financial prioritisation and consumer choice. Their actions in the next four years will determine whether emissions and climate change begin to slow, or whether they continue or even accelerate.
Recent climate change and implications
Having tipped 400ppm in March 2015 (Figure 1), 2016 will probably be the year when the global mean atmospheric CO2 concentration is at or above this level; the consequence of high industrial, agricultural, transport and domestic emissions, together with emissions from natural sources induced by anthropogenic change such as retreating permafrost, and potentially a reduction in the carbon-sink effect of natural systems[i].
Assuming continued increases in average atmospheric concentration of +10ppm every four year, the current IPCC ‘safe’ limit of 450ppm would be reached in 2036 (without any acceleration) leaving less than twenty years to arrest, and potentially reverse a 130 year trend in emission production.[i] This is ten years less than the timeframe from inception to opening of the Thames Barrier. There is no longer an option to wait and see what happens if we are to successfully reverse this trend.
Looking ahead, two broad scenarios for climate change are clearly feasible.Continued acceleration of greenhouse and related emissions culminate in substantial changes in global climate, land use, factors of production and patterns of demand, and necessitate corresponding adaptation measures. In UNFCCC terms this is a ‘Paris fails’ scenario.The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2013, provides an authoritative indication of the expected implications of continued acceleration and succinctly summarises these as “Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, and global mean sea level to rise.” [ii]These profound changes come at a cost. The Economist Intelligence Unit estimates “Warming of 5°C could result in US$7trn in losses – more than the total market capitalisation of the London Stock Exchange – while 6°C of warming could lead to a present value loss of US$13.8trn of manageable financial assets, roughly 10% of the global total.“ [iii]Alternatively managed reduction in emissions is achieved through unprecedented changes in energy, transport, production and consumption. In UNFCCC terms this is a ‘Paris succeeds’ scenario.The Paris Agreement provides a coherent basis for managed reduction. The Agreement sets an ambitious long-term goal and sends a powerful signal to business that the era of unabated fossil fuels is over. Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) form the basis of a managed reduction approach, which can be strengthened to reflect the science, and implemented through policies and programmes that make business-as-usual more difficult and costly, and low carbon alternatives easier to deploy and more affordable.So far, the Agreement commits governments to generating plans that should collectively put the world on track to achieving the long-term objectives governments have signed up to. This bottom-up approach to the development of climate-related commitments has already seen the submission of plans from 188 governments covering 90% of the world’s emissions.There is widespread recognition, including in the text of the actual Paris Agreement that the current INDCs do not go far enough. One widely cited study estimates that they will only keep temperature rise to 2.7°C.[iv] However, the Paris Agreement provides a critical mechanism to ratchet up the ambition to meet the long term targets every five years.
In parallel, the atmosphere has warmed (Figure 2) and northern hemisphere ice masses have depleted to their lowest recorded extent.[i] Sea levels have risen to the highest levels mankind has ever recorded. Unprecedented extreme weather events have impacted many parts of the globe, from record summer and winter temperatures in Australasia and Europe to flash floods and winter droughts in America.
Three key players
Governments, Municipal Authorities/Cities, and Corporates are the key players. They control the levers necessary to effect a successful low-carbon transition. For Governments and Municipal Authorities, social and economic opportunity will be balanced against political risk. For Corporates, the risk to assets and economic return will need to be mitigated while both the potential return and the potential risk will need to be managed across technologies, markets and operating models, potentially opening significant commercial opportunities. For each, there are some fundamental and enormously important issues they should be addressing now if the world is going to combat climate change.
The key consideration for Governments (and Governmental bodies) is whether the rate of policy change that is required can be delivered given political and other constraints.
In a scenario of continued acceleration, the effects of climate change present a significant threat to established government approaches. To the extent that adaptation will be possible, large-scale investment in adaptation strategies will become a necessity, particularly relating to sea defences and protection against extreme weather events, but the scale required will be affordable only for wealthier nations. Even in wealthier nations, financing models will need to change to monetise adaptation benefits. To maintain global security the wealthier nations will almost certainly have to increase overseas aid budgets to support a minimum level of climate relief.
To deliver a scenario of managed reduction policy makers will need to develop policies that deliver a step change in low-carbon investment, linking economic return to environmental capital in ways never before attempted yet enabling societies to evolve and prosper. Managed reduction will require significantly increased deployment of low carbon technologies, both to reduce demand through improved energy efficiency, and produce cleaner energy, including through renewables, as well as enhanced innovation so critical technologies such as energy storage and CCS can be developed and deployed cost effectively.
The Paris Agreement made an important commitment to support action to adapt to climate impacts and develop low carbon energy systems in developing countries. The OECD estimates that US$62 billion has already been pledged by developed countries so far towards the goal governments agreed in Copenhagen in 2009 to invest US$100 billion per year by 2020. The Agreement confirmed that there will be a new goal to provide more than US$100 billion per year from 2025. Of course, the scale of overall investment needed in low carbon technology to make the sort of transition required by the long-term goals dwarfs this amount. And the text remains silent on how or through which mechanisms these funds will come. However used wisely, this level of funding will play an instrumental role in creating clean technology markets globally, leveraging far greater private sector investment, and enabling innovation to take place which reduces the cost of low carbon technology.
