Scotland Food & Drink launch new tool to support industry’s net zero ambitions

Industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink has launched it’s ‘Greening Your Business A Practical Guide for Food and Drink SMEs’ to provide practical support for SMEs in greening their businesses.

The toolkit outlines the pivotal role Scotland’s food and drink industry has to play in reducing carbon emissions and helping reach the Scottish Government’s target of net zero by 2045.

The need to tackle the climate emergency is now well-understood, so too the urgency of the task. While tackling the climate emergency is vital, it is important the sector is equipped to do so in a way which is positive for businesses.

Produced by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership with support from the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland, the toolkit is designed to provide practical support to help food and drink businesses reduce their carbon footprint while still improving their bottom line.

The Greening Your Business toolkit is being launched as one of fifty action points of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan to fuel an agile recovery from Coronavirus and weather Brexit, supported by the Scottish Government.

Within the toolkit, businesses can find small changes to get started, long term ideas for making processes more efficient, sign posting for funding and one-to-one advice, and guidance on new legislation.

John Davidson, Scotland Food & Drink’s Strategy and External Relations Director, said: “The Greening Your Business toolkit is a fantastic tool for Scotland’s food and drink businesses and something we are very excited about.

“By going greener, businesses have the ability to cut their bills, make their business more resilient, win new customers and contracts, tap into post pandemic consumer trends, and become an employer people want to work for.

“We have an opportunity to not only be leaders in sustainable and climate-friendly food and drink production, but also attract investment, financial support and future customers for the Scottish food and drink sector.

“The opportunities are there for Scottish food and drink businesses to become more sustainable and this toolkit can help businesses grasp them.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Food is one of the most carbon-intensive forms of waste there is. That gives food and drink businesses a huge opportunity – cutting waste at the source can go a long way to cutting emissions.

“Scotland’s food and drink businesses are already celebrated for the quality of their produce. Going net-zero is a chance to celebrate their environmental credentials, too.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Cutting waste is as good for businesses’ bank balances as it is for the planet. As a result, this toolkit will give Scotland’s food and drink sector all they need to play their part in tackling climate change.

“I would encourage as many food and drink businesses as possible to use it to streamline processes, improve their sustainability and their profitability.

“This is also another valuable example of industry and the public sector working in partnership through the Food and Drink Recovery Plan to identify greener and sustainable solutions to the challenges that lie ahead.”

Aiming to reduce carbon emissions does not mean decreasing profitability. Many Scottish food and drink businesses are already implementing measures to improve their climate change credentials and in doing so are seeing a positive effect on their overall business.

Border Biscuits, a 35-year-old business based in Lanarkshire, supplying major customers across the UK and around the world. They redesigned their packaging to reduce the amount of plastic by 90%.

This redesign is going to save 537 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions from the packaging manufacturing process and will reduce the number of vehicles needed to transport by 50%, further reducing costs and strengthening their brand and reputation for environmental responsibility.

Suzie Carlaw, Marketing Manager at Border Biscuits, said: “Innovating to reduce single-use plastic has been a key focus over the last 12 months and our new packaging means we can address the environmental concerns of our customers without compromising on the high quality of our beautifully crafted biscuit.”

To access the toolkit, please visit:

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