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Reducing waste = reducing costs for Diageo GB

The quality team at Diageo Great Britain knows that reducing our environmental impact also reduces our costs.

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In 2006, Diageo Great Britain set out to make its dispense operations more sustainable and reduce the cost of waste. We knew this would need to be driven by a ruthless focus on the supply chain, and on the recovery and refurbishment of equipment and materials.

An external partner, a specialist in the refurbishment of dispense equipment, worked with us to develop and implement new systems to recover equipment which could be re-used or refurbished, reducing our need to buy new equipment. Old equipment at the end of its life was dismantled and redirected into the correct recycling streams. Any revenues generated from recycling were used to fund the sorting and dismantling of the mixed materials. This led to a 50% reduction in new equipment purchases on key items such as Guinness founts, keg couplers and gas reducing valves, maximising the return on investment while contributing to the sustainability agenda.

‘Introducing the re-use, refurbishment and recycling agenda for dispense equipment within our draft beer operations saved us £500,000  in 2012. And, of equal importance, we have significantly reduced our waste,’ said Jarrod White, global category manager, dispense.

Re-useable packaging, tighter records

This achievement is an indicator of our progress in reducing our materials. Five years ago, we kept minimal records of the materials discarded. Today, we have a detailed recording process and a target to avoid materials going to landfill altogether. By 2011 we had removed 90% of secondary packaging, replaced bubble wrap with shredded waste packing, and swapped 13,000 large cardboard boxes for 800 reusable green tote boxes. Requiring an initial investment of £6,000 to purchase re-usable secondary packaging, the business case was clear, with savings in packaging costs of £20,000 in the first year. Primary packaging has been highlighted as the next step in the journey to reduce the costs and environmental impact of our activity.