As a leading consumer food manufacturer we are determined to play an active role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, reducing waste and looking after our natural resources.

Energy and Climate Change

We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with our direct operations and our wider supply chain.

Using less energy reduces emissions and energy costs within our direct operations. We have undertaken energy surveys to identify additional opportunities – the most cost effective of which are prioritised in our utility reduction plans.

Projects include the installation of efficient lighting, lagging, motors, air, steam and refrigeration systems.

Our people also have a role to play through energy efficient behaviours and sharing their ideas and at our ‘Utilities Roadshows’ supported by our energy, water and waste partners.

These projects contributed to an annual reduction of 9.3% relative energy use and 12.6% relative greenhouse gas emissions from our Consumer Foods sites.

On farm emissions are typically 1.3 kg CO2e per litre of milk and represent around 90% of our supply chain emissions. Our supplying dairy farmers have access to a tool to measure on farm emissions and identify opportunities to increase resource efficiency.

We also participate in CDP’s leading index that assesses management of emissions and in 2015 we further improved our ‘disclosure’ rating to achieve our highest score to date.

Water

Securing sufficient, high quality freshwater is essential to our business strategy. Our investments help us to reduce loads on river basins where we operate and to reduce the physical and commercial risks associated with reliance on imported freshwater.

We commissioned a new water recovery plant at Davidstow to treat process water to a high standard suitable for reuse within the Creamery.

The plant is designed to recover 1.7 million litres per day – equivalent to the daily needs of around 11,000 people. The reuse of treated water enables the manufacture of new products without significantly increasing freshwater imports by recovering up to 70% of the site’s water needs.

We were proud to have this investment recognised as winners of the Best Contribution to Resource Efficiency at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards.

Combined with other efficiency initiatives, we achieved an annual reduction in relative abstraction of 21.1% or 40.2% reduction compared to our original baseline.

The production of one litre of milk typically requires 6 litres of water. Efficient use of water on farm is therefore essential to production of our main ingredient. We assist our supplying farmers in measuring and managing water through the ‘Waterwell’ initiative.

In 2015 Business in the Community and Dairy Crest brought together a group of business leaders to explore how business can act on water stewardship. This important Prince’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ visit helped to highlight the food industry’s role in this area.

Waste

We have achieved our target to send zero operational waste to landfill from our Consumer Foods sites by working with the right partners, identifying novel approaches to difficult wastes and improving our waste infrastructure and behaviours.

We also focus on ingredient and product waste. The Kirkby team commissioned a new system to recover oils that would otherwise be wasted for the production of biodiesel.

New products manufactured at Davidstow yield a nutrient rich process water containing phosphate which is present in the incoming raw milk.

We have invested in a phosphate removal plant to produce a ‘cake’ rich in both phosphate and calcium, essential components for crop production. The cake is well suited to agricultural reuse – a good example of the circular economy in action.

We still have more to do to reduce waste at source. We are pleased to be continuing our relationship with WRAP through the new Courtauld 2025 commitment which targets a reduction in the resources required and the environmental impacts of food production in the UK.