Origin Green: Pathways to Net Zero
Origin Green, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme, recently published new procedures and guidelines, Pathways to Net Zero, based on the United Nation’s ‘Measure, Reduce, Compensate’ model. These guidelines make carbon emission targets mandatory for food and drink manufacturers who are Origin Green verified members, as the sector seeks to accelerate its contribution to the Irish Government’s Programme for Government’s aim of carbon neutrality by 2050.
This marks a significant shift for the Origin Green programme and will see member companies go beyond reductions of energy-related emissions, to include a more comprehensive assessment of their entire carbon footprint, including value chain emissions, which incorporates all indirect emissions (scope 3), associated with food manufacturing such as freight, travel.
In order to drive impact at a large scale, Bord Bia is initially introducing this mandatory carbon emission target to Origin Green members with a turnover greater than €50m. Companies must conduct baseline assessments in 2021 to determine emissions targets from 2022 onwards. These plans will be reviewed, monitored annually, and independently verified by international specialists Mabbett.
The ‘Pathways to Net Zero’ builds on several Origin Green initiatives already in place that require members to set and deliver on clear sustainability targets as part of their five-year sustainability plans with a specific focus on raw material sourcing, manufacturing process and social sustainability.
To further information on sustainable Irish food and drink exporters please contact your local Bord Bia office for more information and supplier connections.
 Almost 300 food and drink companies across Ireland are verified members of Origin Green, representing over 90% of food and drink exports. To date, companies have set over 2,400 sustainability targets, reaffirming the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement. Over a five-year period – the duration of a firm’s sustainability plan – food and drink manufacturers in Ireland delivered an 11% reduction in energy use per unit of output and a 17% reduction in water use per unit of output.