A less hungry haggis

Sensemaking / A less hungry haggis

What does an environmentally friendly haggis look like? Family firm Macsween has made it their mission to find out.

29 Jun 2012

What does an environmentally friendly haggis look like? Family firm Macsween has made it their mission to find out.

Is there such a thing as an environmentally-friendly haggis?

That’s not quite as absurd a question as it sounds. Haggis makers Macsween– a Scots family firm – have managed to cut the amount of energy and water needed to make 1lb of the fabled dish by 20% and 30% respectively. And they are on track to have zero waste going to landfill within the next year.

After an audit by the Energy Saving Trust, Macsween fitted their refrigeration units with heat recovery systems, put in sophisticated timers for lighting, heating and ventilation, and gave every employee training in how to use equipment as efficiently as possible.

Diverting 90% of waste from going to landfill earns them money, too. A local recycling company buys their plastic and cardboard, and a biodiesel processor pays to take away their waste fat. The final 10% is plastic that has been in contact with haggis ingredients, making it difficult to recycle, and after an 18 month search they still haven’t found a solution. However, director James Macsween says he is sure that by 2013 they will be a zero waste to landfill company.

He says sustainability is “very much part of what we are and how we work. It’s been a 10 year journey, learning and innovating along the way.” – Sarah Lewis-Hammond

What might the implications of this be? What related articles have you seen?

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