We are working towards making our transportation as sustainable as possible to reduce our carbon footprint and our fleet emissions. Some of the things we do as a business include the following:
We have been using electric milk floats to deliver to our doorstep customers for over 70 years and where possible, we use electric over non-electric floats
We have purchased new refrigeration units for our curtain lorries that are top of the line in the industry and are 35% more efficient than alternative options on the market
We have implemented a strict collection policy to ensure we recover obtain, where possible, all glass bottles and returnable delivery items such as cages, crates, and pallets so we can reuse them
We use telematics in our fleet to ensure we are taking the most efficient route
Our drivers are trained to drive as economically as possible
Working with Local Farms
We work with local farmers to reduce our food miles and support the farming industry in the areas in which we operate. All of our farms are within a 60-mile radius of our production site in Tewkesbury and our Conventional Famers, which make up 65% of our milk output, are within a 30 miles radius.
We require all of our farmers to have Red Tractor Certification as well as other certifications, where applicable, such as Organic Certification for Organic milk. These certifications have strict environmental rules that our farmers abide by to ensure that the environmental impact of farming is kept to a minimum. To maintain this certification our farmers are regularly audited to ensure they comply and that there is a high level of animal welfare on the farms.
We at Cotteswold Dairy are always trying to do what we can to be as sustainable as possible in every aspect of our business. We are taking massive strides to achieve our vision of being the “Leading Environmental Family Dairy by 2025” and have implemented sustainability measures to ensure we achieve it. Some of our sustainability measures include initiatives around farming, transportation, products and packaging, and waste.
Our Products and Packaging
Cotteswold Dairy has been putting milk in glass bottles since 1938 and these are collected from our customers and washed, sterilized, and reused around 30 times before being recycled and made into new glass bottles. We encourage all our Doorstep customers to choose glass and we work with local schools, businesses, and cafes to reduce their single-use plastic by getting their milk delivered in glass bottles. We also encourage this through being part of the local ‘Plastic Free Cheltenham’ initiative. We also offer other products in glass, such as fruit juice, milkshakes, and water.
When glass is not an option for businesses we try to encourage the use of a pergal machine, which is a milk dispensing machine that can hold up to 40 pints of milk, thus reducing plastic waste.
Our other main source of product packaging is poly bottles which are 100% recyclable. In the UK poly bottles are recycled in a closed-loop meaning that the bottle you put in the recycling bin can be made into a new plastic bottle. The labels are washed off the bottle during the recycling process and are sent with other non-recyclable items for EFW (Energy From Waste).
If you want to learn more about our product packaging and recyclability, please click here to see our recyclability chart.
Our Waste Management
Cotteswold Dairy is a part of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Initiative, which is run by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). This initiative has been set up to help businesses reduce food waste by monitoring it and providing analysis of where a business stands against other businesses in the industry. This analysis will help us make better decisions to help reduce our food waste whether that be an improvement in processes, training, or investments in new technology.
Where possible if we have any excess or close to code products we donate these to the local food banks to ensure food is not wasted unnecessarily.
Are you looking to reduce your food waste? Here are some things you can do as a consumer to reduce your food waste.
Check that your fridge temperature is at a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius, this will help slow down the spoiling of food and drink
Keep frozen and refrigerated goods together in a shopping bag after grocery shopping. Keeping the cold items together helps maintain a lower temperature and stops them from warming up on the journey home
If you have items that are about to expire and they are suitable for freezing, freeze them for a later date
Use up leftover vegetables to make a pasta sauce vs throwing them away
For more information check out the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) pages on reducing food waste, including the love-food-hate-waste initiative, link below:
We adhere to a duty of care, code of practice for all wastes we produce. We only work with licensed and certified companies to collect, transport, and process waste. We also ensure that they keep records of our waste activity for monitoring and accountability purposes which we measure against the UK dairy sector along with our water, electricity, and gas usage per litre of milk.
Before our waste is collected, we segregate it to ensure maximum recyclability of materials. Where our waste streams cannot be recycled, alternatives to landfills have been put in place and some of these waste alternatives produce energy from waste, which can reduce the demand for fossil fuel burning.
We also have an ETP (Effluent Treatment Plan) on our production site which separates our wastewater into cleaned water and effluent sludge which is used by a local anaerobic digester that generates electricity and bio-fertiliser which is better for the environment than electricity from fossil fuels and synthetic fertiliser.
These initiatives gained us zero waste to landfill in 2018.
Around the Business
Staff is encouraged to recycle into bins provided throughout the workplace and our confidential paper waste is collected by a company that will shred and recycles it.
Staff can use a cycle to work scheme.
We are a member of the dairy Roadmap which unities those in the supply chain of the dairy industry, defining targets and producing reports on the progress that the industry is making on environmental matters, which we use to set our targets.