As part of its commitment to sustainability, Kepak is also working to significantly reduce water and energy usage, developing healthier products and share agricultural knowledge regarding on farm environmental awareness and biodiversity with farmers.

Kepak’s commitments come as the company announces several significant sustainability achievements during 2017, including reducing general waste by 100 Tonnes and saving 20 Olympic swimming pools of water, 10,000,000 Kg of carbon, 10,700,000 Kwh of electricity and 26,000,000 Kwh Thermal Energy (Oil & Gas). Most recently, Kepak have obtained certified 100% green energy supply for 2018 for the 9 Irish sites meaning the carbon emissions from electricity for this year will be zero. This will deliver a further 60% reduction in carbon emissions.

The achievements are outlined in Kepak’s inaugural sustainability report, published today to coincided with European Sustainable Development Week 2018, the European-wide initiative to stimulate and make visible activities, projects and events that promote sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Eimear Gallagher, Environmental Officer, Kepak Group, said: “At Kepak, we recognised our position and responsibilities within the supply chain and the importance of working with each of our stakeholders to create a blueprint for achieving growth in a sustainable way. As a business, we are fully committed to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals and we are very proud of what we have accomplished to date in this regard. The driving force behind Kepak’s sustainability plan is consistently seeking better ways to grow and improve our business in a manner that is respectful of our environment, our staff, our suppliers and our customers.”

 Kepak has recently developed a comprehensive internal sustainability programme called ‘Kepak Core’ – the company’s blueprint for achieving sustainable growth in the following areas:

▪ Agriculture & Animal Welfare

▪ Responsible Sourcing

▪ Resource Efficiency

▪ Health & Nutrition

▪ People & communities

The following achievements were accomplished in 2017 as part of the Kepak Core programme:

▪ Electricity Usage – down 13.31% v 2015 baseline, which has a cash equivalent on 2017 volumes of >€500k

▪ Thermal Energy Usage – down 23.03 v 2015 baseline

▪ Carbon Emissions – down 24.69% v 2015 baseline

▪ Water usage – down 7.59% v 2015 baseline

▪ General Waste – reduction of 100T from 2015 baseline

Located near Clonee, Co. Meath, Kepak Farm is a beef finishing enterprise. The company collaborates with farmers to share best management practices designed to produce top quality beef for key partner customers, with the aim to improve decision making and maximize production efficiencies along the entire supply chain, from farm to fork.

In 2017, Kepak hosted approx. 1,200 visitors to its farm, with knowledge sharing topics covering areas such as antimicrobial resistance, animal nutrition/feed, grassland management and reducing carbon footprint.

The reduction of carbon emissions throughout the supply chain is priority focus area for Kepak. From January 1st 2018, Kepak has certified 100% green energy supply for 9 of its Irish sites. This has resulted in a 60% decrease in its carbon emissions from 2017, and means its carbon emissions from electricity this year will be zero.

Future commitments

▪ To showcase Kepak Farm Centre of Excellence as a Knowledge Transfer Hub to disseminate technical and practical knowledge on Carbon Neutral farming, technology advancements and latest R+D

▪ To establish a Biodiversity plan for all sites and Kepak Farm by 2020

▪ To maintain and improve our BBFAW accreditation

▪ To work with our suppliers to ensure the highest levels of quality are maintained with integrity and transparency

▪ Implementation of a standardised packaging procurement policy by 2020

▪ To deliver 100% sustainable paper/board in our packaging by 2025

▪ To deliver 100% recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025

▪ With 2015 being our baseline we plan to:

– Reduce carbon footprint of our factories by 30% by 2030

– Rollout a standardised Energy Management System across all sites by 2025

– Reduce water usage across our factories by 20% by 2030

▪ 50% reduction in food waste across our factories by 2030 in line with UN SDG 12.3

▪ Deliver packaging innovations to reduce the volume of food and packaging waste up our supply chain

▪ To invest in our people through training and engagement to help support their growth and development

▪ To recognise & award our long-service team members

▪ We will continue to promote staff health and wellbeing through the delivery of health and safety awareness programmes

▪ To improve the nutrition and health of our consumers, by reducing the number of red and amber traffic lights on our products

▪ To educate colleagues and customers through internal and external communications on the benefits of red meat

▪ To increase knowledge on consumers wants and needs

▪ To drive change and innovation from the start of the supply chain