A production line of Mr Kipling pies (Premier Foods)  2100x1400

Source: Premier Foods

Premier Foods is making progress on its 2030 carbon targets having gained approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The manufacturer said the recognition followed a rigorous validation process by the SBTi – an independent organisation that defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net zero targets – and means it has some of the ’most ambitious targets’ for reducing emissions amongst UK businesses.

Specific goals have been set by Premier Foods to reduce emissions from its own operations and that of its suppliers by 2030 against a 2021 baseline. The goals fall under product, planet, and people categories and were outlined in the firm’s ‘Enriching Life Plan’ ESG strategy, which was launched 18 months ago.

The firm noted the SBTi had recognised these goals were in line with international efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, based on extensive mapping of greenhouse gas emissions for its operations and supply chain.

Progress has been made since the strategy’s unveiling, added Premier Foods, highlighting a 10% reduction of net market-based scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

Other achievements from the past financial year include:

  • Launched or reformulated 207 products which support high nutritional standards and 172 products which offer an additional health and/or nutrition benefit, including the Mr Kipling Deliciously Good range of cakes and fruit pies
  • Increased sales value of products meeting high nutritional standards by 17% and plant-based products by 34%
  • Increased the range of cooking sauces that offer one of people’s five a day and enhanced fibre levels where possible
  • 96% of all finished goods packaging now recyclable
  • Scopes 1 and 2 carbon emissions down 10%
  • Food waste in own operations reduced by 11%, and ran consumer initiatives promoting a new five-year partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time,” said Premier Foods’ ESG director Nick Brown. “Effective action with the potential to change the course of temperature trends across the globe is only possible with rigorous scrutiny and measurement, which is why we wanted to work with the SBTi to get our own targets validated.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into analysing our greenhouse gas emissions and those of the firms we work with so it’s important that we know we’re on the right track, with targets which are meaningful and will contribute to worldwide efforts. This validation gives us an important platform from which to take the next steps of our journey towards net zero.”

Premier Foods’ sweet division recently reported its own-label sales had increased by almost a third during the past financial year, more than making up for a slight drop in revenue of its bakery brands Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes. The business is also home to Sharwood’s, Batchelors, and Ambrosia brands.