Dawn Meats Group, parent company of Dunbia, has cut greenhouse gases from its operations and supply chain by 248,000 tonnes in 2020 as compared the baseline year of 2016 on which its Science-Based Targets are assessed, according to its latest Group Sustainability Report.
The company was the first European beef and lamb processor to set Science-Based Targets and measure its progress on externally verified sustainability goals, committing to a 30 per cent reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2016 base year.
The reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions of 59,000 CO2 equivalent has been achieved through a range of measures, including the procurement of 100 per cent renewable electricity and site investments in refrigeration upgrades and lower emission thermal energy generation.
The group has also achieved a 31 per cent reduction in energy intensity in 2020 and is on target to achieve a 40 per cent reduction by 2025.
In real terms, this reduction is the equivalent to powering a town of 20,215 homes per year.
Similar progress on 2025 targets has also been made in terms of water intensity, with a 28 per cent reduction being achieved in 2020, equivalent to 1,225 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Progress is being made right across the Dunbia supply chain, with 99 per cent of livestock sourced from Red Tractor Assured farms in the UK.
Scope 3 on farm emissions across the group have reduced by 189,000 tons CO2 equivalent in 2020.
The commitment to a sustainable supply chain has been further enhanced by improvements in packaging used, with all of Dunbia’s’ rigid plastic trays now having a 90 per cent average recycled content
Some of the key achievements outlined in the report include:
n Procuring assured cattle and sheep from an increasing proportion of the group’s 30,000 farmer suppliers, where emissions are now independently measured on more than 40 per cent of farms and where improvements in on-farm efficiencies are being achieved.
n €1m invested annually in on-farm sustainability projects.
n Retail consumer pack MAP and VSP trays are now made from a plastic material called mono PET, which enables recycling and supports the circular economy.
n 125,000 meal portions donated to frontline workers and organisations feeding people in need.
Niall Browne, CEO, said: “Dunbia continues to move forward in its goal of being Europe’s most sustainable meat company.
“Progress on our emissions targets is a testament to the work our teams put in on the ground at our 22 processing sites.
“It is only by our staff, suppliers and customers all working together that we are able to achieve the progress we are making.”
Gill Higgins, Group of Sustainability at Dunbia, said: “More than halving our operational emissions over the last four years, we are continuing to make a meaningful contribution on our environmental footprint.
“Right across the board, from energy and water intensity, to our renewable energy usage, we are making improvements that count.
“We have had excellent engagement with our primary producers and community stakeholders, and it is important that we recognise their valued contribution.”
As an example of progress achieved, Dunbia’s plant in Preston has contributed gas savings of approximately 1.3m kWh in 2020 compared to 2018.
The plant increased awareness and communication around energy usage, and installed sub meters to monitor water usage and potential leaks.
The group has a strong track record in sustainability performance and was named Best Sustainable Meat Producer and received the Sustainable Supply Chain Achievement Award at the inaugural Green Food & Beverage Producer Awards in 2020.
n Dunbia was awarded BITC Northern Ireland’s Responsible Business Champion in 2020 and is also the proud recipient of numerous industry awards, including Meat Management Manufacturer of the Year 2021, Britain’s Best Burger 2021 and Best Lamb Product 2020, Christmas 2021 Q Award Best Lamb product, Best Frozen Product at the Food Management Today 2020 Industry Awards and numerous Great Taste Awards in recent years.