By S OGDEN 26 Sep, 2017

Each year, food manufacturers and processors produce millions of tonnes of food waste – most of which is avoidable or reusable under alternative circumstances. And while much noise has been made over the last few years in regards to curbing food waste, there’s still a lot to be done. According to a report from the Food Waste Alliance, it is estimated that 30% of all food grown worldwide may be lost or wasted. And because of the growing population, global food production will need to increase by 60% by 2050. That means, at this current rate, food waste will increase. While the vast majority of food waste is recycled, donated, or reused by major manufacturers, it would be much more efficient if manufacturers and processors learned how to reduce waste in the first place. This would mitigate the industry’s impact on food sources and improve sustainability at multiple levels of the supply chain.

Food manufacturers play a major role in reversing the food waste trend. This can be done both through influencing supplier and end consumer behaviours, as well as through direct and tangible action. So, how can food manufacturers make a difference and what can help curb this increasing trend.

1. Improve packaging - simply reducing packaging is not always preferable because as packaging is reduced and/or compromised, the likelihood of food spoilage arising increases. Eventually a point is reached at which the negative environmental impact of food wastage outweighs the environmental benefits of using less packaging material. Thus, improvements should include providing clearer expiration date labels, offering better cooking/freezing/thawing instructions and making it easier to dispense food without compromising the remaining unused food in the packaging.

2. Provide better consumer education - food manufacturers should explain about the problem of food waste and provide practical tips for customers looking to reduce their individual impact. This includes controlling portions, learning to properly preserve leftovers and other practical suggestions.

3. Improve the accuracy of forecasting - Many manufacturers unnecessarily waste raw ingredients because of inaccurate forecasting. They assume they need to produce a certain number of products and, therefore, order enough raw ingredients to fulfil these needs. But when they wind up needing less, perishable goods go to waste. With better and more accurate forecasting models, food manufacturers can spend less time guessing and more time maximizing the ingredients they already have.

4. Be strategic with portion sizes - One of the easiest ways to reduce food waste is to curb portion size. Offering customers differing packaged portions is a great way of reducing unnecessary food wastage and also a good way of satisfying varying customer needs.

5. Adopt ERP software - Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organisation to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. If a business does not have an ERP solution in place, then its highly likely they are wasting thousands of pounds worth of food without even realising it. With an ERP system, a business can track and analyse shelf life, avoid overstocking, create accurate inventory orders and avoid cross contamination and everything in between.

Food waste does not make good business or environmental sense. In fact, for each tonne of food wasted, WRAP estimate that the true life-cycle cost is £2,800 when you take into account the cost of manufacture, supply, preparation, cooking, service and ultimate disposal is taken into account!

By S OGDEN 14 Aug, 2017
Green Gain provides support to a wide range of businesses to help them to reduce their environmental impacts. We are often asked by businesses we assist whether it is worth investing to carbon footprint their products and/or services.
We thought it would be helpful to provide some insights into carbon footprinting products, to help organisations make informed decisions about pursuing this approach.
  • A carbon footprint measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a product. This carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) allows the different greenhouse gases to be compared on a like-for-like basis relative to one unit of CO2.
  • Carbon footprinting provides information about the impacts and emissions generated across the whole life of a product or service, from the extraction of raw materials and manufacturing right through to its use and final reuse. By breaking down the scales of these impacts across the various production stages, the business then has the knowledge available to prioritise and target further impact reduction. 
  • Products are significant when thinking about the overall impact of an organisation. The vast majority of an organisation’s carbon footprint is typically down to embedded impact or the use phase of the products and packaging that they produce. This impact is determined by the design of the product and packaging. It can account for over 95% of a company’s impacts, yet traditional carbon footprinting tends to focus on site-based impacts. 
  • Customer requirements for lower carbon products are now driving impact reduction across product supply chains. Customers are increasingly seeking independent verification to evidence this reduction in impact. We have found many of our clients driven to explore footprinting when faced with requests for this information in both public and private sector procurement specifications. 
  • As well as being driven by supply chain pressures, carbon footprinting can add value to brand ethos. It is a way to differentiate your products from the competition. 
  • When it comes to carbon footprinting products, Green Gain works closely with our associates, ECO3, who specialise in carbon footprinting products and packaging. Specialist tools have been developed to support this process. The findings enable us to develop measures that then feedback to inform the design process. This approach provides a quantum leap in carbon reduction rather than incremental reduction.
  • Packaging is a significant aspect of most products and our partners at ECO3 have developed a simple to use design and environmental assessment tool for packaging. This compares the environmental impact of different packaging options taking into account carbon footprint, weight, recyclability, recycled content, volumetric efficiency, transit impacts and product/packaging ratio.
  • By working with businesses at the design phase, our ECO3 and Green Gain have managed to save customers millions of pounds and ensure that both their products and packaging are fit for purpose. 
  • For manufacturing SMEs currently operating in Wales, Green Gain is able to offer free consultancy support to increase recycled content in products and packaging – thanks to funding support from WRAP Cymru.
Next steps
For a free consultation to discuss carbon footprinting a product or service, or reviewing product/packaging design please contact Steven Ogden on:
T: 01274 238272 / 07519428475
By S OGDEN 17 Jul, 2017

What is MarketGain™?

This is a low cost, high-value way of marketing and promoting your low-carbon products and services, reaching a market of over 20,000 companies across the UK. From energy efficient lighting, to waste and recycling collections, it is the only online marketing package dedicated to low-carbon products and services.

MarketGain™ will provide you with a monthly digital media campaign run through our own online media portal to promote your proposition to over 20,000 relevant company contacts across a range of (tailored / geographic) sectors including, but not restricted to, the public sector, manufacturing, hospitality, and construction. This campaign will be supplemented by a weekly Twitter feed and Linked-In ‘Product Push’ to over 500 interactive stakeholders from the environment sector to help raise your profile within the market-place.

Our database of over 20,000 contacts is made up primarily of our own contacts and contacts through a professional valued sales-lead expert who achieve an average of 90% accuracy on company details and 80% accuracy on contacts. Our contacts are in senior decision-making roles: Business Directors, Managing Directors and Financial Directors and are updated on a monthly basis. Our analytics will provide you with an overall success rate of the campaign including an ‘open’ and ‘click’ rate (compared with industry averages) and ‘bounces’; with all direct enquires being sent to you directly on receipt, so that you can act promptly to real-time sales leads.

“Green Gain has helped promote and develop sales leads across the UK for a micro-CHP unit we are looking to install in, largely, public sector organisations. Through their support we have successfully developed a sales pipeline that has blossomed into real commercial opportunities”.

Jon Cape, Managing Director, iPower Ltd

The benefits

·      Low-cost market exposure for your low-carbon product or service

·      Access to over 20,000 relevant leads via a trusted environment sector brand

·      Real-time sales lead generation

·      No duplication of competing product listings

·      High quality campaign designs

·      No need for costly referral arrangements

·      Dedicated team with over 35 years’ experience in the green economy.

Next steps

For a free consultation to discuss your low-carbon product or service promotional needs, then please contact Ashley Robb on:

T: 01274 238272 / 07786 248220


By S OGDEN 22 Jun, 2017
If you want to lower your energy usage, reduce your water and waste costs and minimise your impact on the environment, then the Resource Efficiency Fund could help. The fund provides financial support and advice for SMEs looking to become more resource efficient in the way they do business.
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