The Paris Agreement also defined a process to review progress versus countries plans and increase action to meet a “managed reduction” strategy. This is very important as countries both need to articulate a clear set of detailed underlying policies and actions that will deliver their INDCs, and to define the economy wide deep emission reduction pathways out to 2050 and beyond that will minimise the cost of the transition and maximise their national competitiveness in the context of this global challenge.
Governments around the world will need to develop clear plans to decarbonise their economies: setting out long-term goals, milestones and the policies to deliver these objectives. The INDCs laid out by nations in the Paris Agreement act as the starting point on this journey, but there is some way to go as these plans fall short of a successful “managed reduction” strategy for both a 1.5°C and 2°C world (Figure 3). The estimated gap versus a successful trajectory in 2030 is around 17-21GtCO2e if targeting a 2°C temperature rise and 23-27GtCO2e for a 1.5°C rise. This is significant given current global greenhouse emissions are just over 45GtCO2e.Closing the gap requires a clearly articulated package of policies that is stable, long-term, simple and sufficient to enable the business sector and economy to invest at scale. This will include a tapestry of carbon pricing, regulation and enabling support tailored to overcome the barriers to change across the range of opportunities targeted. A coordinated international approach will be needed to create a level playing field for firms (e.g. in the context of carbon pricing), to make addressing different international markets simpler (e.g. through common product standards and labelling) and to share the cost and increase the speed of innovation in new technologies. An energy system wide approach will be required as heat/cooling, transport and electricity energy use will become increasingly integrated, with for example an increasing trend to electrification of transport. All components of the system will need to addressed, with the speed and depth of emission reductions tailored to the cost and scale of the savings opportunities available in each industrial sector.Governments will also need to invest in clearly-researched and well-articulated domestic and foreign policy in respect to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. For free market economies seeking economic growth, creating the conditions for economic success under each scenario will likely require a strong foundation of energy efficiency, technological innovation and economic systems that reward value-creation in a broader sense that encompasses environmental value and risk-mitigation.
(2) Municipal Authorities
Local government action is widely recognised as a key enabler of the transition to a low carbon economy with Municipal Authorities holding the planning, social housing, community engagement, taxation, procurement and educational levers necessary help drive the transition to a successful and prosperous low carbon economy.A key consideration therefore for Municipal Authorities is how do services and their provision need to evolve to adapt to and mitigate against climate change.In a scenario of continued acceleration many leading world cities are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Around 37% of the world’s population lives within 60 miles of the coast, and often within a few feet of current sea level in cities like London, Mumbai, Tokyo and New York. Increasingly severe heatwaves pose a particular challenge to urban areas, often already several degrees warmer than surrounding areas due to urban heat islands. Coastal and estuarine cities will need to build or materially improve sea defences and for many the economic cost of doing this effectively will be prohibitive; for others doing it effectively will be the source of their competitive advantage for the next 100 years.Huge investment will be required under this scenario not just with regards building flood defences but additionally in adapting buildings for higher temperatures, managing the effects of natural disasters, building resilience to new disease vectors, and investing in disaster response infrastructure. Some cities are likely to become undesirable places to live under unmitigated climate change scenarios. Significant migration pressures are likely on regional to international scales as people move away from cities that become vulnerable to sea level rise.
Managed reduction presents Municipal Authorities with the challenge of balancing social demands with the delivery of climate mitigation and adaptation measures in the context of constrained resource. Local and city governments can lead through the implementation of resource efficiency on their own estate and through the delivery of their own services.Many leading world cities have set climate mitigation targets in advance of national governments – good examples are Melbourne, Vancouver, London, Tokyo and Rio. The Paris agreement put heavy emphasis on the role of local governments, who will need to aggressively prioritise low carbon buildings, denser urban development, mass transit in place of private cars, and more efficient city systems such as low carbon local energy schemes and street lighting. It is clear that many Municipal Authorities will need to invest in adaptation measures on a routine basis even under an aggressive reduction scenario but the scale of investment would be only a proportion of that which would be required under a continued acceleration scenario.
Municipal Authorities, like central Governments, can influence financial systems by ensuring that environmental costs and benefits are factored into local budgets and investment decisions in the form of a carbon strategy, and that level playing fields are established for the cost of capital, production and consumption. These too can embrace consistent global carbon pricing and trading, mandatory and independently-verified carbon reporting, consistent international trade regulations that provide for consistent energy and carbon efficiency, and visibility of true lifecycle carbon impacts. So too in the influence of consumer choice and demand. The true environmental impacts and costs of consumer choice – in diet, product purchase, energy use and general consumption – need to be made visible, understandable and above all actionable at the local level; unlike Governments and Corporates, Municipal Authorities are uniquely placed, both in terms of geographic location and trusted status, to drive awareness and engagement of these issues across communities.
