Going the extra mile

10 August, 2007
Foodservice supplier Brakes has launched a raft of initiatives to boost its social responsibility profile. Lauren Welch reports
Page 26 
Foodservice supplier Brakes is increasing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity with a set of environmental and social programmes.
Brakes, which is a leading supplier to caterers and food-to-go outlets in the UK and France, has launched a new brochure and web-based CSR area to highlight the importance of the community and environment to its business.Its brochure, 'Our Environ­ment & Social Responsibility', focuses on topics including energy consumption, fuel usage, recycling, ethical trading, sustainability and traceability.Frank McKay, group chief executive of Brakes, says: "It is important to demonstrate the responsible manner in which we go about daily business. We have developed this brochure and web-based site to give those who wish to know about our business a greater insight into how we do things."The brochure states that Brakes will begin by becoming a much more conscious energy user. Brakes claims that in 2006, energy consumption was reduced by one million kWh through a combination of campaigns, staff training and operational changes. By November 2007, Brakes estimates that 95% of the company's energy will be provided via renewable sources.These resources will include using biodiesel, a sustainable fuel made from plants, in deli­very vehicles to reduce green­house gas emissions. Brakes has also introduced minimum-order drops, avoidance of congestion routes and double-decker vehicles that can carry bigger loads, thus reducing fuel consumption. By recyling and reducing packaging on products and by re-using water in a circulation system for washing vehicles, Brakes hopes to to achieve ISO14001 accreditation - an internationally recognised standard for environmental performance. The accreditation is awarded to companies that comply with current leglislation regarding the environment. To achieve this goal, Brakes is working with the Carbon Trust and with its own staff to meet targets and improve environmental awareness.The brochure out­lines ethical trading as an important factor in achieving environmental and social responsibility. Ethical trading standards put forward by Brakes are being used to maintain relationships within the organisation and with suppliers. Brakes is also encouraging suppliers to operate in a way that minimises impact on the environment by using Fairtrade-branded products.In another attempt to boost social responsibility, Brakes has also asked suppliers to redeve­lop its own-brand products to contain less fat, sugar and salt and no hydrogenated oils.



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