NI meat processor cuts carbon in government initiative

Linden Foods has invested £1 million in reducing its carbon footprint
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Northern Irish fresh meat processor Linden Foods has radically reduced its carbon footprint, following a £1m investment. 

The move was part of a Prosperity Agreement in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), which also saw construction of the Linergy energy plant beside Linden Foods’s factory. Linergy is a renewable energy company which develops renewable fuels from organic waste.

Prosperity Agreements are arrangements that allow the NIEA and organisations to explore opportunities to reduce negative environmental impacts. It was signed by Linden in August 2014 to demonstrate its commitment to improving its environmental performance.

“When we signed up to the Prosperity Agreement 12 months ago we reinforced our commitment to sustainability and to working diligently to reduce the impact of our operations,” explained Gerry Maguire, managing director of Linden Foods.

As part of the deal, Linden Foods has agreed to:
• Reduce its carbon emissions by 25%.
• Reduce its energy and water use, as well as minimising general waste.
• Work to improve on-farm sustainability and the complete products.
• Create a local stakeholder forum where key issues can be discussed in a constructive way.

“The significant financial investment made in refrigeration and heat recovery and the time invested in other elements of the Prosperity Agreement such as the Stakeholder Forum are clear demonstrations of our intentions to ensure we are a market leader and responsible business,” added Maguire.

The “impressive” arrangement has also been praised by Mark Durkan, Northern Ireland’s current Minister of the Environment, who said it had surpassed expectations. “Just 12 months into the agreement, Linden has invested over £1m in carbon reduction initiatives including a new refrigeration and heat recovery system, the only facility of its kind on the island of Ireland.

“This system is already delivering significant environmental benefits with a reduction in CO2 emissions from the heating and cooling process of some 75%. This alone will deliver an overall 24% reduction from operations here.”

He continued to recognise Linden and Linergy as being “outstanding examples” of helping create a better environment through a combination of cooperation, innovation and strong leadership: “This is a real step change in how business and regulators can work together. I hope to see more of this type of innovation and leadership from other businesses across all sectors here.”

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