Sustainable Dairy Products
Dansko Foods “An Irish dairying business” as it says in our tag-line, our global dairy trade and value-add business predominantly revolves around Irish dairy raw materials which are grass-fed sourced. We continue to have the responsibility for supporting the world’s most sustainably produced cheese, butter, and cream to our customers.
We believe it is important in our journey towards our future business growth to sell, buy, trade, and process our products sustainably. The Climate Action Plan21 and EU’s climate action targets legislatively enforce us to measure, manage, and communicate our sustainability performance. Origin green 5-year plans have been an effective tool for our business, to review our brand responsibilities and to achieve and report our targets.
New Sustainable Production Facilities
Our next big project is to build and move to a new production facility -D2 in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. The project encompasses changes in our operating model to increase product volume by expanding our product lines in our value-add business. The new project presents additional challenges for sustainability, as our overall resource consumption will increase, increasing our carbon footprint.
At present, the project is in the design phase which sets our baseline requirements. To overcome the challenges, we plan to collaborate with Enterprise Ireland (EI) and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland(SEAI) to explore EI’s Green Offer and SEAI’s EXEED scheme for resource efficiency investments, water stewardship system, sustainable waste management system, smart lighting system, refrigeration energy solutions and green energy systems to reduce our carbon footprint.
Assessing and measuring resource efficiency
The first step in our vision is to scope our current carbon footprint and structure a sustainable culture in every strand of our business. As a first milestone we have successfully completed our Resource Efficiency Assessment through EI’s Climate Action Voucher collaborating with an energy solutions consultancy based in Charleville, Co. Cork.
The resource efficiency assessment points out existing gaps in our efficiencies and suggests energy efficiency opportunities like smart metering systems, refrigeration room destratification fans, efficient lighting systems as major opportunities in reducing carbon footprint. We will continue to work with EI on the templated green offer schemes to implement and counter the assessed gaps.
Sustainability- a key ingredient for the food and dairy industry
We share the common sustainability problem within the food industry to recycle food contact plastic packaging material. These are non-recyclable materials and there is currently a lack in available alternatives, that suffice the food safety regulations to preserve the quality of the product. We already have initiatives in place to reduce cardboard waste.
We are also working closely with Origin Green to set targets around emissions, packaging, Waste management, employee wellbeing, Community engagement and water stewardship as a five-year plan.
Our Directors David O’Neill (CEO), Suzanne O’Neill (Financial Director), and our management team are keen in leading a sustainable business by engaging with all levels of employees on upskilling where necessary and enforce the importance of reducing our carbon footprint.
Sustainability is a global concern, and the food industry will play a key role in how we reduce harmful carbon and methane gas emissions. Our upcoming sustainability projects will not only reduce our carbon footprint but will also promote sustainability across every aspect of our business from people to products and processes and to protect the future growth of our business. Indeed, sustainability has long been one of Dansko Food’s core values.
Madan Vijay, Quality Assurance Associate.