Sustainability is More Important Now Than Ever Before
So, for a business that has grown from seven to 14 manufacturing sites across Ireland and the UK, and to offices worldwide, we’re well aware that it’s so important that we have a strong and robust sustainability strategy – one that ensures Kepak is doing its part across the whole value chain and beyond, from local communities to the wider world.
We want to lead by example and that’s what you’ll see in our newly launched 2019 Sustainability Report, which can be found here.
“We at Kepak believe that sustainability should not be a side-line effort,” says Kate O’ Driscoll, Kepak’s Head of Sustainability, “It should be part of everything we do, a way of doing our job every day.”
A Programme with a Purpose
To ensure we stay true to this vision, we have five principles which guide our sustainability strategy:
- – Agriculture at Our Heart
- – Responsible Sourcing, accountability for everything we buy
- – Resource Efficiency, by reducing waste and using only what we need
- – Health and Nutrition, promoting responsible consumption and sustainable diets
- – People and Communities, engaging with our people and the general public
These strategic principles give our sustainability programme a purpose, and with a clear purpose, concrete progress can be made.
For example, in 2018, our factories reduced water usage by 100 million litres, enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools; we recycled an additional 450 tonnes, the equivalent of 70 rubbish truckloads; and all our Irish sites switched over to 100% renewable energy, reducing our carbon emissions by half .
These are just a few of the highlights outlined in the report.
A Collaborative Effort
As a business rooted in agriculture, sustainable food production is central to our overall sustainability project. This year’s report details our ongoing efforts in the areas of responsible production, biodiversity, farming promotion, and sustainability pilots.
All of these produce valuable learnings which we then look to roll out to a wider group within Kepak.
Similarly, responsible sourcing is another cornerstone of the report. From sourcing to packing, we explain how we work closely with over 100 individual suppliers to create a supply chain that is sustainable from one end to the other. Our sourcing policies cover topics including soy, palm oil, and animal welfare.
Embedded Within the Community
Our sustainability efforts could only ever go so far without the help and support of like-minded people and communities. At Kepak, we’re lucky to work closely with many great organisations, from the Simon Community and Food Cloud, to Camara and Computers 4 Africa.
And it doesn’t stop there, like any area of our business, we’re dedicated to doing better – and going forward, we will focus on embedding all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals across the business, including:
- – Cutting our carbon footprint 10% by 2030 in our 14 sites
- – By 2025, all our consumer packaging will be recycling ready
- – By 2020, all sites will be zero waste to landfill
- – Reducing our water usage across our factories by 20% by 2030
We will, of course, continue to report on our progress in these areas and continue this journey in 2020 and beyond.