Wind and wood: secret ingredients for sustainable food

Sensemaking / Wind and wood: secret ingredients for sustainable food

Scottish food manufacturer Macphie is looking bullish in the face of a volatile energy market. 

25 Jun 2012

Scottish food manufacturer Macphie is looking bullish in the face of a volatile energy market. 

The Glenbervie Estate in north east Scotland has been cared for by the Macphie family for over 700 years. The grounds are looked after meticulously and passionately, from the Victorian walled garden which houses a wide variety of plant species, to the quarter of a million trees planted on the estate over the last four decades.

But it’s no ancestral pile preserved in aspic. It’s also home to family firm Macphie of Glenbervie, the UK’s leading independent food ingredient manufacturer. In keeping with the family’s commitment to safeguarding the heritage around Glenbervie, Macphie has recently made a number of environmental investments in its factory. In 2008, the company installed a biomass steam boiler to produce steam for their UHT factory. It runs on woodchips sourced sustainably from nearby woodlands, and saves around 2,100 tonnes of CO2 annually. Soon, it will be complemented by two wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.3MW – saving an additional 8,200 tonnes of emissions. All this will put Macphie on track to meet the target of getting all its electricity and steam from renewable sources by 2013.

The other significant target is to send no waste to landfill by 2015. That’s a big ask, but some relatively simple ideas, such as the introduction of reusable transit packaging, means that 17% of waste has already disappeared from the supply chain.

So can this all be achieved without compromising business aims? Absolutely, says executive director Alastair Macphie. The company has some “very ambitious growth plans”, and these green measures help protect it from the unsettling impacts of a volatile energy market, while also ensuring that resources are used as efficiently as possible. Solid sustainability policies are vital for business success, he says, “which is why robust environmental management standards are embedded into our strategy.” – Sarah Lewis-Hammond

Photos: The Macphie Glenverbie Estate; The Macphie Biomass Plant The Macphie Biomass Plant; The Macphie Biomass Plant; 

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

Please register or log in to comment.

Suggested