Sustainability

Making the link - How sustainability equals success

Mention sustainability and sometimes we struggle; the word has so many meanings.

But think of a fertile landscape whose natural produce nourishes the profitable, energy efficient businesses that depend on it and help maintain it - and a clearer picture emerges.

It's hard to imagine that there was a time when the connection between business success and a responsible approach to the environment was not obvious. For modern food and drink businesses, whose raw materials come directly from land or water, they're two sides of the same coin.

At Scotland Food & Drink, we said back in 2009 that being sustainable means two things for our industry: that we continue to make a healthy and growing contribution to the Scottish economy; and that by continuing to behave responsibly towards the environment we benefit our reputation and success.

Now we've looked at what can be done to strengthen the link between the two, and how we can provide practical support and leadership for the food and drink industry in doing so.

We've identified a number of ways to promote sustainability:
•    Using water and other natural resources more efficiently
•    Using more recycled materials and sending less to landfill
•    Reducing the impact of transport
•    Improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
•    Sharing best practice more widely
•    Making our businesses more resilient to climate change

We have produced case studies to reflect how our partners, members and other food and drink companies are approaching these points within their business, the case studies are available here.

Aiming high
Everyone knows that Scotland has some of the best natural produce in the world. Scottish lamb, beef, salmon, seafood and, of course, Scotch Whisky are just some of the national products that are celebrated across the globe. Consumers everywhere know that our food and drink stands for quality, drawing much of their substance from Scotland's beautiful unspoilt landscapes, clean air and pure water.

Scotland has a long tradition of good husbandry and respectful stewardship of the land that we tend, the waters and seas that we manage - and they reward us with abundance.  Our temperate climate and plentiful rainfall also make us less vulnerable than most to future problems of water supply.

Our international reputation encourages us to aim high. Today we're already generating £12.4bn and exports have grown by over 50% in the last five years, with Scotch Whisky showing the way. When it comes to food and drink, Scotland has a great story to tell.

Rising to the challenge
Nevertheless, the challenges continue to grow. Consumers are more demanding and we need to retain their trust. The climate is changing. Competition for resources is becoming fiercer. If Scotland is to become the Land of Food and Drink we envision, sustainability must take its place centre stage - alongside the premium brands, naturally healthy foods and Scottish provenance we've already identified as key strengths.

A commitment to sustainability is the mark of a progressive industry. It will burnish our reputation and help us realise a future where Scottish fare meets increasing consumer demand for quality and certainty of provenance in markets around the world; where it gains advantage against international competition; and where the benefits of our success are felt all the way through the supply chain.

Simply put, we live in an age when the most sustainable businesses are the most successful.

Playing your part
Scotland Food & Drink's job is to work with our partners to provide leadership and support to Scotland's food and drink businesses, to coordinate the activity that will flow from this ambition as ideas become reality and to reduce barriers to delivery. We are here to help and signpost businesses.

We need our businesses to embrace the idea of sustainability in any way that they can.

The prospect of a fully sustainable food and drink industry in Scotland, at home with the abundant natural resources from which it draws much of its success, is a glowing one. It's what our customers expect of us. With commitment and partnership from right across our industry, it's an ambition we can realise.

Learn More

You can find and view our sustainability strategy here: "Making the Link".

To find out more about what you can do, please contact the Sustainability Project Manager at Scotland Food & Drink, Fiona Chan.

 

Making the link - How sustainability equals success

Mention sustainability and sometimes we struggle; the word has so many meanings.
But think of a fertile landscape whose natural produce nourishes the profitable, energy efficient businesses that depend on it and help maintain it - and a clearer picture emerges.

It's hard to imagine that there was a time when the connection between business success and a responsible approach to the environment was not obvious. For modern food and drink businesses, whose raw materials come directly from land or water, they're two sides of the same coin.

At Scotland Food & Drink, we said back in 2009 that being sustainable means two things for our industry: that we continue to make a healthy and growing contribution to the Scottish economy; and that by continuing to behave responsibly towards the environment we benefit our reputation and success.

Now we've looked at what can be done to strengthen the link between the two, and how we can provide practical support and leadership for the food and drink industry in doing so.

We've identified a number of ways to promote sustainability:
•    Using water and other natural resources more efficiently
•    Using more recycled materials and sending less to landfill
•    Reducing the impact of transport
•    Improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
•    Sharing best practice more widely
•    Making our businesses more resilient to climate change

Aiming high
Everyone knows that Scotland has some of the best natural produce in the world. Scottish lamb, beef, salmon, seafood and, of course, Scotch Whisky are just some of the national products that are celebrated across the globe. Consumers everywhere know that our food and drink stands for quality, drawing much of their substance from Scotland's beautiful unspoilt landscapes, clean air and pure water.

Scotland has a long tradition of good husbandry and respectful stewardship of the land that we tend, the waters and seas that we manage - and they reward us with abundance.  Our temperate climate and plentiful rainfall also make us less vulnerable than most to future problems of water supply.

Our international reputation encourages us to aim high. Today we're already generating £12.4bn and exports have grown by over 50% in the last five years, with Scotch Whisky showing the way. When it comes to food and drink, Scotland has a great story to tell.

Rising to the challenge
Nevertheless, the challenges continue to grow. Consumers are more demanding and we need to retain their trust. The climate is changing. Competition for resources is becoming fiercer. If Scotland is to become the Land of Food and Drink we envision, sustainability must take its place centre stage - alongside the premium brands, naturally healthy foods and Scottish provenance we've already identified as key strengths.

A commitment to sustainability is the mark of a progressive industry. It will burnish our reputation and help us realise a future where Scottish fare meets increasing consumer demand for quality and certainty of provenance in markets around the world; where it gains advantage against international competition; and where the benefits of our success are felt all the way through the supply chain.

Simply put, we live in an age when the most sustainable businesses are the most successful.

Playing your part
Scotland Food & Drink's job is to work with our partners to provide leadership and support to Scotland's food and drink businesses, to coordinate the activity that will flow from this ambition as ideas become reality and to reduce barriers to delivery. We are here to help and signpost businesses.

We need our businesses to embrace the idea of sustainability in any way that they can.

The prospect of a fully sustainable food and drink industry in Scotland, at home with the abundant natural resources from which it draws much of its success, is a glowing one. It's what our customers expect of us. With commitment and partnership from right across our industry, it's an ambition we can realise.

To find out more about what you can do, please contact Ann Picking, the Sustainability Project Manager at Scotland Food & Drink.

Phone her on 0131 335 0940 or email ann.picking@scotlandfoodanddrink.org

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