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How The Compleat Food Group are reducing Scope 3 emissions with Sustained

Key outcomes 

  • After a successful pilot Sustained Impact has been rolled out as a scalable, automated solution for product level environmental footprinting (Life Cycle Assessments, LCA) for The Compleat Food Group
  • By integrating environmental impact insights into product design, simple changes have been identified, in one example switching the sourcing of an ingredient would reduce its impact on water scarcity by 33%
  • Integration with Compleat’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) provider is underway to embed Net Zero product design into core business operations 

Who are The Compleat Food Group? 

The Compleat Food Group (TCFG) has a mission to create great-tasting food that people love to eat, which is affordable, healthier, and more sustainable as standard. The Group is home to brands including Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry, Squeaky Bean, Unearthed, Vadasz, Wrights and Palace Culture. They are also a leading supplier of own-label pastry, olives and antipasti, continental meats and plant-based food to the UK’s largest retailers and foodservice operators.  

Challenge: Scaling product Life Cycle Assessments to build The Compleat Food Group’s Net Zero roadmap

As part of their ESG mission, The Compleat Food Group has set net zero commitments for their own operations by 2035 (i.e. Scope 1 and 2), and for their value chain by 2040 (i.e. scope 3). 

The Compleat Food Groups Net Zero ambitions

During their first Net Zero project in 2022, they had a goal to make the Wall’s Sausage Roll the world’s first carbon neutral product of its kind. They started with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and found they could reach net zero by changing production methods and the sourcing of key ingredients, but that in the meantime they would need to purchase significant carbon credits to reach the goal. They also found that every production change would require a new time-consuming and costly LCA, limiting how quickly they could implement at scale into their operations. 

Based on the costs, scaling limitations, and The Group’s drive to genuinely reduce emissions rather than offset, they instead began looking for a partner who could help them to identify emission improvement opportunities, by embedding environmental impact footprinting and modelling into product development. 

Solution: A pilot with Sustained Impact validates that The Compleat Food Group can integrate environmental footprinting into core operations to reach climate goals 

The Group set out to find a partner who could help identify how to transparently and credibly, reduce the environmental impact from product manufacturing across their value chain, by automating and scaling LCA capability. They needed a system that would help make decisions about production through creating digital twins of each product and providing visibility of environmental impact scores during product design, in a similar way to their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) provider, Point74 does for factors like nutrition, and cost.

The reductions that can be made through balancing products at design stage are significant. For just the Compleat brands alone, millions of kg of CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions can be saved by reducing the product level climate change by 5-10% and, millions of litres of fresh water not extracted. The product teams are also able to understand the drivers of acidification, which causes a loss on soil fertility. 

The Sustained Impact platform provided this capability, and a pilot was launched to measure a baseline assessment of 16 different categories, including carbon, water scarcity/quality and land use based on the prior years’ production figures. The reports were analysed to set actionable targets. Product design teams tested using the system to model changes to the products’ formulations, countries of origin, transport, and production steps to reduce impact. The Group were able to communicate on the successes of the pilot using reports created in the Sustained Impact platform, and generate consumer eco-labels. The successful pilot predicated the roll out of Sustained Impact to all product lines across the Group. 

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Results: Integrating impact reduction levers into product design processes 

  • For each product, the key drivers of impact, such as ingredients, production processes and more are visible, allowing product design teams to model changes to achieve lower impact & respond to environmental requirements in briefs from customers.
  • The Group is integrating their Sustained Impact workspace with their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) provider, Point74, ensuring the product and supplier data is accurate, and supporting further integration with existing NPD and EPD workflows.
  • The Group can set impact reduction targets versus their baseline across their product range, and track progress against targets. 
  • The Sustainability team benefit from automated Scope 3 reporting contributions through Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) at product and manufacturing level. 

"Our successful Pilot demonstrated that the use of the Sustained Impact platform will help us tangibly reduce the impact that our food products have on the environment & help us reach our Net Zero ambitions. 

We’re excited that our teams are now empowered to take environmental impact into account during the design and workflow stages of each new or existing product design. 

Ultimately, we hope that this initiative will be replicated by all food manufacturers so that together we can create a more secure global food system."

David Moore - The Compleat Food Group | LinkedIn

David Moore

Group Head of ESG

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Learn more about The Compleat Food Group by visiting their website.