United Biscuits (UB) reduced factory carbon emissions by 5% in 2009 by improving staff awareness, introducing energy-saving initiatives, such as closely monitoring when ovens were used, and switching to renewable energy.

The company said it has now cut factory carbon emissions by 28% since 1995 and is on course to meet its target of a 35% reduction by 2020. It has also reduced transport carbon emissions by 29% since 2005, and has set itself a tougher 40% target for 2012.


To help cut factory emissions, the company launched a sustainability roadshow at all of its sites, giving employees information on how they can save emissions. In logistics, the company now converts its waste vegetable oil to be used as biodiesel, which has lowered transport emissions by 1,400 tonnes, and has improved load efficiency for deliveries. Last year, all UB lorry drivers passed the NVQ II Driving Commercial Vehicles qualification, which included training on how to drive more economically.


In 2008, the company set itself a series of environmental targets, many of which have now been revised in light of the recent progress. Jeff van der Eems, UB’s chief operating officer, said: “After just two years working towards our environmental targets, we are already finding it necessary to raise the bar as we have achieved targets early.


"Our water target has been accomplished with 10 years to spare, our transport carbon emissions target has been comfortably exceeded with three years left, and we have merged our UK and Northern Europe carbon emissions target after the Northern Europe element was achieved at the beginning of 2009.”

UB owns and operates 15 manufacturing facilities, of which 11 are in the UK.