Caring for our world
At Musgrave, our strategies are designed to minimise the environmental and climate change impacts of our operations. We set ambitious annual energy and waste reduction targets and use renewable and alternative energy to cut our emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. We want to share our knowledge and experience with our wider network so that together we can positively impact the planet.
- By 2020 we will ensure that no food that is fit for human consumption is wasted, but is used to alleviate food poverty through our support for food re-distribution charities
- By 2020 all of our retail and foodservice operations will have access to food re-distribution charities
- By 2030 we will halve our food surplus in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3
- Through product and packaging initiatives, we will help consumers to reduce food waste in the home
- By 2020 we will implement three major collaboration projects with suppliers aimed at enhancing bio-diversity
- By 2025 we will reduce the carbon intensity of our operations across the island of Ireland by 70% (from our 2006 baseline)
- By 2025 we will reduce the climate impacts of our refrigeration systems by 80%
We focus on preventing waste at source and on maximising recycling by sending zero recoverable waste to landfill. We work with suppliers to optimise our own brand packaging so that it is fit-for-purpose, but minimal from a materials and energy inputs perspective.
Helping shoppers manage waste
We do not want our promotional offers to lead indirectly to food surplus, that’s why, with our retail partners we are making sure that we harmonise the date labels we place on own brand and fresh produce, in line with international best practice, to avoid confusing consumers and creating more food waste. We are also working on new initiatives to help consumers minimise their food waste in the home.
Zero tolerance on food waste
At Musgrave, we have operated a zero tolerance on food waste to landfill for the past 10 years. By quantifying our waste and identifying the root causes of surpluses, we have been able to develop standard operating procedures and practices that focus, first, on prevention, then re‑distribution to charitable causes and, thereafter, on using the remainder in the manufacture of pet food or as feedstock in composting systems. We are ensuring that surplus food fit for human consumption is used to alleviate food poverty, which is why, during 2016, our donations to FoodCloud amounted to almost 170 tonnes; contributing to over 350,000 meals to feed people in need.
For over a decade we have operated an energy monitoring and targeting system across our building estate and have supplied our facilities with 100% green electricity. We have also extended the supply agreement to make green power available to our retail partners across Ireland, reducing GHG emissions. We are also making our facilities and buildings more energy efficient through our focus on energy monitoring and targeting and through investment in new equipment and technology.
Reducing fleet impacts
Our advanced route planning and scheduling systems help our delivery drivers avoid or reduce mileage whenever they can, while our backhaul process has also helped our suppliers to cut their mileage. So, despite the growth of our business, our total annual fleet emissions have reduced by 5,550 tonnes since 2006.
The causes of food surplus are complex and we know that we still have more to do to reduce it further and to ensure that that no food that is fit for human consumption is wasted.
Head of Sustainability, Musgrave