Everybody at our two malting sites at Berwick-upon-Tweed and Tivetshall St Margaret works to minimise the impact of the business on the environment. We make efforts to alleviate climate change through better energy management, transport efficiency and water and waste management.
As part of our commitment to significantly reduce our carbon emissions, we have set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2030, which is 20 years ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement.
In recent years, we have spent time baselining our carbon footprint by department – both in the malting and merchanting sides of the business – to get accurate data on carbon emissions throughout the company.
Having completed that, we are now working on carbon reduction plans across each department, with various projects having been completed – or currently in progress – to meet annual targets on the road to the overall goal of carbon neutrality.
Here are some examples of the projects we’ve been working on in recent years.
We have a fleet of 28 trucks based out of our Tweed Valley Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed, which bring in barley from farms and grain stores to our sites and deliver the finished malt to breweries and distilleries across the UK.
As part of our efforts to reduce the emissions from our trucks, in January 2021, we took delivery of a 140,000 litre HVO fuel tank and switched our entire fleet based out of our Tweed Valley Maltings onto HVO, a synthetic paraffinic fuel that’s stable, renewable, sustainable and high-quality.
As a premium-quality second-generation renewable diesel alternative, HVO is made from 100% renewable raw materials and has reduced the greenhouse emissions of our fleet by up to 90%. Our additional haulage partners also use the fossil-free fuel for their malt deliveries with the company.
HVO is the best available technology to significantly reduce emissions until electric or hydrogen powered haulage vehicles become viable, which is still a number of years away.
Farmers’ FSA Gold Verification
Through our agricultural merchanting division McCreath Simpson & Prentice (MSP), we have more than 400 farming partners that grow malting barley for us across Scotland and the North of England.
While endeavouring to become as conscious as possible about our environmental impact at our two maltings, we also wanted to extend this to our farming partners, who produce the raw materials for our malted products.
Achieving the Gold performance level means that these farmers are able to demonstrate they use first class sustainable farming practices.
For us, meanwhile, it is certification that we are sourcing sustainable barley from our contracted farmers for the production of our quality malts, grown with the best sustainable practices on a global scale.
Smoke Abatement Plant
To combat this, a smoke abatement plant from Centriair was installed after multiple on-site trials and uses two methods – a Hi-Scrubber and Air Centrifuge System – to reduce particlulate and odour emissions.
Following its installation, the smoke abatement plant was extensively tested by a third-party Environment Agency approved contractor and results achieved an average of 84% reduction in particulates.
Plastic Reduction on Bagged Malt Pallets
Back in 2019, the team at our Tivetshall St Margaret Maltings embarked on a project to reduce the amount of plastic covering each pallet of bagged malt that leaves the site.
At that time, the pallets were wrapped in two layers of hooded plastic to ensure stability and the goal was to reduce this, while simultaneously improving that robustness.
The focus of this began by looking at our 25kg bags. Working with the R&D department of our bag supplier LC Packaging, we trialled, then permanently added, a cohesive coating to the bags to reduce the chances of them slipping during delivery.
We then started to work with a new provider of hooder material. The new hooding material is more flexible and, therefore, has a greater shrink force holding the product to the pallet with greater efficiency.
It means that our pallets are now wrapped with one layer of hooder material instead of two and it has resulted a 45% reduction in plastic use for this purpose: from 68 tonnes per year to 36 tonnes per year.
These on-site developments, combined with constant communication with our third party haulage partners, have also resulted in a much-improved quality of delivery for our bagged malt customers.