We are working towards the reduction of our environmental impact; the central objective being to have the lowest carbon footprint of any fresh produce business in the UK. We plan to achieve this through:
- Building a new carbon efficient packing facility
- The use of our own range of biofuels
- Utilising cutting edge environmental technology
- Reduce, recycle and utilise waste
Minimising food miles by planning collection and deliveries
Being located in one county means we create less food miles between harvest and production compared with many other fresh produce suppliers. Collections and deliveries are planned to reduce food miles between the 8 farms. We feel this is essential for the environment and it’s a benefit that our clients can pass on to their customers.
New environmental packing facilities
Sherwood are currently working on a planning application to build a 60,000 sq/ft production facility on a member’s farm just 5 miles north of the current location. The main drivers behind this are;
- The need for greater capacity than is available at the current site
- A desire to build a facility that is carbon neutral in as far as technology allows
- A more cost efficient business with improved facilities and systems
- More central to the groups land area to reduce food miles within the membership
Probably the most challenging and interesting area is the carbon saving opportunities. The building will be designed to minimize environmental impact in the following ways:
- Minimal electricity use from our own green sources [see below].
- Insulate to the optimum point
- Reduce the use of concrete to the minimum
- As far as possible the use of natural light
- Our water supply will come direct from our own borehole. When the water comes out of the ground it will be cold which will air condition the space and assist in the chilling the coldstores.
- Waste heat from the generator producing the electricity for the site will also be used via absorption chillers to refrigerate the coldstores;
- Overnight, when energy demand will be at its lowest, we will sell green power back to the national grid.
- Water used on site will be recycled as far as possible, and only when it is no longer usable, will it be returned to ground water having been cleaned up through a mechanical and biological [reed bed] system.
Whilst the business waits to build the new site, we have switched the power supply to the existing site from mains electricity to a generator running on Pure Plant Oil. This offers a 70% saving in carbon when compared to grid electricity.