In 2013 we launched our sustainability initiative ‘The Journey Matters’ that focuses on our corporate social responsibility forecast and how we can have a positive influence on the environment and the people we work with while creating high quality, seasonal and eco-friendly ingredients.
We’ve been working with Veris Strategies to make sure that we have ambitious yet, achievable CSR targets as well as support from our network of employees, suppliers and customers. Veris identified where we could reduce our energy consumption, water use and waste output including minimising food and plastics. Since launching the initiative five years ago, we’ve maintained our zero to landfill status and have continued to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve now set targets to:
◉ Increase our onsite recycling by 75%
◉ Reduce waste by 10% YOY
◉ Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030
◉ Reduce energy consumption by 5%
◉ Reduce water usage by 5%
◉ Reduce product packaging by 10%
We’ve been holding group sessions with the Belazu team to make sure that everyone understands our impact on the wider community and how individually we can become environment ambassadors AKA… Waste Warriors!
During these sessions we introduced Belazu branded reusable cups and water bottles and have banned all single use bottles and cups from our site to reduce our unnecessary waste output. There were also lots of sustainability-focused competitions and fun facts during the day to bring the relevance of hitting these targets to life.
Our food waste is currently redistributed through an organisation called PlanZheroes that helps to provide charities across the UK with any food that would otherwise be disposed of. We’re trying to increase this figure so more food can used before it’s recycled and this week we’ve donated 97kg of olives that had reached their ‘best before date’ (not sell by date) to Karimah’s Cuisina that runs the ‘Feed the Need’ canteen in London.
Supported by Belazu and the Belazu Foundation, lots of the team have already started to give their ‘work’ time to take part in our new Holiday Hunger program in partnership with School Food Matters. This program, the Holiday Food and Fun Club helps to make sure that underprivileged children who would normally receive a government grant for lunch during term times can still enjoy a cooked meal throughout the holiday periods. The Belazu Foundation also supports Make Lunch in Barnet which provides children with a similar concept.
We’re also very excited by the development of our latest water project the ‘Borehole’ (well) that means we’ll come off the national water grid and become almost completely independent, in terms of our water needs. The borehole allows us to tap into a natural water aquifer which is commonly known as an underground river or reservoir. We’ve reached the required depth of 100 metres (330 ft) and the next stage can now begin which means abstracting water from the Thames chalk basin aquifer. This particular aquifer was used heavily up until the 1960s and there were at least 12 boreholes in the area. The aquifer was last used in 2005 by the Guinness plant at Park Royal before they were relocated to Dublin.
We’re constantly launching new projects and initiatives to make sure we hit these ambitious targets so, stay tuned for more updates.