by Lamb-Weston/Meijer VOF
May 14th, 2021
10 mins
BFFF

At the heart of Lamb Weston is innovation.  The Company is on a mission to look for the possibilities in the humble potato – is passionate about it – and is also passionate about looking after the planet and its guests.

For them, sustainability isn’t a separate box to tick, it’s part of who they are and to that end, Lamb Weston has just launched its latest Sustainability Report to outline their commitments to the environment.

As a global player in the potato processing industry, Lamb Weston considers it their responsibility to take a leading role in creating a better future, to ensure that growing and processing potatoes remains possible for generations.

That’s why it initiated its Sustainability Programme in 2011, and they’re proud to have been able to deliver most of the Sustainable Seven 2020 goals.

The Company is now taking strides to be future-fit with its new Sustainability Agenda 2030, which focuses on three key challenges: Balanced Diet, Zero Waste and Climate Action, using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guide.

Balanced diet for all

People are consciously choosing foods that are nutritious, plant-based, contribute to wellness and have a transparent footprint, and the potato is one of the most sustainable, nutritious, staple foods there is.  Lamb Weston captures all of its natural goodness and converts it into convenient, tasty products, removing nothing, while reducing what they add, supporting consumers in their transition to a balanced diet.

Next steps 2021-2022

Lamb Weston’s 2030 commitment means it will be reducing oil content and calories, for example by shifting to thicker cut fries, new processing techniques and developing more offerings suitable for oven or air fryer preparation.  Their dried potato flakes offer versatile potato solutions to tackle malnutrition caused by micro-nutrient deficiencies and they will be expanding their product solutions to address malnutrition in developing markets.

Zero waste hero

One challenge for the Company is how to contribute to a fully circular food and agriculture business, including more sustainable packaging.  Over the last decade it has further reduced its waste streams and increased re-use of potato by-products.  Since 2008, they have sent zero waste to landfill, and less than 0.5 percent has been incinerated.  It has also improved potato utilisation (as produced) in 2019 by over 12%, versus 2008.

Another aim is to utilise the whole potato, turning it into tasty products for humans and, when not possible, to feed animals.  To achieve a Zero Waste goal, it will develop or introduce new product packaging (re)designed to be more sustainable.

The Company’s 2030 Commitments are to halve food waste – 50% in operations and ≤0.2% food loss (packed finished product sent to animal feed); to use less/better packaging – 100% recyclable or reusable, plus more recycled plastic.  And it will work with customers and industry organisations to increase plastic recycling in foodservice kitchens.

Next steps 2021-2022

In the coming years, there will be a continued investment in equipment to recover food-grade white starch and use it, for example to create crispy coatings, and the Company will continue to calculate the environmental footprint of individual potato products to highlight the advantages of skin-on products (which also have more nutritional benefits).

Lamb Weston is implementing a Packaging Sustainability and Innovation Strategy and Roadmap towards 2025 to develop at least one differentiating, value-adding, functional packaging solution or sustainable packaging solution per year.

Climate action

On the climate, Lamb Weston is aiming to reduce its impact on the planet by further reducing its carbon footprint, focusing on: Sustainable Operations, Sustainable Agriculture and a Sustainable Supply Chain.

Currently, around 60% of its carbon footprint is attributed to the raw materials it uses, nearly 50% from potatoes and 10% from the sunflower oil used to par-fry its products.  It will concentrate even more on helping growers advance sustainable agriculture.

In its 2030 Commitment it states that it will aim to reduce its carbon footprint with 25% less CO2 emissions per ton of finished product, and use 40% renewable energy sources in its plants.

The Company will remain focused on reducing water usage too – some 90% of its total product water footprint comes from growing potatoes and oil seed crops but it will halve water use in operations (with new lines/upgrades) and double water re-use (for processing of agricultural purposes).  It will source sustainably, with 100% LWM growers active in its Sustainable Agriculture program, and 100% key impact suppliers active in its Sustainable Supply Chain program.

Next steps 2021-22

By applying Sustainability by design – Lamb Weston will produce more efficiently, with less waste, while using the circular model of reduce, reuse, repair.

One strategic goal for the coming three years is to achieve the lowest energy consumption possible to make its products – using more renewable energy, more residual waste heat, being more energy efficient.  And it will improve on its ability to further reduce energy and water consumption at their plants, by giving people in production lines the tools to react immediately.

Once the pandemic is under control, Lamb Weston will look at rolling its Sustainable Agriculture programme out across its sourcing regions in Belgium, Germany and Austria, building a monitoring system that will allow them to track the soil label, plant protection products, GHG emissions, biodiversity and water usage at individual grower level.

And there is a commitment to a Sustainable Supply Chain by making its total supply chain even more sustainable, from farm to fork, by focusing on suppliers with the largest impact on the Company’s carbon footprint.

For more innovative ideas, recipes and potato inspiration, head over to www.lambweston.eu/uk, call 0800 963962 or email us at salesUK@lambweston.eu

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