How we help to take care of the Earth
Organic agriculture maintains and increases soil fertility and guarantees the long-term productiveness of the land using techniques such as crop rotation to prevent the depletion of the soil; planting crops that add nutrients to the soil and prevent weeds; using insects to prey on pests so that there is no need for chemical insecticides and adding composted manure to the soil to keep it nutrient-rich. Nitrogen fertilizer, one of the worst offenders in terms of greenhouse gasses caused by the food and farming sector, is not permitted under organic rules. Organic farming also promotes wildlife and biodiversity.
Because we believe so fundamentally in this system of agriculture, we encourage farmers to convert to organic production – and we ensure that they receive a fair price for their milk. Organic farmers in Ireland receive the highest premium in Ireland for their milk from Glenisk. In addition to promoting organic agriculture, Glenisk has taken a number of steps to lessen our environmental impact. Our new plant, built in 2007, was developed with a focus on using sustainable materials in the build. The plant is powered by Airtricity and last year, we installed our own wind turbine. We use water waste efficiencies through our reed beds, our vehicles run on biofuel and we operate a strict recycling policy. In 2008, we achieved an internal recycling rate of 97%, a 45% reduction in waste going to landfill and a 12% reduction in use of plastic packaging, all of which helped to garner us the Repak Award for Outstanding Practice. In the same year, we were awarded Green Product of the Year. And in 2009, we were proud to receive the Environmental Enrichment Award at the Bord Bia Food & Drinks Industry Awards.In 2011 we became the proud owners of an Electric Vehicle, used for our events and store visits around Dublin.
Our paper yogurt pots are sourced from sustainably managed forests, while our sleeves come from sources approved by the Forest Stewardship Council; and we continue to seek out the most environmentally friendly options for our packaging.
All of the fruit we use is certified organic and our bananas are certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
In 2009, we commenced a major project internally designed to measure not only our carbon footprint, but that of each of the farms we work with. We have appointed a dedicated project manager internally and have contracted independent auditors to review the farms. For our own plant, we are using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, developed by the World Business for Sustainable Development & The World Resource Centre. We will use the information gathered to benchmark and develop a carbon footprint reduction plan.
We are also committed to supporting NGOs and charities with an environmental cause. We are partners with The Organic Centre, Co Leitrim; GM Free Ireland Network and with Cultivate, the sustainable living and learning centre. We support these organisations through a variety of means including donations, fund-raising, and generating awareness for their work through our packaging and on our website.