We have put a variety of systems in place in order to keep our environmental impact as low as possible. We recycle as much as we can and have a target of sending zero waste to landfill.
An ecological water cycle using reed beds
Many food processing companies install chemical treatment plants in order to process their waste water. However, a few years ago, we decided to find a more environmentally-friendly way to treat the water from our manufacturing units.
We worked with a small start-up company to create a reed bed – a wetland ecosystem that cleanses waste water using natural microbes, the soil, sand or gravel at the base, and the reeds themselves.
Having started with a reed bed at our Runcton site, in 2015 we commissioned the same system at our Selsey site. Here, the reed bed treats the waste water, which is stored in a reservoir and used by a third party to irrigate lettuce crops that come back to us. In this way, we’ve created a ‘virtuous water cycle’ that treats waste water in an ecological way and reuses it efficiently.
Helping wildlife to flourish
Encouraging local wildlife to flourish is also key to our environment plan. We have biodiversity areas at all of our sites to ensure that local flora and fauna are thriving.
We have used water from our Runcton site to create three wildlife ponds planted with lilies, rushes and natural seeds. We have put up bird boxes to house nesting bird families, and all sorts of wildlife make homes in the habitats on and around our sites.
Our environments support a number of species, including nesting moorhens, dragonflies, newts, frogs and the endangered water vole. Our clearing efforts have meant that these endangered animals enjoy cleaner ditches and waterways.
We also work in partnership with local wildlife organisations Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group. Our staff volunteer at local projects when extra help is needed, for example lending a hand with cleaning up beaches in the area and assisting with annual water vole and bat surveys.
Reducing waste throughout the supply chain
We are committed to working with our suppliers, not only through sourcing sustainable products, but also by reducing waste throughout the supply chain. We engage with our suppliers to help them reduce their carbon footprint and improve transport efficiency.