Waste & Packaging
Aimed at increasing operational efficiency, and driven by our continuous improvement mindset, we are always looking for ways to reduce, repurpose, and divert waste from landfills.
In FY20, we pledged to accelerate our global waste performance and made a formal commitment to make significant and sustainable progress by 2025.
More specifically, we are committed to:
- Reducing our total waste by 25%.
- Increasing our diversion rate to 75%.
- Reducing our food waste by 50%.
- Reducing our material use by 15%.
- Ensuring 100% of our packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
- Ensuring our packaging includes at least 15% of recycled or renewable content.
Operational and Food Waste
From a food waste perspective, dairy is a highly efficient product as many of its by-products can be processed into a variety of ingredients. Leveraging these opportunities, and in support of our Global Strategic Plan to accelerate organic growth, we are always looking at ways to increase the value of our ingredients portfolio and reduce waste.
In support of these efforts, we have begun materializing our ingredients strategy to enhance our portfolio, leveraging the facility's manufacturing capabilities for value-added ingredients such as goat whey, organic lactose, and other dairy powders.
Above this, we have been mapping out our different waste streams and identifying additional ways to reduce and divert waste. Since the start of this process, we have implemented a series of initiatives, including:
- Redirecting organics to animal feeds
- Funding a project to produce calcium phosphate ‘cake’ from our demineralized whey process for feedstock
- Diverting our waste from landfills to energy suppliers
Due to increased demand on food banks during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we also ramped up our efforts to redistribute food surplus in communities where we operate. We continued these efforts in FY22, donating more than 1.7 millions of kilos of products to families in need, which resulted in an estimated reduction of 8,000 tonnes of CO2e.
While packaging is vital to ensuring the integrity and safety of our products, we recognize that it can also pose significant environmental impacts. This is why sustainable packaging is a key part of our 2025 Environmental Pledges, which draw on the circular economy and New Plastics Economy principles.
To help achieve this, our divisions are currently developing roadmaps to identify opportunities to help us achieve our 2025 targets.
To keep us accountable, we have an internal Sustainable Packaging Group in place to accelerate our progress and ensure we leverage our global capabilities. We also joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition®, which brings together businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies to collectively advance the business case for more sustainable packaging.
Some recent highlights:
- In our Dairy Division (UK), we launched a partnership between our Cathedral City brand and TerraCycle® in the UK and redesigned our Treasure Cave and Frigo packaging in the USA – resulting in a savings of more than 270,000 kilos of cardboard each year. You can read more about it here.
- Also in our Dairy Division (UK), we partnered with a flexible packaging supplier, Wipak UK, to replace virgin plastics with post-consumer recycle (PCR) material for some of our block cheese packaging – reducing our use of new plastics by 33%.
- We are also running trials to include additional PCR material in our milk bottles as well as some of our cheese trays.