The Compleat Food Group - Unearthed selection

Source: The Compleat Food Group

A selection of Unearthed products on a grazing platter

Bakery supplier The Compleat Food Group has announced that its targets towards achieving net zero by 2040 have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Near-term targets approved by the SBTi include a commitment to halving the amount of absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 2030. The manufacturer also aims to reduce scope 3 emissions from its wider supply chain by 50% within the same timeframe.

Compleat, which owns a portfolio of associated brands including Wall’s Pastry, Pork Farms, Wrights, Squeaky Bean, and Unearthed, noted the targets will help reduce its emissions to the level required to keep global warming to 1.5 oC, the most ambitious goal set by the Paris Agreement.

It also called the SBTi validation a key milestone for its ESG strategy. Several priorities have been set out to achieve further sustainability goals, including havlving its food waste by 2030 as part of the Courtauld 2030 commitment and reducing packaging consumption across the value chain every year.

A target year of 2025 has been set to ensure 100% of its packaging is recyclable or reusable, in line with the Wrap UK Plastics Pact. Compleat said it was also supporting its suppliers to shift to nature positive, high welfare methods of production, with 100% traceability and zero deforestation.

The company’s first sustainability report is due to be published in May 2024, reporting on the actions taken against these goals as well as wider targets around social value and governance.

“It has never been more important to take rapid and decisive action in the face of global temperature rises, which is why we have put in place ambitious targets to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 2040,” said David Moore, who was appointed head of ESG at The Compleat Food Group last year.

“As one of the UK’s leading food groups, we know our responsibility goes beyond producing great food, and that we can have a central role in meeting the environmental and social challenges facing our planet. That’s why we are taking bold action, both through our climate targets and a commitment to social value, to transform our operations and deliver a better, fairer future for all,” he added.

Moore admitted that the business was just at the start of a long journey towards net zero, and doesn’t yet have all the answers. However, he assured it was “absolutely committed” to its targets and ensuring it plays a leading role in creating a responsibly sourced, regenerative food system that delivers on its mission to create “Food to Feel Good”.

Sustainability targets and recent progress towards them have been announced by several bakery businesses throughout this year. Net zero by 2040 was the declared goal of bakery manufacturers Bakkhavor and Baker & Baker, while Premier Foods gained SBTi’s approval for its 2030 carbon targets.

Bakery ingredients supplier Edme confirmed it was looking to achieve net zero across operation by 2045, and both gluten-free giant Dr. Schär and ingredients producer Dawn Foods came out with their inaugural reports on sustainability and CSR.