(3) CorporatesThe key consideration for corporates is whether their productive assets (both tangible and intangible) can continue to operate economically and competitively, and if not how they need to be materially reconfigured.Under a scenario of continued acceleration, operators of assets and delivery capability have substantial value at risk. Input costs for energy (with or without a carbon price) and resources will rise, along with the cost of adaptation investment. Resources will become increasingly scarce. Environmental pressures on supply chain and productive capability will grow.Productive assets reliant on the presence of sea water (refineries, power stations, steel plants and docks all) will need to carefully reconsider their relationship with the rising sea. Agricultural producers may be required to transform their operation to a different or more sustainable form of production to avoid their businesses withering along with their crops in changing climatic conditions, while in some areas growing seasons will be extended. For all production and service businesses maintaining wealth creation without becoming the villain of the piece will require careful consideration of business model and operating strategy to maintain competitive advantage and brand preference.
Physical supply chains are likely to suffer from scarcity and even in some cases breakdown (e.g. crop failures), risk factors and insurance premiums will rise (e.g. for extreme weather events), supply costs may rise or simply become more volatile, and energy scarcity and cost may become a key business factor. Whether or not there is strong legislation mandating action, many businesses will look to move independently and adopt leadership positions so that they are more efficient, able to profit from related cost and revenue opportunities, and are able to trade on improved reputations.
Managed reduction presents huge challenges for corporates invested in conventional carbon-intensive infrastructure, and affords genuine opportunities for innovative organisations.
Currently, leading corporates have set out longer term targets and focused on energy efficiency. A few pioneers have established innovation investment and supply chain re-engineering strategies aligned to corporate environmental targets. Many others are picking off the low hanging fruit (such as LED lighting), but many firms are doing nothing – effectively waiting to be regulated. Among leading firms good corporate governance has become associated with good environmental management, and many of the strongest companies – Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Walmart, Toyota – are at the leading edge. All of these have, at some level, understood and acted upon the long term risks and opportunities to their business around climate change and sustainability.
Managed reduction calls for greater alignment between a sustainable climate and corporate strategies, and for the extension of corporate sustainability strategy from direct operations to supply chains, and from production and delivery to in-use, end-of-use and recycling.
Science-based targets that align strategic delivery with desired climate outcomes will need to be set (and delivered) in both direct operations and through supply chains. Supply chain engagement will lead to more circular supply chains. Measurement of emissions will need to embrace both in-use and full lifecycle impacts. Transformational innovation will progress to zero-carbon and carbon-positive goods and services leveraging bio-resources and carbon-sinks. Rigorous operational efficiency will need to drive reduction in energy use, resource use, working capital and embedded emissions. The cost of capital for high-carbon operations is likely to increase, together with carbon and energy taxes, driving stronger focus on carbon efficiency and placing the spotlight on potentially redundant business models, high risk portfolios and potentially stranded assets.
Hence finance companies and asset managers will take steps to ensure that environmental costs and benefits are factored into investment decisions, and level playing fields are established for the cost of capital, production and consumption. They will need to embrace consistent global carbon pricing and trading, mandatory and independently-verified carbon reporting, consistent international trade regulations that provide for consistent energy and carbon efficiency, and visibility of true lifecycle carbon impacts.
Together corporates and finance companies exert strong influence over consumer choice and demand. The true environmental impacts and costs of consumer choice – in diet, product purchase, energy use and general consumption – need to be made visible, comprehensible and above all actionable.
Overall managed reduction is expected to help create greater opportunities than risks for business. It will help create larger markets for low carbon technologies and services, which will be a major source of future revenue and jobs. The size of the prize was underlined starkly in Paris by John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, who said this shift towards a low carbon economy was among the “greatest economic opportunities the world has ever seen.”
400ppm is a data point and a point in time, but crossing it potentially marks a pivotal year. It is uncertain whether the world will continue acceleration of greenhouse emissions and climate change or deliver a managed reduction in emissions through unprecedented changes in energy, transport, production and consumption. What is clear is a growing consensus that a managed reduction presents a more attractive future than the high risk world of continued acceleration.
Governments, Municipal Authorities/Cities, and Corporates face a medium-term planning horizon characterised by unprecedented potential complexity. To navigate that complexity it will be necessary to bring these perspectives together to allow sharing of expertise and enable clarity of policy and strategic direction.
Making the right choices, developing strategies that are both resilient and adaptive to various outcomes, and backing the right actions and technologies in the next four years will determine not just whether these organisations are successful over the next twenty years, but indeed whether they continue to exist.
[i] E.g. Galen A. McKinley, Amanda R. Fay, Taro Takahashi, Nicolas Metzl (2011), Convergence of atmospheric and North Atlantic carbon dioxide trends on multidecadal timescales. Nature Geoscience, July 10, 2011
[ii] National Sea Ice Data Center
[iii] Based on IPCC AR5
[iv] IPCC Climate Change (2014), Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers
[v] Economist Intelligence Unit: The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change, April 2016
[vi] International Energy Agency
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 25 July 2016.
