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Multi-million work at Sutton Bridge factories will help reduce carbon footprint

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A food manufacturing giant will be aiming to reduce its carbon footprint with a multi-million deal to improve its refrigeration systems.

Bakkavor will be using money from a £13.3million finance deal from HSBC to transform its systems at its salads and meals factories in Sutton Bridge.

The funding will also look to improve systems at its sites in Boston and Bo’ness in West Lothian.

Bakkavor in Sutton Bridge
Bakkavor in Sutton Bridge

Ben Waldron, chief financial officer at Bakkavor Group, said that climate change was important to the company - especially as governments from across the world gather in Glasgow for COP26.

Mr Waldron said: “Now more than ever is climate action at the forefront of how we do business. We support UK business efforts – and the food sector in particular – leading the way on tackling climate change.

“As a manufacturing company, our biggest operational impact on the climate comes from the heating and cooling systems used in our sites, so it’s great to see the next phase of the overhaul of our refrigerations systems get under way, reducing our company’s carbon footprint on the road to net zero.”

The company says work has already started at the Sutton Bridge sites to reduce its uses of the harmful fluorinated gasses.

These powerful gasses have an even higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide.

A spokesman said: “This is part of our ongoing capital investment plan to upgrade our refrigeration systems away from using fluorinated F gases, which have a high global warming potential, to more efficient natural gas and/or CO2 systems.

“The first phase of this project has been completed and includes a shared energy centre for both the Salads and Meals factories and upgrading the incoming electricity supply. This provides a significant reduction in F gases.

“It will significantly reduces our company’s carbon footprint on the road to Net Zero.”

Earlier in the autumn, the food manufacturing giant has reported a strong performance for its half-year review.

Group revenue was reported as £915.7m which is 1.2% ahead of 2019. It also has an operating profit of £47.0m - 10.8% ahead of the 2019 figures.

Chief executive Agust Gudmundsson said: “I am pleased with the overall performance in the period as like-for-like revenues exceed pre-pandemic levels and profitability improved considerably with all three regions delivering meaningful progress. The UK has shown a positive recovery, benefiting from a return of shopping habits to 2019 levels and a strong pipeline of innovation, as well as a meaningful pick up in operational gearing as volumes recover.”

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