The site, which also produces 183 million Aeros, is one of the world’s largest confectionery plants and its zero waste achievements have resulted in annual cost savings of almost £120,000.

Measures implemented at the site have reduced the number of skip lifts used by 70%. The company has also generated extra revenue by selling nearly 800 tonnes of recovered materials such as cardboard, plastics, metal, pallets and metallised film.

The achievement at York is a milestone within Nestlé’s sustainability programme which set a target for all 14 factories in the UK and Ireland to achieve zero waste by 2015. Girvan on the West Coast of Scotland and Dalston in Cumbria became zero waste in 2010.

In September 2010, targets were set by the Nestlé UK & Ireland business to support its long term sustainability vision. In addition to reducing waste, significant progress has been made reducing water usage and packaging across its operations.

Nestlé UK & Ireland chairman & CEO, Paul Grimwood, said: “Although there is still much to do in our sustainability journey I am very proud of what our employees have achieved in such a short time.

“Making such progress in reducing the amount of waste our factories send to landfill, how much water we use and packaging we produce are significant steps.”

Nestlé is also embarking on an ambitious ‘Lighthouse’ project at its Fawdon factory. The Newcastle site will be used as a test bed and learning centre for exploring new ideas and technologies to accelerate progress towards its sustainability vision.

As well as focusing on achieving zero waste, the factory aims to reduce both its water consumption and CO2 emissions significantly in the next two years. As a first step, a butterfly meadow has been planted at the site to promote biodiversity.

Maxine Perella

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