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CJ Lang & Son Ltd wins two prestigious Scottish Green Apple Awards

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Leading Scottish SPAR distribution business, CJ Lang & Son Ltd, has won two accolades at the 2021 Scottish Green Apple Environment Awards. 

The Dundee based business was awarded the ‘Environmental Best Practice Distribution Gold Winner’ for its partnership with the Dundee West End Community Fridge. They were also crowned the overall Environmental Best Practice National Green Champion.

The Dundee West End Community Fridge aims to reduce food waste by making short-dated or surplus food, from local food businesses, available to members of the public. As a food waste reduction project, the Fridge is open to anyone from the local community who can benefit from the food seven days per week.

Frozen, chilled and ambient products which CJ Lang are unable to sell are uplifted by the Fridge team three times per week which reduces CO2e omission from the supply chain link.  

The wide range of foodstuffs that the business provides allows the Fridge to offer a good balance of perishable and non-perishable products to people who require emergency food provision. Reducing food waste through donations to the Fridge is part of the business’ wider strategy to ensure that the site meets its goal to send zero waste to landfill.

The partnership between the Dundee West End Community Fridge and CJ Lang has contributed to over 30% of the total food waste saved from landfill and the associated carbon savings. Since its opening in August 2019 the Community Fridge has saved almost 67 tonnes of food from going to waste resulting in carbon emission savings of 244 tonnes CO2e. Helped over 2,600 families and individuals with on average 100 visitors per day and given out the equivalent of 37,000 meals.

Alan Brown, Distribution Centre Manager at CJ Lang & Son Ltd, said: “The partnership between CJ Lang and Dundee West End Community Fridge brings clear environmental benefit to our business, as food which would previously have to been disposed of via landfill or composting is now consumed by local community members, helping us meet our goal of sending zero waste to landfill. To further reduce the carbon emissions associated with the project, all food transport relating to the Community Fridge is undertaken by staff and volunteers in a plug-in electric van and in cases where foodstuff are unsaleable due to damaged packaging, new compostable packaging is supplied to further reduce waste production.

“The Community Fridge is unique because food is available to everyone, regardless of circumstances. This means that families and individuals who would be unable to access emergency food provision through foodbanks or other poverty relief services, due to not meeting the requisite criteria, can access food from the Fridge as often as they require. Food collection is anonymous which helps to reduce the social stigma of receiving short-dated or surplus food and the project is the only food provision service in the local area which is available 7-days per week.”

As part of CJ Lang’s Making Tomorrow Better programme the Green Team managing this project was formed to capture the ideas from colleagues and support the businesses overall environmental strategy, where they have achieved no waste going to landfill including food waste.   

“Management have been highly supportive of the partnership and is providing strategic support and utilising suppliers and contacts to increase the facilities space, storage and refrigeration capacity as demand increases due to the prolonged economic impact of the pandemic in the Dundee area. We believe the partnership with the Community Fridge is a sustainable approach for reducing food waste at a local level because it is easily tailored to meet the needs of our community.

“As national winners we are proud to represent Scotland next year at the Green World Awards which will be held in UAE in the spring. As a Green World Ambassador our winning paper will be published in the Green Book sold by Amazon helping others to help the environment. One hundred trees will be planted in our company name over the next 12 months in partnership with the Green Earth Appeal and the UN Billion Tree initiative,” Brown concluded.

The Scottish Green Apple Awards were held on Monday 25 October 2021 with a special ceremony at Cornhill Castle Biggar.

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