The UK food and drink industry generates approximatelywhite paper 20% UK GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) according to Defra and spends approximately £800m on energy every year1. As the question of sustainability gains momentum, it is an industry faced with increasingly important and complex challenges to reduce its impact on the environment and natural resources.
With the Government target in place to reduce GHG by 80% in the built environment by 2050, sustainability is an issue that faces every company and which impacts on all areas of business, from operational efficiencies and energy savings to consumer loyalty and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is also a fundamental consideration during the construction and refurbishment process of new and existing food manufacturing facilities.
There is a clear opportunity for the UK’s £76bn food industry to take a leading role in sustainability, while the energy savings it could make have the potential to greatly reduce the total UK GHG emissions and contribute directly to the security of future energy supplies. Yet despite rising awareness, all too often, sustainability is considered too late in the day to maximise either the reduction in emissions, energy use or financial savings and construction companies are consulted too late in the process to allow their expertise to be used effectively. The net result is that a significant opportunity to reduce carbon emissions is being missed.
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