S.Pellegrino, the world’s leading sparkling mineral water, has decided to reshape its bottling plant in San Pellegrino Terme, Italy, where the source is located. Starting in 1899, S.Pellegrino has always been ahead of its time, and is now looking for a project that not only conveys an artistic vision, but also set new standards in terms of efficiency and compliance to environmental sustainability, all while providing a favorable working environment.
Thus, the decision was taken to launch an international-scale tender to secure a truly innovative and futuristic project by involving four of the world’s most distinguished architecture firms: NY & Copenhagen’s BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), the Dutch MVRDV, the Oslo & NY based Snøhetta and Italy’s Michele De Lucchi.
This leap forward is also a testimony of S.Pellegrino’s commitment to its terroir, the place where everything started, and a relevant contribution to bring San Pellegrino Terme back to its golden age, at the height of the Belle Époque, when the town was an exclusive society rendez-vous for European aristocracy.
On September 15th, the four projects will be presented to a Judging Committee, coordinated by Professor Luca Molinari, Architecture Consulting & Curatorship, curator of the tender. The Committee will be composed by, Marco Settembri, Executive Vice President Nestlé, Head of Nestlé Waters, Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President Nestlé, Head of Operations, Stefano Agostini, President & CEO of Sanpellegrino and international personalities will be invited to join in.
“I am particularly proud of this project,” says Stefano Agostini, President and CEO of the Sanpellegrino Group. “With it, we intend to further promote the quality, uniqueness, international nature and the territory of origin of S.Pellegrino. Our brand is one with a rich history that is deeply-rooted in Italian tradition, which is recognized worldwide for its elegance, taste and excellence. We have invited four architecture studios of international stature to take part in this tender to design the home of S.Pellegrino mineral water, which is to become the signature of our Group, welcoming visitors from all corners of the world”.
By the end of September, S.Pellegrino will announce the winning project and its timeline.
Posted in Bottling, Environment
Posted on 22 July 2016.
Irish agri-tech business BHSL has agreed a $3 million pilot project with the State of Maryland to trial its pioneering manure-to-energy technology which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry.
The patented BHSL Energy Centre to be used in the project was recently shipped from BHSL’s plant in Ballagh, County Limerick and will be fully operational by October. The State of Maryland has provided $1 million funding to support this pilot project, with the balance of the $3 million investment funded by BHSL.
BHSL’s technology converts poultry manure into energy, which is then used to provide heating for future batches of chicks, or sold back into the electricity grid. BHSL’s system is the only one available that meets both US and EU environmental regulations, and has over 110,000 operational hours on UK farms
Maryland is one of six states in the US that surround Chesapeake Bay, where, after decades of intensive agriculture, many fields are overloaded with phosphorus. Over 1 billion chickens are produced in the region each year (12% of total US production), resulting in the production of an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of manure, which is contributing pollutants that flow into the Bay, causing severe environmental problems including algal bloom and damage to fish and shellfish stocks.
With 11,000 commercial poultry farms in the US producing 7.5 billion chickens each year, BHSL is targeting the US as a key export market. BHSL’s system is already fully operational on 2 UK farms with further installations anticipated in 2016. The company is already building a very strong sales pipeline for product delivery in 2017 in other export markets such as New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Holland, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
Declan O’Connor, Chief Executive of BHSL, comments: “The potential size of the US market opportunity for BHSL is conservatively estimated at over $500 million. In the Chesapeake Bay region alone over 1bn chickens are reared each year and state governments are increasingly aware of the environmental challenges the poultry manure by-product poses for the Bay and the water sources that flow into it. Our unique solution can both reduce costs and increase revenue for the farmers while solving the environmental challenge they face. We are very excited about the potential to grow our sales in the US following the State of Maryland demonstration.”
Ann Swanson, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, says: “BHSL’s solution has the potential to play a very significant role in reducing levels of pollution in the Bay. We have been looking for options to address the Bay’s environmental challenges while supporting the farm community. If it works, it will be one of those win-win situations, with a financial benefit to the farmer and a positive environmental impact. I hope that the pilot project is successful so that other farmers are encouraged to do the same.”
Jack O’Connor, founder and brother of CEO Declan, is BHSL’s Chief Technology Officer who designed the patent-protected system. Jack O’Connor says: “Ten years ago our family poultry farm in Limerick was on the verge of closure as it couldn’t operate within strict new EU regulations on ground water pollution. That gave me the idea to develop this miniature fluidised bed technology which has now been tried and tested, with over 110,000 hours of successful operation on farms in Ireland and the UK. BHSL is now aggressively ramping up its sales operations and we see a major global opportunity to export our product and add jobs to our team of 28 who already work in the business.”
