- 21 September 2012
Origin Green Sustainability Charter
The Origin Green Sustainability Charter developed by Bord Bia is an ongoing voluntary programme that seeks to demonstrate the commitment of Irish food and drink manufacturers, both large and small, to operate in the most sustainable manner possible. It offers a structure that allows individual companies to communicate key sustainability issues, set targets and regularly report progress in achieving short, medium and long term goals.
What is the purpose of the Charter?
The overall purpose of the Charter is to promote best practice in the design, implementation and reporting of environmental and other sustainability practices operating in the Irish food and drink industry. It is also designed to promote shared learning within the industry as to what constitutes good performance.
The Charter is designed to:
- Demonstrate the sustainability credentials of individual Irish food and drink manufacturers.
- Enhance the reputation of Ireland as a source of sustainably produced food and drink products.
Structure of the Charter
The Charter is designed to allow companies, large and small, determine themselves what measures they wish to take to address sustainability issues.
Bord Bia believes that individual companies are best placed to determine which actions will have the greatest impact in improving their performance while also offering potential commercial benefits through either reducing costs and/or adding value. Each company decides internally what areas they wish to focus on and how best to implement change so that specific targets are achieved. This will then be assessed by independent third party retained by Bord Bia.
To demonstrate progress over time it will be necessary to quantify a baseline position at a particular point in time, measure and report progress annually.
Bord Bia is of the view that formal certification of company actions is not appropriate in this case as it would entail publishing a specific standard that may be too narrow in scope given the range and scale of manufacturing processes that make up the Irish food, drink and horticulture sector. Instead, Bord Bia will publish participation and categorise companies relative to the progress they achieve against their stated targets.
Deciding on Target Areas
The Sustainability Charter for an individual company can include plans and targets under any of the following three action areas:
Within the key action areas chosen, performance is categorised under the following issues:
The multi-annual Sustainability Plan developed by each company must include at least one target area from energy, emissions and waste as well at least one other area to be selected from the list above. For each target area, each company will need to set out a baseline, decide on short, medium and long term targets and commit to reporting progress on an annual basis.
At least one issue must contain ‘stretch’ targets. By ‘stretch’ we mean an ambitious target that represents a significant increase on current levels of improvement. It will be at each company’s discretion to decide which issue will fulfil this role. Companies will then need to justify why it is a ‘stretch’ target and how they intend to achieve it.
Progress Reporting and Verification
To facilitate progress reporting Bord Bia will provide an internet platform whereby participants can securely upload their Sustainability Plan documentation.
Data collected and analysed will be submitted to Bord Bia to allow an assessment of target achievement. This process will allow links to be established to demonstrate achievement of third party certifications where relevant. The assessment of satisfactory progress will be determined by a Bord Bia retained independent third party. A sample will be taken periodically to verify the authenticity of the progress reported.
It is not envisaged that any routine auditing will be required however random inspections to verify data provided may be undertaken at Bord Bia’s discretion.