Environmental performance key for Noble Foods

The UK's largest supplier of eggs aims to lead the way with its environmental management systems

Hens that lay in a woodland environment are happier and produce top eggs

Hens that lay in a woodland environment are happier and produce top eggs

Noble Foods prides itself on being the "progressive face of the UK egg industry".

As such, the largest supplier of eggs and egg products in the country has made a company-wide commitment to improve its environmental performance by achieving certification to the ISO 14001 standard. Teaming up with NQA, Noble has set new environmental standards for egg production and the environmental certification has been set across all of its divisions.

Headquartered in Tring, Hertfordshire, the business moves millions of eggs every day from farms across the UK to the country's leading supermarkets. It covers all areas of egg production - from feed milling to value added egg products and processing end of lay hens.

The company has a range of divisions, covering agriculture, packing, milling, poultry processing, egg products and desserts.

With such a diverse and far-reaching range of activity linked to the natural environment and the production of food, Noble Foods was well aware of the importance of environmental standards, and has been improving its environmental management systems for the past four years.

Responding to the increasing demands of the environmental agenda, the firm wanted to seize the opportunity of leading from the front, demonstrating its environmental credentials in a more formal manner. The key drivers in doing this were twofold: to educate and enthuse employees on pollution prevention and reducing energy usage and waste; and to show customers that they were serious about the environment.

Driven by a committed leadership team, all divisional directors signed up to the environmental policy, which has been taken up throughout the company. Team meetings now include environmental updates and the company has introduced divisional green champions. Group-level and site-based green teams meet regularly to discuss continual environmental performance improvement at strategic and operational levels.

The green champions are supported by a dedicated environmental department that guides and promotes low carbon initiatives across the company. Initiatives that span all divisions include measuring energy consumption, introducing renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar panels and LPG conversions for lorries and reductions in waste to landfill.

Since it started the certification process, Noble Foods has not only seen its employees more engaged and providing solutions to common environmental issues, but it has also seen improved communications within the company on environmental issues. And looking at the figures, its LPG trials have resulted in an 11% cost saving on diesel consumption. Outside the company, there has been less enforcement from the regulators and also noticeable interest from customers.

"As the progressive face of the UK egg industry, our approach to environmental management is leading the way within our industry," says Nigel Youd, Noble's group environmental manager.

"NQA's food and drink expert assessors are providing invaluable assistance in achieving our aspirations and providing real value."
noblefoods.co.uk


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