BHSL’s system works by collecting poultry litter left behind on a chicken house’s floor, which is then burned in a heated layer of sand suspended over jets of air in a process called fluidised bed combustion or FBC. The process creates the energy that heats the chicken houses and any excess energy can be sold as electricity back to the power grid. The main by-product is an ash that can be sold as fertilizer that is non-polluting and only 8% of the volume of the original material used, making it cost effective to transport to grain-growing areas outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Based on farmer Bob Murphy’s 112 acre farm in Rhodesdale, Maryland, the impact of the BHSL system will be closely monitored by researchers from the Universities of Maryland and Georgia to ensure all findings are verified by an independent third party.
Murphy’s farm produces 3,650 tons of manure annually which historically has been trucked to other farms for use as fertiliser, but that is not a long-term solution as other farms, like Murphy’s, will soon have soil phosphorus concentrations that exceed agreed limits. The pilot project is supported by Mountaire, which is the poultry company Bob Murphy’s farm grows chickens for, and is the 7th largest chicken producer in the US, selling over 330 million birds each year.
Jack (left) and Declan O’Connor.
Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 21 July 2016.
US$940 billion – this is what human food waste costs consumers, farmers and businesses each year. A third of all food produced for humans is wasted. This means that 24% of all the water we use for agriculture is also wasted. And food waste causes 8% of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions.
In this op-ed written for the Huffington Post, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke (pictured) and Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, discuss how we can halve food waste by 2030, under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3.
To achieve this target, they argue, businesses and governments need consistent guidance on how to reduce food waste, which the first Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard provides.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 13 July 2016.
With the Scottish North Sea herring season getting underway over the coming weeks, consumers are being urged to include this tasty and nutritious fish in their shopping baskets. Known as the ‘silver darlings’, North Sea herring is one of the most sustainable types of fish around and carries the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel for the responsible way the fishery is managed.
Herring is also an incredibly nutritious fish, packed full of minerals, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids that are so important for heart health.
Ian McFadden of the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association says: “The arrival of fresh herring in the shops used to be as great a feature of summer as finding fresh strawberries. There is still undoubtedly a keen interest from the public to buy and serve fresh herring fillets for a family meal. I would urge all the major food retailers to offer this great product when it is season – they would not be disappointed in the sales.”
The Scottish fleet lands most of its herring into the ports of Lerwick, Fraserburgh and Peterhead. Vessels in the fleet are members of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG), an organisation dedicated to ensuring a sustainable future for Scotland’s herring and mackerel sectors. Their activities include participating in a range of science-based initiatives to enhance our understanding of these fish stocks.
Ian Gatt of SPSG says: “We would urge consumers who have not previously tried herring to give it a try as it is such a delicious fish. It also a great value for money, sustainable and can be served in a variety of ways.”
The new herring season gets underway in Scotland at the end of July with boats working a variety of fishing grounds in the North Sea, including areas around Shetland and Orkney.
Posted in Environment, Marketing, News
Posted on 11 July 2016.
Ammonia emissions in Europe have fallen since 1990, but by not as much as emissions of other air pollutants tracked under an internationally agreed United Nations convention. According to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), ammonia emissions increased in 2014, meaning several EU Member States as well as the EU now exceed their respective ammonia emission limits under the convention.
Around 94% of ammonia (NH3) emissions in Europe stem from agriculture, mainly from activities such as manure storage, slurry spreading and the use of fertilisers containing nitrogen. Ammonia contributes to eutrophication — an oversupply of nitrogen — and acidification of ecosystems. It also forms particulate matter in the atmosphere which harms human health.
The Gothenburg Protocol to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) contains emission reduction commitments that have to be met from 2010 onwards for NH3 and three other air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), and sulphur oxides (SOx). In addition to emission reduction commitments specified for individual countries, the protocol also specifies reduction commitments for the EU-15.
The annual European Union emission inventory report 1990-2014 under the LRTAP Convention shows that NH3 emissions fell by 24% between 1990 and 2014, but increased in the EU‑28 between 2013 and 2014 by 0.9%. Ammonia emissions from the EU-15 in 2014 were 0.2% higher than the 2010 limit, the first time the EU-15 has exceeded its emission ceiling for this pollutant.
The rise in NH3 emissions in 2014 was mainly due to increases in France, Germany and Spain. Four countries (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain) also exceeded their individual NH3 ceilings in 2014. (see Figure ES.5). More generally, some countries have also recently improved their estimates of NH3 released from agricultural sources which in some instances has led to an increase in the emissions reported from past years. Better reporting by Member States, including the reporting of new emissions sources, is encouraged.
Emissions of the other main pollutants covered by LRTAP have dropped considerably since 1990, including the three air pollutants primarily responsible for the formation of ground-level ozone (O3). Carbon monoxide (CO), NMVOCs and NOx were reduced by 65%, 60% and 55%, respectively.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment
Posted on 08 July 2016.
To help Bakkavor achieve its sustainability goals it has appointed waste water treatment specialist Aquabio to design and construct a state-of-the-art effluent treatment and water recycling facility, at its Cucina Sano business based in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Construction of the cutting edge plant has commenced and will take 10 months to complete. The plant has been designed to treat wastewater from the production process to ensure full compliance with stringent consent requirements for local watercourses. The plant will also incorporate additional treatment to high grade potable water quality for reuse within the facility.
