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Source: Scottish Environment Protection Agency

SEPA and Nestlé UK and Ireland have formed a three-year partnership to explore opportunities for environmental innovation in Scotland.

The regulator has signed a Sustainable Growth Agreement with the firm, which currently draws down around 8% of Scottish dairy, processed at its factory in Girvan, South Ayrshire.

The agreement will cover three main areas: 

  • Developing circular economy opportunities in food production, food waste and packaging within Scotland for Nestlé UK & Ireland value chains.
  • Exploring a fresh approach to maximising local environmental, social and economic benefit in the South of Scotland, built around the Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) concept.
  • Developing resources that will enable businesses in the agri-food arena to understand their environmental obligations and landscape dependencies

This is one of a series of such agreements the Scottish regulator has struck in recent years – with existing partnerships including the Leven Programme Partnership and the 2050 Climate Group. The aim is to support the business and its supply chains to voluntarily move beyond compliance with Scotland’s environmental law. 

With an initial focus on food production, food waste and packaging, it is hoped the partnership can identify and overcome challenges that can inhibit the development of circular economy business models. This latest partnership will also see the LENs concept implemented for the first time north of the border. This collaborative regional model will bring together private, public and third sectors with communities around shared interests which benefit the environment, communities and business.

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA’s CEO, said:

“We believe the only nations, societies and businesses that will thrive in the 21st century will be those that have developed ways to prosper within our planet’s capacity to support them. For our part, it’s important that we not only get all those we regulate to meet their legal obligations and reach compliance, but to help as many regulated businesses as possible move beyond compliance.

“To put it bluntly, business as usual won’t tackle the scale and urgency of the climate crisis that humanity faces, and SEPA wants to form bold and surprising new partnerships to support the future sustainability of industrial activities across Scotland and drive our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nestlé has a good regulatory compliance record in Scotland and a clear ambition to go further. By working with them, we have a real opportunity to help shape their commitments and work with them to inspire similar ambition across their supply chains and sector.”

Nestlé is a key player in the food and drinks sector in Scotland. Around 50 dairy farms in South West Scotland supply milk to its Girvan factory, which, in turn, supplies milk crumb for Nestlé factories in York, Fawdon and Halifax, where KitKat, Aero, Rolo, Quality Street and Yorkie are manufactured.

Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé UK and Ireland said: “Working in collaboration with SEPA helps us work on environmental challenges we both face, and towards a commitment and passion we both have to create a more sustainable working environment across Britain. I look forward to developing opportunities through this partnership.”

SEPA’s statutory purpose is to protect and improve the environment in ways that also create health and well-being benefits and sustainable economic growth. Its Regulatory Strategy, One Planet Prosperity, is a visionary blueprint for tackling the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. 

Find out more about Sustainable Growth Agreements.

Read about SEPA’s response to COVID-19 at coronavirus.sepa.org.uk

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MIL OSI United Kingdom