Best Environmental Management Practice Report published by European Commission

Learning from front runners - how food and beverage manufacturers are improving environmental performance.

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a report looking at Best Environmental Management Practice (BEMP) for the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Sector which provides detailed information from food & beverage market leaders to help organisations improve their environmental performance . Oakdene Hollins was pleased to be among those supplying sectoral expertise and the preparatory studies on which the report is based.

This report is a working tool for professionals seeking to improve the environmental performance of their organisation and who seek reliable and detailed information in order to do so. It outlines the practices currently used to determine environmental performance and uses detailed, real life examples of best practice to illustrate the way in which companies hone their strategies to maximise their effectiveness.

These BEMPs are proven and practical and have the potential to be adopted on a wide scale in the food and beverage manufacturing sector, and to result in exceptional environmental performance compared with current mainstream practices.

Peter Lee, Principal Consultant at Oakdene Hollins, who led our work for this report, said that there are many reasons for businesses to undertake a sustainability assessment. For example, pressure from customers and brand improvement, but given that many, if not most, environmental impacts (e.g. water, energy and raw material consumption, waste disposal) entail a financial cost, a key driver is to identify and reduce unnecessary costs. "This report draws on the work we do with many food and drink manufacturers to identify the hotspots in their supply chains which can yield the most effective environmental and financial performance."

The report presents best environmental management practices which are broadly applicable to all food and beverage manufacturers:

  • Carrying out an environmental assessment.
  • Sustainable supply chain management.
  • Cleaning operations.
  • Improvement of energy efficiency.
  • Use of renewable energies.
  • Optimisation of transport and distribution, refrigeration and freezing operations.
  • Avoidance of food waste.

Also, specific information for nine individual subsectors with a range of best environmental management practices that can be applied in each of them:

  • Processing of coffee.
  • Manufacture of: olive oil; soft drinks; beer; fruit juice; bread, biscuits and cakes; wine.
  • Production of meat and poultry meat products.
  • Cheese making operations.

The full report can be found on the JRC website.

Contact Peter Lee for additional information and insight into Best Environmental Management Practice for your business.

Simon Strick