- Food Group retains Gold Membership status at Origin Green Awards
- Kepak recognised for dedication to community projects and environmental targets
Kepak Group, the leading Irish food innovator, has once again secured Gold Membership at Bord Bia’s prestigious Origin Green Awards, achieving exemplary status in a number of key areas, including community projects, biodiversity and emission and waste reduction. Origin Green is Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme and enables the industry to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively.
The programme’s Gold Membership is awarded to companies that demonstrate an exceptional annual performance on their sustainability targets based on the assessment of an independent verification authority.
Kepak’s commitment to community and employee engagement projects and its partnership with the University College Cork-led Sustainable Futures programme were emphasised by judges this year as key factors for the food innovator achieving exemplary status. Together with University College Cork and in collaboration with Maynooth University and Atlantic Technological University and multiple industry partners, including Kepak, Sustainable Futures aims to empower leaders to act so that humans and nature can thrive for generations to come.
The prestigious Gold Membership further recognises Kepak’s sustainability strategy, Kepak CORE, for its ambitious commitments and targets regarding recycling and waste minimisation, supply chain and sourcing of ingredients, biodiversity, energy efficiency, minimising traffic, and community engagement.
Kepak is delighted to have achieved Origin Green Gold Membership status for the second consecutive year,” commented Simon Walker, CEO Kepak Group. “The award recognises the exceptional strides the entire team at Kepak is taking towards enhancing our sustainability credentials. We have made great progress and are proud of our accomplishments so far, particularly in the areas of biodiversity, community engagement, and manufacturing emissions. Given the increased environmental and energy challenges facing society, it is more important than ever that the food industry and indeed all sectors play a part to reduce our global carbon footprint.”
Kepak Group has already reduced the impact of its operation and achieved progress across a number of impact areas as part of its Sustainability Strategy including:
- Kepak Sites are powered by 100% green energy
- Emissions across Kepak sites have reduced by 21%
- Water usage across sites has decreased by 2.6%
In addition to this, Kepak Group has future commitments to:
- Reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 51% by 2030
- Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030
- By 2025 all branded consumer packing will be recycle ready, in line with the EU Single Use Plastics Directive
- Kepak Farm to act as a Centre of Excellence and Knowledge Transfer to farmer suppliers
Spotlight on Kepak’s Biodiversity programme
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity around the company’s sites and farms of suppliers is a key component of Kepak’s agriculture pillar. Kepak is a founding member of the Irish Business & Biodiversity platform and a supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator plan. Together with Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Research Council, Kepak has funded pioneering research to enhance pollinator diversity. As part of this project, Kepak designated biodiversity champions at site level who conduct and monitor biodiversity. Treatment plots have been established in short and long grass meadows, with wildflower and herb beds nestled in green areas surrounding Kepak sites, becoming home to native Irish honeybees. The company conducted biodiversity research at Kepak Farm which acts as a knowledge transfer centre for implementing farm friendly biodiversity actions via its partner farming network. Kepak is also an operational partner of the BRIDE valley biodiversity project. The project aims to design and implement a results-based approach to conserve, enhance and restore habitats in lowland intensive farmland.