Director of Origin Green, Bord Bia
Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme, operating on a national scale, is bringing together government, the private sector and the full supply chain from farmers to food producers.
Origin Green is the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme. It has enabled businesses across Ireland to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively.
Currently, the programme collaborates with over 300 leading Irish food and drink companies to prove and improve the sustainability of the food they produce to meet the evolving needs of customers and consumers globally. Our members have achieved significant milestones across the supply chain, and account for 90% of our food and drink exports. Manufacturing members have set a total of 2,779 sustainability targets and established 13,600 initiatives between the years 2012 – 2021.
In addition to supporting our members in measuring and monitoring sustainability performance across the supply chain, we have continually introduced new services and resources to support manufacturing members in driving further improvements to drive down emissions from the sector.
We have continually introduced new services and resources to support manufacturing members in driving further improvements to drive down emissions from the sector.
Recognising sustainability performance
As part of this programme evolution, in 2020, we introduced a new Gold Membership, recognising members who are performing at a high level or excelling in their sustainability performance. The number of Gold Members increased by almost 100% in 2021, with 51 companies announced this year. To attain Origin Green Gold Membership, a company must demonstrate exceptional annual performance in areas such as raw material sourcing; water and energy efficiency; waste reduction; packaging; and social sustainability.
Pathways to net zero
In March 2021, Bord Bia published Pathways to Net Zero, highlighting new procedures and guidelines that put carbon emission targets on a mandatory footing for food and drink manufacturers as the sector seeks to accelerate its contribution to the programme for Government’s aim of carbon neutrality by 2050. This marked a significant shift for the programme and will see member companies go beyond reductions of energy-related emissions, to include a more comprehensive assessment of their entire carbon footprint, including value chain emissions which incorporates indirect emissions associated with food manufacturing. Looking to the future, we will continue to demonstrate leadership in food sustainability, providing the food and drink sector in Ireland with the knowledge and guidance to embed sustainability into their businesses, helping to bring a competitive advantage to the Irish food and drink industry and forging a reputation for innovative leadership internationally.