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OUR ENVIRONMENT

At Blue Skies, we recognise that it is our responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment not only to counter the effects of Climate Change but also because it is our inherent duty to look after our planet for future generations.

We aim to look after the environment by protecting areas of biodiversity, managing our waste responsibly, increasing our use of recyclable and compostable materials, reducing our emissions and minimizing our consumption of energy and water.

We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of all our materials, both in terms of how they are sourced, how they are used and how they are disposed of. Our product development and procurement teams across the business, are actively engaged in finding new solutions to help us improve the sustainability of all the materials we use to grow, handle, pack and insulate our products. From plastic trays, to our personal protective equipment, we’re not holding back on examining and re examining every material we use.

PACKAGING

We’re on a mission to find ground-breaking new packaging that will help us significantly reduce the environmental impact of all our products. We plan to work with government and research institutions to develop game-changing solutions that will benefit the entire industry. In the meantime we’re committed to ensuring as much of our packaging as possible comes from recycled material and is 100% recyclable.

INSULATION

We’re replacing polystyrene used to insulate our airfreight containers with reusable and recyclable thermal blankets. This will improve insulation and reduce polystyrene use by 75%. We’re also replacing gel-packs with a more sustainable water based-solution.

APRONS & GLOVES

We’re trialling new reusable materials to replace disposable plastic aprons and gloves for our staff. If successful, it will significantly reduce plastic use within the business.

We are committed to minimising the impact our business and supply chain have on biodiversity, ensuring as far possible that nature and wildlife are able to thrive. We are a business that sources only the best fruit, and the best fruit only comes where there is good soil and abundant wildlife. This is why Blue Skies does all it can to protect and encourage areas of biodiversity by ensuring our farmers adopt the best environmental practices and by seeking to protect wildlife and nature wherever we operate.

LINKING ENVIRONMENT & FARMING

Blue Skies were the first in the world to achieve LEAF marque accreditation for a group of farmers. LEAF is a charity which is committed to encouraging viable agriculture which is environmentally and socially acceptable and ensures the continuity of supply of wholesome, affordable food, while conserving and enhancing the fabric and wildlife of the countryside for future generations.

PROTECTING TREES

We plant and protect trees wherever we can. At our factory in Brazil, we have planted over 1,300 trees which have attracted numerous birds including toucans.

PROTECTING BATS

In Ghana, we have installed bat boxes on our farms which can each accommodate up to 250 bats. Bats feed on insects which can harm our crops, therefore by looking after these creatures we can reduce our use of pesticides while encouraging biodiversity.

We are committed to minimising the amount of waste that we produce and ensuring that as little of it as possible goes to landfill, and as much of it as possible is either reused or recycled.  We are committed to working towards zero waste across the entire business. For Blue Skies we believe that every bit of the materials and resources that we buy, should be put to good use, and anything that is left over should either be put to another use, or recycled. We worry about anything that has to be sent to landfill or destroyed.

RECYCLING

We sort our waste to ensure recyclable materials are recycled. We’re working to increase the proportion of recyclable materials we use and make use of waste-to-energy plants to help us move towards our ambition of zero waste to landfill.

COMPOSTING

In Ghana, we compost our inedible organic waste. It takes eight weeks for waste to break down in to nutrient rich soil, which goes back to the farms. Composting has helped to increase farm yields by 5% and reduce fertiliser usage by 30%.

DIVERSIFICATION

To avoid waste, we aim to use as much of our materials as possible. We have developed juice, ice-cream and lollies to enable us to use fresh fruit that can’t be used in fruit salads, making sure all edible materials don’t go to waste.

FOOD WASTE

We use Company Shop in the UK who take our excess stock to sell at a discounted price or give to charity. Blue Skies have also signed up to the UK’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with WRAP.

We are committed to using as little energy as possible and ensuring that as much of it as possible comes from a sustainable source. As a business that primarily produces highly perishable fresh produce, we need to keep our products cool to ensure they maintain their shelf-life. This in turn helps us to reduce food waste. The focus therefore for Blue Skies, is on reducing energy consumption by increasing the efficiency of our refrigeration systems and switching to renewable sources where ever possible.

REFRIGERATION

Our new refrigeration system in Egypt (pictured) uses high efficiency scroll compressors and inverter controls. It is expected to save over 400,000 KWh of energy per year.

HEAT RECOVERY

In Egypt and Ghana, we’ve installed heat recovery systems to capture the heat generated from refrigeration to use to heat water, showers and laundry.

SOLAR ENERGY

We’ve worked with UNIDO and the Government of Japan to install solar panels on the roof of our factory in Egypt with the aim of saving 70,000 KWh of energy per year.

We are committed using as little water as possible and ensuring that as much of it as possible comes from a sustainable source. Our business needs clean water to grow and pack our fresh fruit, however around the world supplies are becoming increasingly scarce, to the point that by 2030 the World Population Institute products that 4 billion people will live in areas of high water stress. It is our responsibility therefore, to ensure we use as little water as possible, and to return as much of it as we can safely back into the environment.

WATER EFFICIENCY

We’re investing in research and development in to new technologies to help us reduce the volume of water we need to sanitise our fruit and keep our factories clean.

WATER RECYCLING

We’re looking to recycle and reuse water by harvesting rain water and optimising the treatment of our factory effluent. Our new system for Ghana will be introduced later this year.

SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES

Through our Foundation, we have provided 15 water systems for communities in Ghana, giving over 40,000 people access to clean water for drinking.

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