Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, has praised the food and drink sector for reducing the environmental impact of feeding the British populace. He was speaking at a recent visit to Coca-Cola’s plant in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. He applauded the reduction in water consumption and waste production and cutting of carbon footprint in the industry.
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The food and drink industry represents around 15% of the UK’s output, with over 7,000 companies in the sector. This is without doubt an industry which is heavily reliant upon resources such as water and one which produces large volumes of waste every year. A wide variety of organisations agreed abide by the Food and Drink Federation’s commitment to lower water usage, with the result that there have been substantial overall reductions in water consumption.
Lord Smith asked those working in the sector to continue to implement new technologies in an effort to reduce water consumption and waste produced. He urged companies to reduce pollution and other negative environmental impacts associated with the industry.
Modern improvements in technology and equipment mean that the food and drink industry can benefit from the very best new and used food machinery on the market, helping to reduce waste and cutting down on energy consumption.
Coca-Cola in Wakefield has reduced its energy consumption by 16.5% since 2006, cut its water use by 10% since 2007 and has sent zero waste to landfill since 2009.
Lord Smith praised Coca-Cola for its initiative in improving environmental performance and for reducing the level of input needed from the Environment Agency. As a result of the firm’s improved performance, fewer regulatory inspections are now required. This frees up time for the agency to focus its attention elsewhere in the industry where inspections are needed.
Ian Johnston of Coca-Cola Enterprises has said the philosophy of the company is to grow without increasing its use of resources. He claims that the company has aims to achieve ambitious sustainability goals, as have all of its British operations. These extend beyond water stewardship and into packaging and recycling.
The Environment Agency’s Greener Business Initiative is intended to encourage sustainable practices in business such as reducing waste production and water consumption.