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Deli Lites - Food for the Greater Good

Background

Northern Ireland’s food and drink industry employs at least 100,000 people in the region and is the second-largest goods export sector in NI. It is one of the most important sectors of our economy, but with a huge environmental impact. The UK throws away an estimated 4.5 million tonnes of food waste annually and in Northern Ireland over a million single-use plastic cups and containers are thrown away weekly, along with the agri-food sector accounting for 26% of GHG emissions. The commitment of the sector to take action on reducing these impacts is essential, now more than ever. Deli Lites, a Co. Down based food-to-go company, shows how local businesses can implement sustainability measures without compromising on the quality of products or profitability.

Areas of Impact

  • Carbon Footprint Reduction
  • Social Engagement
  • Land Use, Food and Agriculture
  • Biodiversity and Nature
  • Energy
  • Built Environment
  • Waste
  • Transport

Highlights

  • On track to be the first B Corporation certified food manufacturer in Northern Ireland;
  • 100% renewable electricity via wind and solar power;
  • Reduction in water usage in hygiene operations by 50%;
  • Involvement in local community education and environmental initiatives;

Sustainability Initiatives

Carbon Emission Reduction

With growing awareness of the environmental impact of our food, Deli Lites have developed a carbon-neutral plant-based range and are introducing ecolabelling on products, helping to address ingredients with the largest carbon footprints.

In 2021 Deli Lites moved to 100% renewable energy, sourced from Snugborough wind farm, Co. Cavan and onsite solar panels. Additional energy saving is facilitated by a heat recovery system, recycling heat energy from their freezer for hot water and heating offices. Further reduction of carbon emissions resulted from switching liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in bakery ovens to BioLPG made from plant and vegetable waste. Emissions from product delivery are being addressed by moving to electric vehicles, with the target of a fully electric fleet by 2025. Deli Lites aims to target Scope 3 emissions by developing a strict supplier code of practice and challenging suppliers to set and report carbon reduction targets in 2022.  

 

 

Waste

Waste is being tackled by eliminating paper delivery notes by using a new delivery app, and moving to paperless administrative processes by 2023. In addition, plastic-free sandwich skillets and naturally occurring cellulose-based film for sandwich packs have allowed the reduction of plastic waste in food-to-go products and fully compostable packaging is aimed to be rolled out by 2025.

Community Initiatives

Engagement with the local community includes sponsorship of local GAA, football clubs and performing art groups, with additional mentoring, coaching and fundraising activities. Deli Lites has also provided support to sustainable local start-ups, such as Farming Carbon and their work with the organisations FareShare and Love Your Lough has benefited both the local community and the environment.

 

Outcomes Summary

These sustainability efforts have already been recognised via shortlisting and commendation for the Environmental & Sustainability Award at the 2022 Sammies Awards – the sandwich and food-to-go industry awards.  

Links / References

https://www.delilites.com/