Published online: Nov 03, 2011 Seed Potatoes, Potato Equipment
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Potato supplier Branston has scooped a top retail award naming them as the 2011 Tesco supplier with the best technology innovation to reduce carbon. Tesco congratulated Branston for effectively innovating throughout its production processes and investing in technology to reduce carbon emissions.

Vidyanath Gururajan, Branston's projects director said, "We're delighted to have won the Carbon Reduction Technology award as part of Tesco's `Greening the Supply Chain' initiative.

The awards were open to the entire supply chain, so we feel very proud that Tesco has acknowledged our achievements. This award is particularly important to us, because its recognition from a retailer which sets extremely high environmental standards for both itself and its suppliers.

"Over the past few years we've investigated a wide range of green initiatives and it's only after careful analysis that we've invested in the best of this technology-innovations that really work for us. All our major Capital Expenditure projects have sustainability built into the brief-from a long-term environmental and a financial perspective."

Branston has completed a number of projects which have helped it to reduce resource use. A key achievement is the purpose-built prepared foods factory, which is aligned with Branston's philosophy of low carbon equals low cost. Energy efficiency was an integral part of the design brief. The prepared foods factory was designed to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. The factory recycles warm air from chillers and utilises waste pallets and broken potato boxes in a biomass boiler.

Food waste from the factory and outgrade potatoes from the fresh potato factory are used in a new Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant, which produces a steady 400kW of electricity. Branston invested £2 million in the AD plant and it has enabled them to reduce electricity use by 40 per cent at the Lincoln site.

The company also invested in innovative water recycling technology, which is fully integrated with the AD plant at the Lincoln site. This enables them to recycle water used for washing potatoes and the water extracted in the anaerobic digestion process. It has reduced main water consumption by 60 percent at the site. They were so impressed that they have invested a further £1 million in a similar water recycling facility at the South West site.

Vidyanath added, "At Branston we see low carbon as low cost. The money we have spent on taking this new low-carbon approach is ensuring our long term sustainability as a local employer and market leader.

"Tesco has not only recognised the work we are doing at Branston, but it is also backing our principles that investing in carbon reduction technology is the right thing to do in business."

Vidyanath collected the `Greening our supply chain' award from Peter Cattell, Category Director, at the recent Tesco Carbon Reduction Knowledge Hub dinner.

The Tesco Greening our supply chain awards 2011 was launched through the retailer's online Knowledge Hub which is a forum for all its suppliers. The Knowledge Hub was launched at the beginning of the year and has over 400 members from 160 different organisations. Through the hub, suppliers share their experiences on carbon reduction and wider sustainability challenges. Tesco encourages their suppliers to talk to each other so they can work out better ways to be green whilst still being competitive.

SOURCE: Branston News