Core to our strategy is ensuring we’re producing dairy in a way that cares for our people and our environment, while bringing value to our communities.
Key to this is minimising waste in our supply chain, and we have set ourselves a target of zero waste to landfill by 2025. This means that any materials that are economically recoverable are either reused or recycled, rather than contributing towards the 21 million tonnes of landfill waste that Australians generate each year.
Since 2019 our Australian business has almost halved the amount of waste we send to landfill, diverting a whopping 900 tonnes of materials from landfill into more beneficial uses.
So, how did we do it?
We have reduced the amount of food waste generated across our distribution warehouses by 80 per cent – or around 450 tonnes.
We did this by introducing a new approval process for the scrapping of stock and changing the way inventory is managed in our warehouses.
We have almost eliminated our reliance on landfill for food disposal, with inedible food waste diverted to stockfeed or composted into garden products creating a closed loop, while also reducing the generation of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
We have also improved the segregation of waste across our manufacturing network to make it easier to separate packaging materials such as cardboard and pallet wrap. Some of these materials are turned into new products including water piping, park equipment, and recycled packaging.
Our National Environment Manager, Colleen Gates, believes that reducing waste to landfill is something that every individual can own, both at work and at home.
“When we think differently about waste streams, we can turn them into value streams. Not only does this reduce our environmental impact and our reliance on non-renewable resources, but it also improves business performance.
“Our next challenge will be to ramp up efforts to minimise waste in the first instance – this will set us up for even more success in the next few years,” says Colleen.
Caring for the environment is a collective responsibility, which requires a Good Together mindset to bring about change. It’s also an increasing expectation of our customers and consumers – they want to know that their food has been produced in a sustainable way.