The new plant will use Aquabio’s AMBR LE™ Low Energy Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology which has been successfully utilised for industrial effluent treatment and water reuse in numerous applications in the UK and US since 2001.
Ben Cooper, Manufacturing Manager of Cucina Sano, says: “We are always working to ensure we can help sustain the environment in which we operate and one of our key areas of focus is water usage. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits of this new plant in helping us achieve our sustainability goals.”
Steve Goodwin, Managing Director of Aquabio, says: “We are providing a full turnkey installation including civil, mechanical, electrical, software, commissioning, operation and maintenance. Aquabio is very pleased to be partnering with Cucina Sano in this long term project. The new Plant will recycle over 80% of treated effluent to potable water and thus significantly reduce both water consumption and wastewater discharge volumes.
“We are a leader in industrial waste water treatment, most notably in Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology and water recycling and reuse and have pioneered the implementation of water recycling within a wide range of industries including food and drink.”
The Plant is due to be operational from September 2016 and will be the fourth plant installed by Aquabio for Cucina Sano’s parent group Bakkavor.
The forthcoming Plant has already received a certificate of Environmental Benefit from DEFRA under the Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) Scheme for Water Efficient Technologies, within the category of “waste water recovery and reuse systems”. The ECA Scheme for Water Efficient Technologies is aimed at businesses which use energy efficiency, reduce water use or improve water quality.
Aquabio has pioneered the implementation of water recycling within a wide range of industries including food and drink, bio fuels, pulp and paper, landfill and leachate and pharmaceuticals. Aquabio provide long term solutions for design, build, finance and operation of wastewater treatment and reuse plants and their process led approach to all aspects of water and wastewater treatment ensures that the most appropriate technology is identified for each unique application.
Aquabio has also supplied wastewater treatment and reuse plants to other Bakkavor sites including Tilmanstone Salads and Bourne Prepared Produce.
Aquabio are part of the Freudenberg Group, a global company, with generated sales of more than €7 billion in 2014, operating in 60 countries worldwide. The additional parental strength of Freudenberg offers financial security which coupled with operational expertise allows Aquabio to offer a long term solution to water treatment provision.
Further information can be found at www.aquabio.co.uk.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 07 July 2016.
A new state-of-the art bottling plant for Nestlé Vera Naturae mineral water has been opened in Castrocielo in Italy. The factory, built at a cost of over SFr17 million (€16 million), is a flagship for Nestlé Waters in environmental sustainability and energy consumption. It offers ‘best in class’ performance, especially in water consumption and energy savings.
While all energy used in the plant is derived exclusively from renewable sources, the new bottling plant also uses photovoltaic systems, LED lights, and heat recovery and retention systems, thereby ensuring the entire site is carbon neutral throughout.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 05 July 2016.
HEINEKEN Ireland, a leading beer and cider company, has published its sustainability report for 2015, demonstrating that sustainability is embedded throughout the business and is a key growth driver. HEINEKEN Ireland is on a ten year sustainability journey through its ‘Brewing a Better World’ programme. Launched in 2010, this programme sets ambitious sustainability targets for the Irish business to achieve by 2020.
Maggie Timoney, managing director of HEINEKEN Ireland, comments: “Our company is built on a brewing heritage that began in Cork 160 years ago and we are very proud to celebrate this important anniversary. Our Brewing a Better World programme is core to our overall company strategy and sustainable business for the future. We combine a love for our craft, a passion for quality and a commitment to the responsible consumption of our products to ensure we will be around for another 160 years. I am pleased that we are well on our way to achieving our 10 year sustainability targets.”
Half way through its 10 year sustainability programme, HEINEKEN Ireland has made solid progress, outlined in the company’s 2015 annual update:
* HEINEKEN Ireland supports 1,000 local suppliers, multiple service providers and injects €100m into the economy;
* The Lady’s Well Brewery in Cork brews 100% of the draught beer sold in the Irish market and 100% of the malted barley used comes from over 750 local farmers;
* HEINEKEN Ireland’s water consumption of 3.1 hectolitres per hectolitre of beer is one of the most efficient usage rates within the HEINEKEN global network;
* CO2 emissions in production have decreased by 10% since 2010;
* 100% of HEINEKEN’s fridges are ‘green’ resulting in an improvement of energy efficiency of 45%;
* 10% of Heineken® media spend is invested to make moderate consumption aspirational;
* In 2015, HEINEKEN Ireland worked with over 50 community groups.
Maggie Timoney concludes: “It is imperative for us to continue to focus on reaching and exceeding our environmental targets but it’s also important to highlight that sustainability at HEINEKEN Ireland means much more than this. We are committed to supporting our local communities, our employees, our customers and our industry. Having a sustainable business that has a positive impact on the society in which we operate remains our ultimate goal.”
