In its new two-year-on update report on the company’s commitments for environmental sustainability, United Biscuits (UB), a leading manufacturer of biscuits and snacks, highlights that it has had to set itself new targets in some areas because progress has exceeded expectations.

Jeff van der Eems, UB’s chief operating officer, said: “After just two years working toward our environmental targets, we are already finding it necessary to raise the bar as we have achieved targets early. Our water target has been accomplished with 10 years to spare, our transport carbon emissions target has been comfortably exceeded with three years left and we have merged our United Kingdom and Northern Europe carbon emissions target after the Northern Europe element was achieved at the beginning of 2009.”

UB’s 2009 sustainability achievements include:

  • Water use has reduced by 28 percent since 2007, exceeding the target to reduce it by 25 percent by 2020 10 years early. UB has now set itself a 45 percent reduction target for 2020.
  • Transport carbon emissions have reduced by 29 percent since 2005, exceeding the 22 percent by 2012 target. A new target to reduce transport carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2012 has been set.
  • UB achieved a 5 percent reduction in factory carbon emissions in 2009, making the achievement to date 28 percent since 1995 against a target of 35 percent by 2020.
  • The target to achieve zero food waste to landfill by 2010 was achieved one year early.
  • A 44 percent reduction in non-food waste to landfill was achieved in 2009. The goal to send zero non-food waste to landfill by 2015 has now been brought forward to 2012.
  • Packaging has reduced by 13 percent since 2003, against a target of 20 percent by 2015.
  • UB is one of the first food manufacturers in Europe to source sustainable palm oil that is segregated throughout the supply chain. All UB products that contain palm oil will be made with certified sustainable palm oil from mid-2010. UB has also reduced the amount of palm oil used by 40 percent since 2005.

UB’s Achieving Sustainability 2009 Update report can be viewed at www.unitedbiscuits.com/sustainability.php. This sets out in detail UB’s performance against each of its sustainability commitments, the new targets that have been set, and gives case study examples of how UB is achieving its targets.

About United Biscuits
UB is the leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland. In the U.K., UB is the leading manufacturer and marketer of packaged nuts and the second largest manufacturer and marketer of snacks and crisps. In Ireland, UB is No. 2 in biscuits and No. 3 in snacks. UB manufactures and markets a wide range of products in the U.K. and continental Western Europe that are household names in their respective markets. Branded products accounted for approaching 90 percent of sales in 2009. Among UB’s popular brand names are McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Hula Hoops, Skips, Mini Cheddars, McCoy’s, Phileas Fogg and KP Nuts in the U.K. and BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe. UB owns and operates 15 manufacturing facilities, of which 11 are in the UK. UB employs more than 8,500 people, including 7,000 work in the U.K.