Dawn Meats has cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) from its operations and supply chain by 248,000t in 2020, according to the new group sustainability report it recently published.
Progress has been made across the Dawn Meats supply chain, with 96% of livestock sourced from Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme members in Ireland.
Farm emissions across the group have been reduced by 189,000t CO2 equivalent in 2020.
It has procured assured cattle and sheep from the group’s 30,000 farmer suppliers, where emissions are now independently measured on more than 40% of farms and where improvements in on-farm efficiencies are being achieved.
Similar progress on 2025 targets has also been made
The reduction in emissions of 59,000t CO2 equivalent, has been achieved through a range of measures including the procurement of 100% renewable electricity and site investments in refrigeration upgrades and lower emission thermal energy generation.
Dawn Meats has achieved a 31% reduction in energy intensity in 2020 and is on target to achieve a 40% reduction by 2025. In real terms, this reduction is the equivalent to powering a town of 20,215 homes per year.
The commitment to a sustainable supply chain has been further enhanced by improvements in packaging used
Similar progress on 2025 targets has also been made in terms of water intensity, with a 28% reduction being achieved in 2020, equivalent to 1,225 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
It has invested €1m annually in on-farm sustainability projects.
The commitment to a sustainable supply chain has been further enhanced by improvements in packaging used, with all of Dawn Meats’ rigid plastic trays now having a 90% average recycled content.
The company was the first European beef and lamb processor to set science-based targets
Retail consumer pack MAP and VSP trays are now made from a plastic material called mono PET, which enables recycling and supports the circular economy.
The company was the first European beef and lamb processor to set science-based targets and measure its progress on externally verified sustainability goals, committing to a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2016 base year.
An example of the progress achieved is the Dawn Meats plant in Rathdowney, Co Laois. It has contributed water savings equivalent to 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools on an annual basis.
The plant has saved 5.6m litres of water per month thanks to a range of initiatives it has employed.
CEO of Dawn Meats Niall Browne remarked: “Progress on our emissions targets is a testament to the work our teams put in on the ground at our 22 processing sites.
“It is only by our staff, suppliers and customers all working together that we are able to achieve the progress we are making,” he added.