Samworth Brothers drives renewable energy use to 100%


Melton Mowbray-based food producer Samworth Brothers is now buying all its grid-supplied electricity from certified renewable sources.  The move will deliver over 45,000 tonnes of carbon savings per year, equivalent to taking 8,700 cars off UK roads for the same period.

The Group, which has 19 businesses across the UK, has appointed Smartestenergy as its electricity provider, delivering renewable sources through the Smartestenergy’s Natural Renewable option.   The scheme has certification from the Carbon Trust.  The scheme’s Carbon Trust endorsement certifies that every megawatt hour supplied will be from wind, solar or hydro generators, backed by UK recognised origin certificates, which trace the electricity supply from source to supply.

Samworth Brothers Group Sustainability Manager Deborah Carlin said: “Many businesses have aspirations to achieve zero carbon emissions from electricity supply but we are pleased to say we are delivering this change. We estimate our electricity usage is around 130,000 MWh per year, so this new approach will represent a considerable carbon saving. Our original aim was to achieve 100% grid electricity purchased from renewable or low carbon sources by the end of 2018, so we pleased to be ahead on this target.”

At the Group’s Bradgate Bakery site, a solar PV array covers 2,200m2, equivalent to the size of just over half a football pitch or eleven tennis courts, providing the site with some of its energy requirements for the bakery’s Ashton Green building.

The energy initiative forms part of the Samworth Brothers 4R plan (Reduce, Reuse, Recover and Recycle), which aims to deliver and champion environmental best practice.  Other recent successes for the programme include;

  • the introduction of Carbon Desktop, a monitoring and targeting system that enables sites to track utility usage and target reduction, which has led to a 4% decrease in carbon emissions between 2015-2016 against a period of production growth
  • achieving zero waste to land fill across all Samworth Brothers sites
  • a 20% increase in the Group’s total reuse and recycling over two years (with some businesses achieving a 90% plus total reuse and recycling figure)
  • 470 tonnes of food waste redistributed to Fareshare and Company Shop in 2016 providing 449,616 meals and saving 757 of C02
  • 23% increase in food surplus being captured and redistributed for human consumption, in partnership with Fareshare or The Company Shop

The 4R Plan has also been shortlisted or named as a finalist at national awards including the National Recycling Awards, Investors in Zero Waste Awards and the Awards for Excellence Awards.