Pictured at the launch of HEINEKEN Ireland’s 2015 sustainability report ‘Brewing a Better World’ are: Lord Mayor of Cork Chris O’Leary; Maggie Timoney, managing director of Heineken Ireland; and David Stanton TD.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 30 June 2016.
The Co-op has underlined its strong commitment to British farmers with the launch of a progressive scheme to monitor and manage environmental impact and efficiency amongst its dedicated farming groups. The Co-op Enviro-Map programme will, over the next three years, carry out carbon footprint assessments and biodiversity surveys across six main produce sectors. Data will then be processed to generate individual farm reports that will allow farmers to benchmark performance of their business and make decisions to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
Co-op Enviro-Map will be the first fully Carbon Trust accredited self entry programme covering carbon and environmental footprinting. It will sit within the Co-op’s existing Agricultural Pillars initiative, which already defines standards and incentivises performance across its Farming Group members.
“Co-op Enviro-Map will cover farms supplying dairy, beef, lamb, chicken, pork and eggs and will add a positive, significant new dimension to our existing farm support and liaison,” explains Co-op Senior Agricultural Manager Ciara Gorst. “It’s an initiative that will really help our dedicated suppliers improve the efficiency and profitability of their businesses. More than that though, it gives assurance to our customers that we understand how important environmental impact is, alongside British provenance and quality, whilst showing how we work closely with suppliers to achieve high standards across all these elements.”
The Co-op Enviro-Map programme will be carried out in collaboration with agri-environment specialists Alltech E-CO2 using data collection and analysis models adapted for online entry. Carbon footprinting models developed by Alltech E-CO2 are certified by the Carbon Trust and conform to the internationally recognised PAS 2050 methodology.
Darran Messem, Managing Director, Certification at the Carbon Trust, says: “We know from experience that when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from farming there is a very significant gap between the best performers and the worst performers. It is therefore great to see retailers like the Co-op engaging with the issue of farm-level emissions. The launch of the Co-op Enviro-Map project can help to recognise and incentivise better performance on emissions, which can be very positive for farmers because efficiencies often result in improved profitability. We are pleased to be contributing expert input and independent certification for not only the data management system, but also the final results and carbon footprints of the farms over the next three years.”
Alltech E-CO2 Business General Manager Ben Braou explains the broader significance of a farm’s carbon footprint, saying: “A carbon footprint is the holistic indicator of performance and is directly correlated with efficiency and profitability. It is derived from a comprehensive assessment of farm performance, with all inputs, outputs and resource use taken into account. It quantifies emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (the three main greenhouse gases) and is expressed as grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per unit of production, up to the farm gate.
“In addition to carbon footprinting, the Co-op Enviro-Map will also monitor the broader environmental impact through a bespoke bio-diversity survey. Aspects such as habitat management, land use changes, nutrient leaching and soil erosion will be covered.”
Leading sustainable farming organisation, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is supportive of the Co-op initiative. Quentin Clark from LEAF says: “One of the main aims of LEAF is to help farmers produce food sustainably to the highest standards of environmental care. Managing and monitoring the environmental impact of farming practices underpins the LEAF Marque standard and the Co-op Enviro-Map programme is entirely supportive of our approach. It provides a great example of the positive influence that can be disseminated up to producer level by those involved throughout the wider food chain. We look forward to further developing our relationship with the Co-op, who are already a principal sponsor of Open Farm Sunday, and this initiative is a great start on this journey.”
Co-op supplier farms participating in the Co-op Enviro-Map programme will receive an efficiency and sustainability report shortly after their assessment. This will review key performance indicators for the business, summarise carbon performance and provide a breakdown of emissions sources.
The assessment process is carried out through self-entry into a bespoke web-portal and should only take around one hour to complete. Training is being provided through workshops and meetings, and there will be on-going support available to assist farmers.
The scheme will involve around 400 farm assessments each year and is expected to benefit Co-op farmer suppliers individually and also allow broader benchmarking across sectors. Information generated will be used to provide more general advice and support to dedicated suppliers and also be used to educate and inform Co-op customers.
The Co-operative Group is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.
Posted in Agriculture, CSR, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 28 June 2016.
Groupe Lactalis, the global leader in cheese and the second largest dairy company worldwide, has made a commitment to significantly lowering energy costs and CO2 emissions in an energy partnership with CHP developer BasePower. Lactalis has signed a Power Purchase Agreement for the installation of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system at The Caledonian Cheese Company in Stranraer, Scotland, whose brands include Seriously Strong Cheddar, McLelland Mature Cheddar and Galloway Scottish Cheddar, as well as several private label brands for leading UK food retailers.
BasePower, who will develop and build a fully containerised CHP system on The Caledonian Cheese Company manufacturing site, has financed the Power Purchase Agreement. BasePower will oversee the scheme’s operation, which is projected to generate 77% of all the site’s electricity consumption, supply 24% of heat usage and save at least 2,000 tons of CO2 per year. With construction already under way the project is targeted to be operational by December 2016.
