Our commitment to the environment
Business as a force for good
When Charlie started our company from his kitchen table nearly 25 years ago, he had one ambition: to create a brilliant food business that would stand the test of time. And from the start that has meant working extra hard to look after our people, our community and the environment.
So we’re incredibly proud to have been awarded the B Corp certification, granted only to organisations using business as a force for good. But it doesn’t end there – the B Corp team have already helped us set new targets for water consumption, energy use and carbon drawdown. We want to keep getting better and better each day, and becoming a B Corporation is a fantastic way to make sure we do just that.
Our Packaging & Supply Chain
In our ready-to-cook range, our iconic wooden trays save the planet 170,000kg of plastic a year: they’re compostable (meaning they naturally disintegrate over time) and are made from wood sourced from sustainable forests. All our sleeves are sustainably sourced and fully recyclable. In our pan-fry range, we use recyclable clear plastic and are looking to further improve this over the next year. For our pies, we use a new design of ceramic pot that’s made with 50% more energy efficiency and from clay sourced closer to the pottery (meaning less miles on the road). All the cardboard we use is easily recycled and we’re working on making the film recyclable too.
Delivering to shops, we’ve replaced heavy plastic trays with sustainably sourced cardboard boxes. We place many of our orders on electric lorries that reduce CO2 even further. The cardboard manufacturing site is just 30 miles from our Quarry Kitchen, cutting food miles.
Our Somerset Kitchen sits in a disused quarry, land that would otherwise have been left empty and dead. This means that we’ve avoided converting Greenbelt land into industrial land, and have even improved local wildlife by rewilding 22 acres of surrounding countryside. We can also bring 300 much-needed manufacturing jobs to the local area, stretching to 1000 at full capacity.
The building itself is specifically designed to work with the land, minimising use of energy and resources. We use motion-sensor LED lights across the entire site, all refrigeration is hydrocarbon-free, and breathable air vents mean we don’t need air conditioning, saving 40Kw/H. A bespoke, onsite Water Treatment Plant returns waste water to the source river clearer than it started and has reduced our water consumption by 20% already this year – a figure that will eventually rise to 70%.
At Charlie Bigham’s, we’re committed to making a positive impact on the environment. We’re proud to be a certified B Corp, a recognition of our commitment to using business as a force for good since Charlie started the business almost 25 years ago. We’re always working to maximise our positive impact on the land and minimise our negative impact on the environment.