‘Our sus­tain­abil­ity jour­ney has re­sulted in many pos­i­tive ini­tia­tives’


Ori­gin Green is Ire­land’s na­tional food sus­tain­abil­ity pro­gramme. It is a vol­un­tary pro­gramme led by Bord Bia that brings to­gether farm­ers, food pro­duc­ers, re­tail­ers and food ser­vice op­er­a­tors with the com­mon goal of sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion. This month, we speak with Bren­nans Bak­eries, Ire­land’s largest pro­ducer of pack­aged bread.

Why did Bren­nans get in­volved in Ori­gin Green?

At Bren­nan Bak­eries, we take our en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties very se­ri­ously. Our sus­tain­abil­ity jour­ney be­gan be­fore we en­gaged with the Ori­gin Green pro­gramme. We had al­ready de­vel­oped our own sus­tain­abil­ity pol­icy, which saw us in­stalling rainwater har­vest­ing, so­lar pan­els, vari­able speed drives and much more.

Be­com­ing a ver­i­fied mem­ber of Ori­gin Green in 2015 has driven us to do even more. Apart from it be­ing good for our bot­tom line, with re­duced en­ergy and waste costs, it has given us a sense of be­ing part of na­tional and even in­ter­na­tional ef­fort to sup­port sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices.

What are your key sus­tain­abil­ity achieve­ments since join­ing?

Form­ing a ded­i­cated, multi-dis­ci­plined sus­tain­abil­ity team at the start of the jour­ney was cer­tainly key. That and buy-in at di­rec­tor level en­abled us to col­lab­o­ra­tively de­fine a clear path for­ward and set out well-de­fined tar­gets for the jour­ney ahead.

One of the first things we in­tro­duced was an en­ergy mon­i­tor­ing and tar­get­ing sys­tem, which en­ables us to mon­i­tor our en­ergy us­age at 15-minute in­ter­vals. We use this to iden­tify ar­eas where en­ergy ef­fi­ciency is low and de­velop projects to ad­dress those ar­eas. We now only pur­chase 100% cer­ti­fied green elec­tric­ity and we’re part of the All Ire­land Pol­li­na­tor Pro­gramme.

We’ve moved onto our sec­ond five-year sus­tain­abil­ity plan, which will in­clude our trans­port fleet and prod­uct pack­ag­ing as key ar­eas of fo­cus. Look­ing back over the past five years, the key achieve­ment has been mak­ing sus­tain­abil­ity part of ev­ery long-term dis­cus­sion we have here at Bren­nans Bak­eries.

What are your cur­rent ar­eas of fo­cus and why?

One key area we are fo­cus­ing on at the mo­ment is the pack­ag­ing for our bread prod­ucts. Sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing is so im­por­tant for the en­vi­ron­ment, now and for gen­er­a­tions to come. The unique wax pa­per, which is used for many of our bread prod­ucts, has been tested in line with the EU Di­rec­tives on Pack­ag­ing and Pack­ag­ing Waste.

It is 100% re­cy­clable and in­dus­trial com­postable by con­form­ing to the EU Stan­dards EN 13430 and EN13432, and has also been lo­cally cer­ti­fied by Cré, the Ir­ish Com­postable Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion

Scheme for In­dus­trial Com­posta­bil­ity.

This will give our cus­tomers the choice to put their Bren­nans wax pa­per pack­ag­ing ei­ther into the green or brown bin. An aware­ness cam­paign for these de­vel­op­ments will be launched in the com­ing months.

How do you see the sus­tain­abil­ity agenda shap­ing your busi­ness in the fu­ture?

Sus­tain­abil­ity is and will con­tinue to be a key busi­ness driver for Bren­nans Bak­eries. We are com­mit­ted to meet­ing our goals and in do­ing so, cre­at­ing long-term value for our busi­ness and our cus­tomers. We are on a jour­ney with sus­tain­abil­ity, which has al­ready re­sulted in many pos­i­tive ini­tia­tives be­ing im­ple­mented that we are proud of.

We will con­tinue to do what we can to cre­ate more sus­tain­able so­lu­tions for the ben­e­fit of the en­vi­ron­ment, so­ci­ety and the busi­ness. We look for­ward to the next part of this jour­ney. To find out more about the Ori­gin Green pro­gramme, visit orig­in­green.ie

Sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing is a key fo­cus for Bren­nans Bread

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