United Biscuits smashes sustainability targets
United Biscuits (UB) has announced today that it has delivered an outstanding level of achievement since it started its environmental programme back in 2008.
Jeff van der Eems, Chair of UB’s Sustainability Committee, said: “We are proud of the progress we have made towards our environmental targets in the last year. I’m delighted that this year we are able to report that we’ve achieved four of our targets, most several years ahead of schedule, and have been able to set challenging new targets to replace them.
When UB launched its environmental programme we published clear, measurable and time-bound goals around issues such as water use, carbon emissions and packaging, and we have monitored and reported on our progress each year. We are now publishing our report for 2012.
- We’ve reduced our water use by 52% since 2007, against our target of 45% reduction by 2020.That’s an annual reduction equivalent to 11 million baths… or one bath for every person in Cuba!
- We have also achieved our very challenging logistics target of reducing transport emissions by 40% by the end of 2012 through initiatives such as using longer trailers and trialling 100% bio diesel made from our own waste vegetable oil in our heavy goods vehicles. We have also shared our transport network with customers, suppliers and even competitors to reduce empty running.. The result is over 20 million lorry miles we’ve taken off the road…. the equivalent of 800 times around the world!
- We’ve achieved our 35% reduction carbon emission target eight years ahead of schedule.Using a wide range of initiatives, UB reduced its carbon emissions by a further 2% in 2012, which means it has now achieved a total reduction in carbon emissions of 36% since 1995. We have now created a new ambitious goal of 45% by 2020, with the same 1995 starting point.
- All UB sites now send zero waste to landfill – this is three years earlier than our original deadline. On top of that we had aimed to achieve a 5% reduction in waste incinerated for energy…. yet we achieved an 8% reduction in 2012!
“There have been some other great achievements too:
The environmental impact of our packaging has reduced by 17% since 2003. UB is also the first biscuit manufacturer to launch a scheme that makes biscuit film wrapping 100% recyclable for consumers. Teaming up with TerraCycle, UB offers a facility for people to recycle their biscuit wrappers while also raising money for good causes.
- UB is now using canals to transport product in Belgium. Each container is saving 31% carbon emissions versus road transport.
- UB uses 100% sustainable palm oil and has reduced its use by over 40% since 2005. In 2012 the company was delighted to be awarded top marks in the WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard.
- As part of our sustainable sourcing strategy, we have started working with seed developers and farmers to help them develop and trial new (non GM) strains of wheat that are naturally more disease resistant.
- We have increased our auditing of raw material and ingredient suppliers so that now over 95% of them are on the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) system.
“The hard work we have done to minimise our impact on the environment is consistent with our core values, where we continue to measure our progress against the three pillars of sustainability: financial, environmental and community. We are very proud of all we have achieved since our environment programme began, and are looking forward to tackling our new, stretching targets over the coming year!”
UB’s latest sustainability report can be viewed at http://www.unitedbiscuits.com/