Helping to protect the environment of our beautiful county
By Lucy Atherton, News Editor.
Originally formed in 2014 to support the Hinkley build, Somerset Larder has now expanded into supplying other local businesses. The heart of our philosophy is to benefit the community we’re based in, so a large part of this is to use sustainable business practices. We employ more than 300 people and the food we supply is almost entirely locally sourced.
In addition to keeping food miles as low as possible by prioritising local suppliers, all packaging is eco friendly and biodegradable. Somerset Larder is very committed to reducing plastic waste, working closely with local environmental groups to achieve this. More than 75% of our plastic free packaging and disposable cups are made from plant based materials, which biodegrade within 12 weeks. In addition, 95% of packaging comes from sustainable sources, with little or no use of single use plastic. Deliveries to site are made using sustainable cardboard, which can be disinfected and reused.
Other sustainable practices include:
● All food waste is taken to an anaerobic digester, providing power back into the National Grid.
● Waste cooking oil is refined and used as vehicle fuel.
● All ingredients are sourced from within the south west of England, where possible.
● 85% of our meat is from Somerset.
● Our grocery suppliers employ more than 700 people from the south west.
● Dairy produce is entirely sourced from Somerset.
● Fruit and veg comes from the south west region, dictated seasonally.
● All fish is MSC certified and eggs are free range.
In 2018 Somerset Larder identified using Vegware as a way of diverting plastic packaging and single use cups and sip lids from landfill – by moving products to recyclable, biodegradable and compostable alternatives. All takeaway options now use this product and we estimate that since starting this initiative we have diverted more than 1m items from landfill. The next project will involve reusable cups across HPC and campuses.
Since August 2017, Somerset Larder has collected 6,324 bins of food waste from Hinkley Point C, which equates to an estimated weight of 19.18 tonnes. This food waste was transferred to a local anaerobic digester and then turned into electricity, which is pumped into the National Grid.
Waste collections have increased as the business has grown, with the incorporation of both Hinkley and Sedgemoor Campuses into the Somerset Larder team in November 2020. Our carbon footprint is limited by using the local anaerobic digester and we are currently looking at other ways to reduce these volumes and help save the environment, working towards a net zero impact.
The graph below shows the breakdown of collections over the past five years.