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United Biscuits claims environmental award

United Biscuits claims environmental award

United Biscuits has claimed the accolade of Environmental Initiative of the Year at Food Manufacture's Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards (FMEAs) at the London Park Lane Hilton.

The company, which is responsible for a whole host of well-known brands, such as McVities, claimed the award after competition judges praised its commitment to green issues and managed employee ownership of its environmental programme.

The judges said: “From a 35 per cent cut in carbon emissions to zero waste to landfill, from 20 million fewer road miles to 100 per cent sustainable palm oil use, the results have been just massive. United Biscuits shone through in what was probably the most hotly contested category of the awards.”

The company beat off competition from Bernard Matthews, Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Iglo Foods Group.

United's head of corporate communication, Bob Brightwell, was on hand to collect the award from Shankar Narayanan, country manager for the UK and Ireland with Tata Consultancy, which sponsored the award.

Other attendees included the star of television's Countryfile, Julia Bradbury, who hosted the event.

United's environment programme began back in 2008 after it canvassed the views of its employees, which generated over 200 ideas.

Around half of those were actually implemented, with the firm's staff taking control of the programme from the very beginning and it quickly became a central part of the company's culture.

Among the key targets that were outlined were the reduction of carbon emissions and wastes, as well as cutting the amount of water being used and promoting environmentally-friendly transport.  

United's award win comes amid news that one of its competitors, Burtons Biscuits, which manufactures Jammie Dodgers, was sold to the Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers Pension Plan in a deal with an estimated value of around £340 million.

In the category of Company of the Year, Premier Foods was named as the top firm.

Food Manufacture has already invited food companies to register for consideration for next year's award.



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