Net Zero Week helps to create awareness, drive the momentum and encourage us all to take on our fair share of reducing emissions to stop global warming. Adopted as the best strategy, Net Zero sets out to protect us and the natural world from rising global temperatures. Reaching Net Zero will require new measures, innovative solutions, aggressive government policies and plenty of human effort both at work and at home.
As one of the largest food manufacturers in the UK, our ambition is to become the world’s most sustainable meat business. This is why we have put sustainability at the heart of our business and created Second Nature, which is our climate ready blueprint for action. From achieving carbon neutral manufacturing to further integrating our governance framework, our Second Nature programme is enabling us to make great strides in how we power our sites, reduce our waste, conserve our water and source our feed, in line with the Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution which will help the UK to become a Net Zero society.
This year alone, we have reduced our relative carbon footprint by 3.1 per cent, we have unlocked further energy efficiencies in lighting and maintained our zero waste to landfill status. This, combined with targeted site-led investments that included installing an effluent treatment plant at our flagship Eye Poultry site to reuse water and reduce downstream emissions, has helped fast-track progress. Solar panels have also been installed at our Eye factory.
Each of our food manufacturing sites has committed to neutralising operational emissions as we work towards net zero, our aim is to implement more natural carbon sequestration strategies through our agricultural operations to help balance any unavoidable emissions.
Our carbon reduction focus does not stop at the factory gates. We aim for all our farms to be carbon neutral by 2030, which means scaling up our regenerative agriculture and soil health programmes. As well as measuring the carbon footprint of our livestock, we have started to undertake soil carbon mapping – both initiatives will enable us to identify ways to reduce emissions further such as utilising our farmland for carbon capture.
Beyond this we are looking deeper into our supply chains to tackle our indirect impacts, which is key to achieving our Science Based Target of halving relative emissions across our entire value chain by 2030 and we are committed to switching our animal feed to 100 per cent certified deforestation-free soya, reducing our indirect carbon impacts from feed by almost one-fifth.
Our strong focus on upskilling means that many of our colleagues have received tailored Net Zero training, enabling them to develop more climate-smart ways of working that can be easily integrated into their job role. We have also formed our new ESG Committee, chaired by Tim Smith, Chairman, to oversee progress in this crucial area.
We are also in the process of decarbonising our fleets and have implemented an electric car purchase scheme for colleagues and installing electric charging points across our sites. Our largest processing facility, Fresh Pork Hull, has switched to using renewable biodiesel and ordered electric refrigerated trailers for its delivery operations.
We have made some positive steps on our sustainability journey, however, The UK’s transition to becoming a Net Zero economy means that businesses need to be prepared to take on the challenge together.
To read more about Net Zero Week and what you can do to contribute, visit: https://netzeroweek.com/#/