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Sustainability and Innovation

As a trusted partner we’re tackling waste and reducing the environmental footprint of both our own operations and the food we produce.

At Bakkavor we’re part of the industry movement Champions 12.3 supporting the UN target to halve food waste by 2030.

To reduce our environmental footprint we are improving the efficiency of our use of valuable resources like energy and water.

We’ve signed up to the UK Plastics Pact and are adapting recipes to support our customers’ nutrition targets.

Reducing food waste

Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing our sector and an issue that at Bakkavor, we take to heart. We’re committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 – to halve food waste across the supply chain by 2030.

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Operations

Resource Efficiency & Emissions

Energy and water are critical resources for food manufacturing, for refrigeration and hygiene operations to ensure quality and safety. Using these resources in the most efficient way, without compromising on safety, product quality or the environment in which our colleagues work, matters not only for environmental sustainability, it makes business sense.

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Operations

Impact of Packaging

Selecting the right packaging for our products involves considering a number of factors. In particular, we must prioritise food safety and quality, food waste and balance this with the environmental impact of the packaging across its lifecycle.

Impact of packaging

Product Innovation

As a leading fresh prepared food producer, we enable balanced and plant-rich diets through our product offering. It’s our business to stay on top of food and consumer trends. This means working with our customers to create great tasting products that are nutritious, exciting and support healthy lifestyles.

Product Innovation

Safe and quality food

We manufacture food that is not only great tasting, but also meets the highest standards of safety. In addition to customer requirements, the Group is subject to extensive food safety regulations and, where required, governmental monitoring where we operate.

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Operations
  • Food Waste
  • Food Waste
  • Resource efficiency and emissions
  • Impact of packaging
  • Product innovation

Food waste

Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing our sector and an issue that at Bakkavor, we take to heart. We’re committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 – to halve food waste at retail and consumer level and reduce food loss along production and supply chains by 2030.

To achieve this, we’ve been implementing ‘Target, Measure, Act’ in our UK business – an industry best practice approach developed WRAP and the IGD with industry input. We publicly report on progress using the Food Loss and Waste (FLW) methodology. We’re now applying the principles of ‘Target, Measure, Act’ across our International sites.

Our priority for action is to prevent waste from occurring in the first place, so each of our UK sites have targets to work towards. Where we have surplus, we prioritise redistribution to our employees through our staff shops and to local communities via networks including Company Shop and FareShare.

We also redistribute surplus food to employees at discounted prices via staff shops at UK sites. This popular ‘not-for-profit’ initiative raises funds for local community initiatives.

You can read our latest food waste inventory report here and more detail is available in our Annual Report.

Our Trusted Partner commitments – Food and Other Waste

  • Work towards our Champions 12.3 target of reducing food loss by preventing it at each of our sites, whilst measuring and reporting our progress annually (2030).
  • Actively engage each of our UK and US sites to maximise the suitable surplus food available for redistribution (2022).
  • Follow the Food Loss and Waste hierarchy for all unavoidable waste, prioritising recycling for animal feed, then Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and monitor performance against site-specific targets (ongoing).
  • Maintain zero waste to landfill status in the UK (ongoing) and look to progress across our US and Asia sites (2025).

Resource Efficiency and Emissions

Energy and water are critical resources for food manufacturing, for refrigeration and hygiene operations to ensure quality and safety. Using these resources in the most efficient way, without compromising on safety, product quality or the environment in which our colleagues work, matters not only for environmental sustainability, it makes business sense.

As a manufacturing company, our biggest direct contributor to carbon emissions comes from our factory sites’ heating and cooling systems. We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions and our impact on climate change year on year.

Our priority focus is on minimising our direct consumption, so we will continue to identify the most impactful areas to make reductions, and then set targets to work towards through effective monitoring of consumption patterns, smart infrastructure, effective environmental management systems as well as specific investments at site-level.

Read our latest figures in our Annual Report.

Our Trusted Partner commitments – Resource Efficiency and Emissions

  • Roll out consistent environmental management and reporting systems at each of our sites, tracking monthly performance metrics for energy, carbon, water and food waste (2021).
  • Reduce our relative carbon footprint and energy intensity across operational manufacturing Group-wide per tonne of product, year-on-year whilst continuing to monitor best practice, including feasibility of potential innovations in decarbonisation.
  • Work towards optimising the operational water intensity per tonne of product, whilst maintaining product quality and integrity, reporting internally on a monthly basis through the environmental tracker (year on year).
  • Understand our business’s exposure to climate risks and take action to mitigate our impacts whilst building greater resilience in our sector (2022).

Impact of Packaging

Selecting the right packaging for our products involves considering a number of factors. In particular, we must prioritise food safety and quality, food waste and balance this with the environmental impact of the packaging across its lifecycle.

For example, global use of plastic is contributing to a critical pollution problem, yet as a material for food packaging it has advantages over others. Not only is it lightweight, efficient to produce and affordable, it is often the most effective in extending product shelf life. We recognise our responsibility to minimise use of unnecessary plastics, maximise recyclability of all materials and move towards more sustainable alternatives.

We’ve joined the UK Plastics Pact and want to apply our knowledge in procuring and developing more sustainable packaging solutions across our business by sharing and promoting the same manufacturing techniques and materials in our Asia and US divisions.

Our Trusted Partner commitments for Impact of Packaging

  • UK Plastics Pact 2025 goals:
    • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging
    • 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging
    • 30% average recycled content in plastic packaging
  • Use only cardboard from PEFC or FSC certified forests (2021).
  • Increase the use of recycled and recyclable materials in packaging for our US and Asia businesses where possible, by sharing manufacturing expertise and access to materials.

Product Innovation

As a leading fresh prepared food producer, we enable balanced and plant-rich diets through our product offering. It’s our business to stay on top of food and consumer trends. This means working with our customers to create great tasting products that are nutritious, exciting and support healthy lifestyles.

We’re adapting recipes with our customers to support targets around salt, sugar and saturated fat and increasing our ranges of healthy food options.

As well as healthier options, consumers are also increasingly adopting environmental and ethical considerations, and at Bakkavor product innovation helps to support more sustainable lifestyles through our successful plant-based ranges.

We’re embedding sustainability in our food innovation processes through insights and information sharing across our chefs and product development teams.

Our Trusted Partner commitments for Product Innovation

  • Promote sustainability considerations in new product development through regular training and information sharing.
  • Work with customers to meet their nutrition targets on salt, sugar, saturated fat and overall calories through reformulation.
  • Support healthier lifestyles through our product ranges by using our expertise to develop great-tasting products that support customers’ targets on healthy ranges.
  • Enable sustainable diets through our product portfolio by continuing to lead and drive plant-based fresh-prepared product ranges.