Celebrity chef Paul Rankin opened the national event, which was designed to help businesses in the food, drink, hotel and catering sectors improve their environmental
performance and boost profits. Organised by Envirowise, the Food Environmental Efficiency Day (FEED) welcomed businesses from across the country all wanting to identify ways of becoming more resource efficient and competitive.
The Environment Agency, the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme, the Food Processing Faraday Partnership and the Carbon Trust gave presentations, and Defra
also delivered a keynote speech on their forthcoming Food Industry Sustainability Strategy, with a particular focus on the food processing industry. Envirowise highlighted money saving opportunities such as the Big Splash programme and WaterTechnology List.
In addition, delegates benefited from interactive workshops on topics ranging from packaging and energy efficiency to environmental management systems. Businesses
were also able to access confidential, one-to-one advice with an Envirowise
advisor by visiting drop-in clinics available throughout the day.
Clare Campbell, Envirowise�s Food and Drink account manager, said: "The food, drink, hotel and catering sectors face increasing pressure to reduce their environmental impact, from legislation, stakeholders and customers. FEED provided an excellent opportunity for businesses in these sectors to find out how to improve their environmental performance."
Pete Moores, regional manager for the Food Processing Faraday Partnership who were involved on the day, added: "We are pleased to be working with Envirowise to help raise the profile of the cost savings businesses in these sectors can achieve through increased Resource Efficiency. The FEED event offered companies the chance to participate in workshops and seek advice on everything from reducing energy and water usage, to improving efficiency by investing in new technology."
Five of the UK�s biggest names in food and drink received recognition of their commitment to an Envirowise supply chain initiative, as part of FEED. Paul Rankin presented representatives from Waitrose, ASDA, Novotel, McDonald�s and Tate
& Lyle with certificates of achievement for their supply chain activity.
Having joined the Envirowise initiative in 2005, these host companies have each been working with their suppliers to reduce waste and use water, packaging, raw materials and energy more efficiently.
They have all have benefited from access to free support and advice from Envirowise including on-site resource efficiency reviews, targeted training workshops and an environmental impact assessment. Suppliers across the programme have already identified potential total cost savings of just over £500,000.
Nick Monger-Godfrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Waitrose, said: "We currently stock 18,000 product lines and rely strongly on long-term relationships with our 1500 suppliers to ensure food quality and availability. By signing-up to theEnvirowise supply chain initiative we hope to strengthen these relationships and encourage selected suppliers to work together with us to maintain good environmental practices all year round."
Tate & Lyle has also teamed up with Envirowise to help suppliers to its London sugar refinery improve their environmental performance. Michael Grier, corporate social responsibility manager at Tate & Lyle, said: "Good environmental management is integral to the overall management of our business and we are committed to this in all our operations.
"Through our partnership with Envirowise we want to give our suppliers the opportunity to minimise their own environmental footprint and achieve long-term gains in profitability through cost savings."
Research in the UK retail sector by Envirowise has revealed that many companies are failing to develop effective supply chain relationships. It found that, while most retailers and wholesalers (91 per cent) are in weekly contact with the supply chain, and see the value of effective supply chain management (94 per cent), few are putting in place the collaborative programmes and processes that can underpin competitiveness and business agility, particularly during tough economic times.
Dr Martin Gibson, Envirowise programme director, said: "We are delighted that these five businesses have been recognised for their commitment to our supply chain
initiative. Both host companies and suppliers can achieve significant cost savings and improved customer relationships from sharing best practice and working together to
reduce their environmental impact. Our experience has shown that by putting into place simple, low cost measures, improved resource efficiency can save a business up to one per cent of turnover."
Envirowise delivers a valuable programme of confidential advice to UK usinesses.This advice enables businesses to improve profitability and reduce environmental impact.Independent, practical and proven guidance is available through a helpline, informationresources and on site visits delivered by a national team of expert advisors. Each solution is driven by the specific needs of individual firms, to genuinely improve their business practices, profitability and competitiveness. Since 1994, Envirowise has helped UK industry save £1.3 billion.The Envirowise programme is available to any UK business, completely free of charge.
For more information visit www.envirowise.gov.uk
or call 0800 585 794