We spent much of last year working on our new group purpose and mission; we’re thrilled to be starting 2023 having rolled this out across our sites. More than a statement, this process has been about celebrating everything we’ve achieved since our beginnings in 1858, but more so, what we are committed to achieving now and in the future as we adapt and grow.
Our new purpose statement is: Growing For the Future.
“The future of our food, our farming and our communities. Whether in the fields or factory, in the office or on the trading floor, we work tirelessly to develop food and agriculture for a more sustainable future.
It’s this care and commitment to innovation and always striving to do better that has driven us since we began in 1858, and welcomed generation upon generation of our employees to grow to their full potential.
We’re continuing to plant the seeds of change, growing better, more sustainable solutions for all our futures.”
A huge part of this process is unifying the varied and exciting brands and businesses under the Group with one framework to align under moving forward. We have now started the roll out and our employees are engaging with the launch in varied activities, from celebrations on site, to employee gifting, introduction sessions and making pledges that support the new purpose. More than that though, we’re working on how we put this in motion now and in the future with a series of key themes for all purpose-driven activity.
1- Building an inclusive workplace for all
We’re continually working to create safe, inclusive environments where everyone feels welcome and supported. We celebrate diverse thinking, which is fundamental to innovation and our ability to be better every day, and for future generations.
We’re working on a wide range of initiatives to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across The Billington Group; from training, to new approaches to recruitment, to the establishment of diversity committees and networks. We’ve committed to ensure that 50% of senior roles are filled by women and to match or exceed local minority ethnicity representation by 2030.
2 – Reducing our carbon footprint
We passionately believe that we must play our part in limiting global warming by reducing our carbon footprint and creating more sustainable solutions for all of our futures.
We have committed to become carbon neutral across our direct operations and the energy we buy (Scopes 1 and 2) by 2030, as part of our journey to net zero. As part of our strategy we are installing solar panels across a number of our subsidiary businesses. 100% of our purchased electricity is renewable and we are aiming to reduce our overall energy consumption by 30% by 2025 versus a 2018/19 baseline.
3 – Minimising waste
As a food and farming business we are very conscious of the need to use our planet’s finite natural resources wisely. We have committed to halve the per capita food and packaging waste we generate across all our food sites by 2030 versus a 2018/19 baseline.
We have specific initiatives to reduce food waste through partnerships with charities through which we redistribute unused food to those in most need. We measure how many tonnes of waste leave each site through our waste contractors, and we aim to reduce our overall food waste by 25% over 5 years from 2018/19 to 2025/26.
We are introducing circular principles as part of our NPD processes, and the way we approach major capital projects, in order to reduce waste and ensure materials are reused wherever possible. We have a target to ensure 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
4 – Supporting our communities
Our factories, fields and offices are present across the country and touch the lives of many local communities. It is our pleasure and duty to give back to these communities wherever we can.
Drawing on the breadth of talents and skills across our business, we are pledging 50,000 hours of employee volunteering time to help local community projects by 2030. For example, supporting the Over the Wall Charity to prepare materials for their children’s camps that offer free and fun activity camps for children with serious health challenges. We’ve set ourselves the challenge of raising £1 million by 2027 through the Billington Foundation to support local charities initiatives, and are creating a local schools and colleges programme to promote future employment opportunities for young people within the Group.
We’ll also be undertaking varied activities to help us achieve our aims; to stay abreast of our progress check our news pages and social channels – this is just the beginning!