ESA Sustainability Report

2. Production and distribution


Production and distribution

ESA members apply measures to efficiently manage resources such as water and energy throughout the supply chain, reduce green-house gas (GHG) emissions and support the integration of circular economy principles.

M anufacturers have long since implemented strategies to optimise their production plants and mitigate GHG emissions, including those from transports and logistics. A growing number of snacks production plants are now using 100% renewable energy or are reducing their GHG emissions in various ways, such as photovoltaic modules or renewable energy in the form of biogas from organic waste compounds to power their operations. Promoting circular economy practices are at the heart of the concerns on the production lines, notably when it comes to optimising water use and avoiding food wastage (including oil wastage): • New technologies can help save water for instance by distributing water more efficiently around a potato slicer. More commonly, the water used to wash the potatoes at the beginning of the process is collected and reused for other operations further down the chain. • The valorisation of waste is another key element. For instance, the starch collected from potatoes is reused as a raw material in the production of other snacks, while the potato peels are used in bio-gas facilities or as feed for animals.

Moving towards a more responsible use of natural resources and a circular economy also means that manufacturers are striving to find innovative solutions for more sustainable packaging and improved waste sorting and recycling. Packaging plays a key role in guaranteeing a high level of quality and safety of our products and in preventing food waste. As a major user of flexible packaging, the European savoury snacks industry will continue to improve the circularity and environmental performance of its packaging, while ensuring material functionality and protection of health, safety, and the environment. ESA members have already come forward with ambitious commitments and are engaged in a number of initiatives aiming at: • Further reducing plastics in their packaging • Developing new packaging design, working towards making material easier to recycle • Stimulating research and innovation in packaging material and recycling technologies such as chemical recycling • Improving collection, sorting and recycling of flexible packaging together with competent authorities and the plastic value chain

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