Why Origin Green Is So Important For ABP Food Group

01 Nov 2017 | 10.28 am

Why Origin Green Is So Important For ABP Food Group

Origin Green is the world’s first national food sustainability programme

01 Nov 2017 | 10.28 am

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Created by Bord Bia, Ireland’s Origin Green Programme is the world’s first national food sustainability programme. It brings together the entire food and drink industry – from farmers to food producers, retailers and food service operators – with a common goal: sustainable food
production.

This month, we feature John Durkan (pictured), Sustainability and Environmental Manager, at ABP Food Group, a founding member of Origin Green.

What is the background to your business?

ABP is one of Europe’s leading agrifood business companies. With 23 processing facilities across Ireland, the UK and Poland, it has developed extensive relationships with the major retailer food service providers and Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide. For over 60 years, it has grown an international reputation based on quality, traceability and manufacturing efficiency.

Why did ABP Food Group join Origin Green?

As a leader of the Irish food processing sector, we have always been very aware of our responsibilities to the environment and in reducing our environmental footprint. We had been engaged in the wider environmental agenda for some time and it was a natural step for us to become a founding member of Origin Green, as there were a number of parallels in what we were doing and in what the Origin Green programme represented.

What are the key points of your sustainability plan?

ABP Food Group has set itself very large targets for 2020. These are:

  • 50% reduction in water through our ‘Every Drop Counts’ campaign.
  • 40% electricity reduction.
  • 30% carbon footprint reduction.
  • Zero waste to landfill.

We also have in place a comprehensive CSR programme with extensive internal and community involvement. Key features of the programme include promoting farm safety to young people through various initiatives, including the BT Young Scientist Exhibition and a national farm safety training course with Macra na Feirme for its members.

What progress have you made on these plans?

In addition to the Origin Green Programme, progress has been very good and we expect to meet our 2020 targets on time. Our progress is being independently verified by the Carbon Trust – a world-leading independent certification of an organisation’s impact on the environment.

We have achieved a 42.3% reduction in water usage since 2008, equating to 85.4m litres saved. We have reduced our electricity by 17.6% to date, saving 1,100 Gigawatts. Our carbon footprint reduction of 23.2% is equivalent to 200,000 tonnes. We have already achieved a zero waste to landfill target for all of our Irish processing sites.

How does Origin Green benefit business, the environment and society?

Origin Green provides an important platform that allows us to measure and promote our sustainability credentials. It also acts as an independent verification of the work that we are doing. Furthermore, it helps us to communicate clearly to customers the importance of sustainability within ABP and within the supply chain.

How do you see sustainability evolving for business?

For ABP Food Group, sustainability is an important aspect of doing business. As more customers understand the unique set of factors that Irish food possesses, the potential to develop further exports will be realised.

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