Mark Taylor (pictured), Group Managing Director of Lactalis McLelland, says: “In the face of increased competition and uncertain investment in UK energy infrastructure, we are delighted to be partnering with BasePower on this projectwhich underscores our commitment to keep Lactalis at the forefront of cost competiveness and environmental performance.”
George Fowkes, Director of BasePower, comments: “This project at The Caledonian Cheese Company site is a perfect example of how energy-intensive industries like food and beverage manufacturing can really exploit on-site power generation to deliver energy cost savings. We are looking forward to working with Lactalis on their next stage of development as Scotland’s most innovative dairy manufacturer.”
Posted in Energy, Environment
Posted on 14 June 2016.
Nestlé Waters has opened Switzerland’s largest agricultural biogas production facility. The Valbroye plant will provide renewable energy for the nearby Henniez bottled water plant and the Swiss power grid, as well as natural fertiliser for local farms.
The facility will generate enough green electricity to power more than 1,000 households annually.
27 local farms will provide 25,000 tonnes of manure per year to the biogas plant, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 1,750 tonnes per year.
The plant will also recycle and reuse coffee grounds from Nescafé and Nespresso production sites in Switzerland.
Using the electricity generated, the Henniez plant will increase its overall use of renewable energy to more than 50 percent.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 09 June 2016.
Nestlé has played a key role in developing the first global standard to help companies and governments reduce food loss and waste. Food loss and waste costs the global economy US$940 billion per year, and generates around 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Launched at the 3GF Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen, the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard was developed by the multi-stakeholder Food Loss and Waste Protocol.
Members of this partnership include the Consumer Goods Forum (of which Nestlé is a key member), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Resources Institute.
In January 2016, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke joined a new coalition, Champions 12.3, to accelerate progress towards fulfilling United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3 on food waste.
Nestlé is working towards zero waste for disposal at all its sites, just one of the Swiss group’s commitments to environmental sustainability.
Since 2005, the company has reduced total waste for disposal from the 436 Nestlé factories by 62%. At the end of 2015, 105 Nestlé factories (22%) achieved zero waste for disposal. Nestlé has committed to achieve zero waste for disposal in all its sites by 2020.
Posted in CSR, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 09 June 2016.
Tetra Pak has joined RE100, committing to increase its use of renewable electricity from 20% today to 100% across all global operations by 2030. The announcement was made at the recent Clean Energy Ministerial forum in San Francisco, US.
Charles Brand, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak, said: “Signing up to RE100 reflects our on-going commitment to minimising our climate impact and increasing our use of renewable resources. We have set an ambitious target to ensure carbon emissions across our value chain are capped at 2010 levels through to 2020, and we are making excellent progress. In 2015 emissions were down 15% from the 2010 baseline, despite a 16% increase in production.”
He added: “Since setting our climate goal we have maximized our efforts to reduce energy consumption; committing to a renewable electricity target is a natural next step. By joining RE100 we will benefit from expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning on renewable electricity options in different markets.”
Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said at the forum: “The demand push from corporates is as important as supportive government policy – bold action by businesses, cities and governments sends a strong market signal and means we can hold global warming below two degrees far more quickly. The Clean Energy Ministerial is shining the spotlight on RE100 as a model of best practice in galvanizing the switch to renewable energy, and the leadership of influential companies – such as Tetra Pak, which is joining RE100 today – shows the business case for 100% renewables is as strong as ever.”
RE100 is a global, collaborative business initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP to drive demand for, and delivery of, renewable power.
Tetra Pak’s decision to join RE100 once again underscores its commitment to tackle climate change, and comes just six months after the company joined the Paris Pledge for Action at COP21.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 08 June 2016.
Following the unveiling of its £5.4 million anaerobic digestion plant in 2015, Stowmarket-based Muntons has further improved its environmental credentials by achieving zero waste to landfill. Muntons is a leading global player in the supply of malts, malt extracts, flours and flakes and many other malted ingredients relevant to the food and drinks industry exporting around half of its production. In addition Muntons also manufactures an extensive range of beer, wine and cider making kits, which are also sold globally.
As of May 2016 Muntons has now managed to divert 100% of its non-hazardous waste away from landfill – all waste is recycled or recovered.
Last year Muntons reported that just 29kg of its waste went to landfill. A feat in itself achieved by either treating, reusing, recycling or recovering over 99.999% of the non-hazardous waste generated on site.
The zero landfill figure this year was achieved using a number of tactics – initially by trying not to create waste in the first place. Where this was unavoidable, the wastes being sent to landfill were clearly identified and alternative ways sought to recycle or recover these using physical and biological processes.
Manufacturing and Sustainability Director Dr Nigel Davies comments: “We have worked hard over the past decade to reduce year on year the levels of total waste produced and waste disposed of via landfill. We are proud to announce a figure of zero to landfill which we feel is an achievement worth publicising, however we also believe there is more that can be done and in the coming years we will strive to get even more value out of waste streams.”
He continues: “We are keen to further demonstrate our commitment to the circular economy and show that sustainability can bring in revenue and offset other cost for our business, our environment and society.”
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability