Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Business Background




Case Study

Sustainability headlines

  • All raw milk to be sourced from accredited suppliers.
  • Reduction of energy usage by 5%-to-10% over three years in all plants, from a baseline year of 2014.
  • Material volume of Irish suppliers to Kilkenny Foods Company to be increased by 20%.


Glanbia plc was formed in 1997 through the merger of Avonmore Foods plc and Waterford Foods plc. Glanbia plc is a leading performance nutrition and ingredients group, with headquarters in Co. Kilkenny. Employing over 5,800 people in 34 countries, its products are sold or distributed in over 130 countries. Glanbia is also the largest milk and cream supplier in Ireland and has three processing dairy plants in the country: Drogheda, Co. Louth; Ballitore Co. Kildare; and Lough Egish, Co. Monaghan. Its soup and related products are manufactured by the Kilkenny Foods Company located in Kilkenny city. There are currently 288 people employed at these four production sites with additional staff at high season. In 2014, the four production facilities processed 264,000m³ of milk products and 4,500 tonnes of soup and consumer foods.

Our sustainability credentials

Glanbia is committed to minimising the effect its operations have on the environment and has developed an Environmental Management System as part of its ISO14001:2004 commitments. Glanbia’s Environmental and Energy Policy sets out its commitment to environmental protection, energy efficient operations and reductions in energy and water consumption. Actions taken in the recent past include installation of variable speed drive boilers, heat exchangers, and the replacement of energy intensive operations, such as old and inefficient refrigeration systems. Coupled with this is the requirement for suppliers to complete a Supplier Environmental Performance Questionnaire.

Glanbia’s Drogheda, Ballitore and Kilkenny sites are ISO14000 accredited and are continually improving their environmental performance. All four sites will be accredited to ISO50000 (Energy Management System) over the coming two years.

Origin Green in action

By implementing Origin Green and coupling it with the group’s current environmental and quality management systems, Glanbia will seek to distinguish itself as a leading natural and green brand in the global market.

The baseline year for the Origin Green sustainability plan is 2014 and targets have been set out for each of the four sites, with the reduction of energy usage per unit of product a stretch target. If achieved, this will reduce significantly the usage of energy inputs and reduce the impact of the company’s impacts on the environment.

Key targets include:

  • Drogheda: Ensure all raw milk is sourced from accredited suppliers; reduce energy usage per m³ by 10% in three years; reduce losses to drain by 10% in five years; and reduce water loss and reliance on municipal water supply by 15% in five years.
  • Ballitore: Ensure all raw milk is sourced from accredited suppliers; reduce energy usage per m³ by 5% in three years; and reduce losses to drain by 20% in five years.
  • Lough Egish: Ensure all raw milk is sourced from accredited suppliers and reduce energy usage per m³ by 5% in three years.
  • Kilkenny Soup: Ensure all raw materials are sourced from quality and environmental accredited suppliers; increase material volume of Irish suppliers by 20% where possible; and reduce energy usage per tonne by 10% in five years.

Social responsibility

Glanbia’s commitment to Origin Green will include the improvement of employee sustainability awareness and the extension of current well-being programmes, for example, the development of an employee incentive scheme, and the active encouragement of employees to avail of  medical checks provided by the company. Glanbia is also developing an incentive scheme for employees. In terms of its commitments to the local and farming community, it will support improvements to the local environment and contribute to improve farming methods and practices among suppliers. In addition, all facilities will commit to the establishment of habitats for nesting birds and wildlife, with the installation of nesting boxes where appropriate. Glanbia will offer continued support of a nominated national charity, which is currently Barretstown Centre for Children.

What we’re doing better

The company has invested considerable resources in installing a share point document control system, allowing easier and more centralised access to important information related to sustainability. This system is used to store raw material and supplier documents such as supplier material specifications; supplier accreditation – third party accreditation for example, ISO14000; material safety data sheets; certificates of conformance; and supplier approval questionnaires.

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