Warburtons looks to cut waste from supply chain

Baking giant Warburtons has revealed it is aiming to drive waste out of its supply chain and increase the amount of biodegradable packing it uses in its first Corporate Responsibility Review.

The business also announced that it is working closely with WRAP and had signed to, along with other major grocery brands, Phase 2 of the Courtauld Commitment, which sets targets to tackle waste throughout the supply chain.

According to the report published yesterday (January 5), year-on-year Warburtons has reduced the overall amount of waste it sends to landfill by 4.7% and the overall weight of its packaging by 3.15% – a figure it plans to build on.

In 2009, the report shows that landfill as a percentage of all bakery waste was 7.44%, which fell to 6.72% in 2010. Waste to landfill fell from 1263 tonnes in 2009 to 1203 tonnes in 2010.

Currently, all plastic bags Warburtons uses in recycling are made from recycled materials, while paper bags use traditional biodegradable wax wraps. The total percentage of its packaging in 2010 was 60% – up 2% on 2009.

To further support this drive towards sustainability, Warburtons states it is targeted to increase the “percentage of our packaging that is either recyclable or biodegradable and to measure more accurately the carbon intensity of our packaging, from raw materials to delivery at the retail store”.

The bakery firm is also looking to reduce food waste in the chain by working with WRAP to encourage consumers to waste less and help them meet household food waste prevention targets set by the Courtauld agreement.

For example, Warburtons is working to reduce food waste among consumers by taking initiatives such as creating new ‘waste less’ products, as well as promoting 600g loaves mid-sized loaves which it says were “designed actively to promote waste reduction”.

Warburtons also reveals it plans to use renewable technologies and cited interest in creating energy-from-waste through anaerobic digestion (AD).

The report states: “Perhaps more far-reaching still is the possibility of AD, which we have been working on for some time at one of our larger sites, where a digester could convert waste bread dough to energy.”

The full report can be viewed here.

Carys Matthews

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie