Wrexham-based Village Bakery has been presented with an environmental and social sustainability award by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW).
The award was given in recognition of the business’ work in transforming an industrial estate into a haven for wildlife. Village Bakery has created three new wildlife meadows on its land on Wrexham Industrial Estate, which are helping to save the endangered Grizzled Skipper butterfly and a bee population threatened by a loss of habitat.
The bakery also plans to create a nature reserve in six acres of woodland adjoining the bakery, which features broad leaf trees such as oak, ash and willow and is home to tawny owls and greater crested newts.
In other sustainability news, the Village Bakery, which has two bakeries on the Wrexham industrial estate and another in Minera, has slashed the use of electricity by 18% by installing more than 1.000 rooftop solar panels. As a result, in summer the bakery is able to run just on solar energy during the majority of daylight hours.
CPRW vice-chair Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald said: “The Village Bakery deserves this award for the genuine concern it shows the environment. This organisation respects the landscape that it’s in and actually does something to support it.
"If more people could see companies doing this sort of thing, then it would make the country itself more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses and would make the local population more welcoming to industries that have the sensitivity of mind to look after the landscape they are in.”
Ashley Dawson, business and sustainability executive at the Village Bakery, said: “It has been a lot of hard work in the past few years concentrating on sustainability. To be recognised by CPRW for our improvements is a great pat on the back for us.
“This award will spur us on in our quest to continue improving.”
Robin Jones, Village Bakery managing director, added: “It’s a fantastic accolade. The CPRW were very thorough when they came to judge us and looked at the whole of the business from recycling to energy production and reduction.
"It’s in our DNA to work in conjunction with the environment and it’s all credit to my dad Alan, the company chairman, because he has worked this way from day one.”
In September, Village Bakery announced a £500k investment in a wheat-free bakery.