24 November 2020 by Robyn White

SEPA and Nestlé sign sustainability agreement

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has signed a “sustainable growth agreement”  with Nestlé UK and Ireland, which will focus on “developing circular economy opportunities in food production, food waste and packaging”.

SEPA will work with Nestlé to improve approaches to food waste

The three-year voluntary partnership with Nestlé will aim to work with its supply chains to improve approaches to food packaging and waste, and support the company to “move beyond compliance” with Scotland’s environmental law.

With an initial focus on food production, food water and packaging, SEPA said it hopes that the agreement with Nestlé will “identify and overcome” challenges that can inhibit circular economy business models.

The agreement will also focus on maximising local environmental, social and economic benefit in south of Scotland, and developing resources that will allow businesses in the agri-food sector to understand “environmental obligations”.

It follows similar SGA’s the regulator has made in recent years, such as with recycled glass manufacturer, Superglass.

‘Key Player’

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA’s CEO, said: “We believe the only nations, societies and businesses that will thrive in the 21st century will be those that have developed ways to prosper within our planet’s capacity to support them. For our part, it’s important that we not only get all those we regulate to meet their legal obligations and reach compliance, but to help as many regulated businesses as possible move beyond compliance.

“To put it bluntly, business as usual won’t tackle the scale and urgency of the climate crisis that humanity faces, and SEPA wants to form bold and surprising new partnerships to support the future sustainability of industrial activities across Scotland and drive our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nestlé has a good regulatory compliance record in Scotland

SEPA chief executive, Terry Ahearn

“Nestlé has a good regulatory compliance record in Scotland and a clear ambition to go further. By working with them, we have a real opportunity to help shape their commitments and work with them to inspire similar ambition across their supply chains and sector.”

Collaboration

Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé UK and Ireland added: “Working in collaboration with SEPA helps us work on environmental challenges we both face, and towards a commitment and passion we both have to create a more sustainable working environment across Britain. I look forward to developing opportunities through this partnership.”

SEPA’s statutory purpose is to protect and improve the environment in ways that also create health and well-being benefits and sustainable economic growth. The regulator says that its “Regulatory Strategy, One Planet Prosperity, is a visionary blueprint for tackling the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century”.

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