​How the 4R Plan is making a difference

Reduce, reuse, recycle, recover: the four ‘R’s of environmental responsibility are at the heart of our 4R Plan.

As a manufacturing business we make a significant impact on the environment in terms of our energy use, water use and waste disposal. As we make continual improvements to reduce that impact.

The 4R Plan gives us an opportunity to share progress and ideas from around the Group.

Some of our recent initiatives are significant solar panel installations in our new builds at Bradgate Bakery Ashton Green and SBSC Oak Meadow, LED lighting at all sites, signing up to industry food waste and plastic reduction pledges, sourcing green electricity, achieving zero waste-to-landfill targets and using technology plus driver training to reduce fuel use and emissions from our supply chain fleet.

Our 4R targets

Within the Group we have ambitious targets for the 4R Plan for 2020 which include:

  • 100% grid electricity purchased from renewable or low carbon sources by end of 2018 – Achieved
  • Reduce relative energy consumption by 30% by end of 2020, against 2008 baseline
  • Achieve 90% total reuse/recycling across the Group by end of 2030
  • All edible food waste from our operations captured for human consumption by end of 2030
  • Food waste from production halved by end of 2020
  • Reduce relative water consumption by 30% by end of 2020, against 2016 baseline

The 4R Plan has had significant impact in engaging our people around a set of common goals and achieving demonstrable improvements in our environmental sustainability journey:

  • All sites throughout the Group have achieved – and maintained – zero waste to landfill status. As a Group, we increased total reuse/recycling from 56% in January 2016 to 81% in December 2018.
  • Total carbon emissions reduced by 40% year on year (2017 vs 2018)
  • By purchasing certified renewable grid supplied electricity, we saved 38,787 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to taking around 8,100 cars off UK roads for one year (October 2017 to September 2018).
  • We established a partnership with Plan Zheroe to help capture more food surplus to redistribute to local charities in need. For example, in 2018, we sent 296 tonnes of finished product to The Company Shop, generating 704,957 meals. We sent a further 32 tonnes to FareShare, generating 76,192 meals for people in need.

Specific reuse projects include:

  • Waste bread ends diverted to raw material for ale manufacturing
  • Bakery wellingtons donated to humanitarian organisation Small Steps
  • Ink cartridges were collected and donated to Recycle for Charity – Leicestershire Hospitals
  • Food waste was diverted to pet food, animal feed and AD for energy generation
  • Equipment such as tray washers and utensil washers were transferred internally for reuse
  • Carbon Desktop, a monitoring and targeting system for utilities, was installed across all sites, providing visibility of usage and opportunities for reduction.
Wide shot of solar panels