Pilgrim’s UK is set to invest over £10million into sustainability projects over the next twelve months.
The latest round of funding will support the roll-out of a series of process innovations and operational improvements, to help the business on its net zero roadmap.
Upgrades include completing the transition to LED lighting across all of its sites, and switching out equipment with more energy efficient alternatives, such as replacing gas boilers with heat pumps and optimising refrigeration systems. The business already has local solar and wind projects at many of its sites and is now expanding these to the remainder of its manufacturing plants across the country – all of which will help to reduce carbon emissions by 11,000 tonnes annually.
This investment forms part of Pilgrim’s UK’s roadmap to becoming a net zero business by 2030, a target that sees Pilgrim’s UK going further and faster than any other major company in its sector and puts the business 10 years ahead of the NFU’s industry-wide goal. The move is part of its core strategy to support its customers in achieving their own sustainability ambitions as the business targets net zero in its supply chain by 2035.
Pilgrim’s UK has pledged to significantly reduce its scope three emissions and will continue to use 100% renewable electricity across its manufacturing sites. It has also committed to using fully verified, zero-deforestation sustainable soya by 2025. Thanks to its efforts to date, its sustainable farming practices – combined with diet reformulation R&D for its pigs – have contributed to an average on farm footprint of just 2.53kg CO2e/kgLW – half the industry average level of emissions in the pig production processes in the UK.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Pilgrim’s UK’s parent company, became the first global meal and poultry company to offer a sustainability-linked bond last year as part of its Net Zero 2040 commitment. The latest investment also forms part of the wider $1bn investment by its global operations.
Morten Knudsen, Chief Financial Officer at Pilgrim’s UK, said: “The sector has grappled with significant challenges over the past few years, which we continue to help our farmer network and supply chain partners to navigate. But our unwavering commitment to our sustainability roadmap remains at the heart of our business. We recognise as one of the leading farming and food businesses here in the UK, we have a responsibility to be trailblazers in this space, supporting our global ambitions.”
“We want to accelerate our progress, working with the entire value chain, so that we can continue to go further and faster to becoming a net zero business and that means investing in vital sustainability projects like these to help us get there.”