Bernard Matthews plans future of environmental sustainability

The UK’s largest turkey producer has launched a series of green energy initiatives as part of its ‘The Big Green Plan’.

The plan aims to see Bernard Matthews’ energy needs become entirely self-sufficient, using only renewable green electricity, by the end of 2016.

In addition, Bernard Matthews claims that by 2020 it will be 100% carbon-neutral, send no waste to landfill, reduce its carbon emissions by 35%, reduce its packaging weight by 25% and reduce its water usage by 20%.

Rob Burnett, Bernard Matthews chief executive officer, acknowledged the ambitious nature of the plan, but emphasised its necessity for the turkey producer’s long-term success.

“It will require everyone in the business to work together to achieve these tough targets,” he said. “But for the business to remain sustainable in the future we need to ensure we become more efficient in the way we use energy.

Chris Baines, a spokesperson for Bernard Matthews, explained how the firm is looking to achieve its goals: “£100m of investment comes from green energy investors such as Equitix, Temprois, Belectric and Conergy,” he said.

Baines emphasised that the target of green energy self-sufficiency wouldn’t be obtained through a focus on one particular source. He said: “There is no overriding renewable energy source that is generating the majority of the electricity to make the business 100% self-sufficient – it’s coming from a number of sources.”

Bernard Matthews has used the investment to develop a number of energy projects. This has included nine large-scale wind turbines, a 55-acre solar farm and a £4.2m anaerobic digestion plant.

There are also plans to distribute surplus gas produced via anaerobic digestion to the national grid for domestic use.

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