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Aiming for Zero: Our UK Sites are Going Carbon Neutral

July 16, 2020

When setting our target to make our two UK sites carbon neutral by 2025, we knew this was a Win-Win. With obvious benefits for our immediate communities, going carbon neutral allows us to reduce the environmental impact of our company, plus those of our customers, and consumers who eat our food.

As a premier global food supplier, providing concept-to-table food solutions for leading foodservice and retail food brands, we see it as our responsibility to make ambitious carbon emission reductions. The commitment and investment by OSI is significant. As is our drive to encourage our suppliers across the UK and Ireland to join us on this journey, and set net zero emissions targets within their supply chains.

Encouraging transformational change across our value chain is a core goal of our sustainability work. The priority is to continue producing high quality beef and pork products, with optimum animal welfare standards, while addressing our direct environmental impact.

We are focusing on the organizational footprint of our beef processing joint venture at Pickstock Telford and at our manufacturing site in Scunthorpe.

The Pickstock Telford plant supplies assured British beef products from its multi-million pound state of the art abattoir, butchery and foodservice facility. Millions of beef burgers are produced for a global food service brand each day at the Scunthorpe unit.

The project was first pitched to senior management in January 2020 by OSI’s sustainability team. Emma Daly, Sustainability Supply Chain Manager at OSI said, “It was relatively easy to get the senior management on-board as they could see the enormous potential this could have on reducing our carbon footprint across the UK, and would help us achieve our sustainability goals”.

Sign off achieved, a cross-functional team was formed to bring this project to life at Pickstock and Scunthorpe. The first step was to identify the highest carbon emitters, followed by setting tangible and real efforts to eliminate those emissions.

Existing improvements at site level have already provided strategic direction needed to achieve this goal. Pickstock Telford was the first abattoir in England with an anaerobic digester (AD), which showcases the leadership from Pickstock to pioneer environmental improvements, and create a second-life for waste. The AD plant works by converting waste from the factory into energy to heat water and produce electricity for the plant. Thereby creating a circular-economy, eliminating waste and giving resources a continual use.

Sustainability-led procurement has also led to sizeable reductions in emissions. Driven by OSI’s Sustainability Strategy, the switch to renewable energy has led to a saving of over 4,000t/CO2eq across the two UK sites. While, smarter purchasing of Liquid Nitrogen has led to 93% reduction in carbon emissions from this product, between 2018 and 2019.

With a dedicated team, continued improvements and investment on site will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.

What’s next in this project?

Our sustainability and engineering teams are now assessing emissions in company facilities and vehicles, as well as those created by employees, business travel, energy usage, waste, purchased goods and services. The team is considering where the greatest improvements can be made in year 1, while engaging subject matter experts to help them reach this goal.

It’s an exciting journey for OSI. While we reach our core milestones, we will be sharing our learnings on this blog. Make sure you subscribe to stay up-to-date.

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