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  • Pieminister - A case study

    Pieminister, Bristol’s award winning pie makers have been a loyal customer since the Bio-Bee was set up in 2017. In that time, they have recycled over 890 tonnes of food waste into enough biomethane fuel to fill over half the hot air balloons that attend the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. At our Avonmouth site, we send that biomethane back into the grid where it has powered the equivalent of 105 homes for an entire year! By diverting this waste from landfill it has saved 552 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere which is the same amount of CO2 created by catching a return flight from London to New York every day for 2.3 years!

    Pieminister BioBee small

    We think it’s more important than ever to shout out our customers who have continued to make fantastic achievements despite the pandemic’s challenges. We sat down with Jeni Hunsley, Sustainability and S&OP Manager at Pieminister who graciously took the time to answer a few of our questions about sustainability initiatives at Pieminister.

    1. What is your favourite thing about Pieminister?

    I love that everyone at Pieminister is living the goal of “Good Times with Pies” and I never get bored of hearing friends say, “These pies taste AMAZING”. It’s nice to feel proud of what your company is trying to achieve as they drive to do the ethical and decent thing within the business: for its customers, staff, suppliers and the planet.

    2. How do you prioritise sustainability as a business?

    We’ve drawn up a series of ambitious sustainability goals and, if we’re to hit them by 2025, sustainable practice must run through everything we do as a business.  The nine goals cover everything from animal, human & ecological welfare, to climate change and of course, waste.  One goal is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, which actually exceeds the Science Based Target Initiative for a business of our size.  Sustainability simply has to be our top priority if we’re to achieve this by 2025 and we feel strongly that anything less just isn’t an option, if we’re to tackle climate change head-on.

    3. How are we at GENeco helping you meet your sustainability goals?

    One of our goals is to eradicate the need to send any waste, from any part of our business, to landfill by 2025.  Thanks to GENeco recycling our waste through the Bio-Bee, we’ve already achieved this at our pie production facility in North Bristol.  As this site is our largest, the impact that the Bio-bee has in helping us reach our zero-landfill goal is enormous.

    4. What do you think is the best part of using our service?

    Working with GENeco means that all our factory food waste gets saved from landfill and instead converted at their anaerobic digestion plant into biofertilizer and renewable energy in the form of electricity and biomethane. Last year this was enough gas to power the Bio-Bee for over 127, 200 miles!

    5. How has Covid-19 impacted the way you work at Pieminister?

    Covid has obviously been a huge challenge for us, with our restaurant teams in particular facing so much disruption and isolation – but everyone’s really stepped up and looked out for one another.  The first lockdown did give us a rare chance to take a step back and look long and hard at the business, and think about how we need to play a meaningful part in protecting the planet.. This not only led us to set our sustainable goals, it inspired us to make other immediate changes like introducing new recyclable pie packaging and increasing our plant-based pie range.

    6. What efforts do you take to tackle your food waste?

    We make sure that every pie we make is put to good use, which plays a huge part in reaching our goal to reduce food waste by 50% in 2025.  Last year, Fare Share South West collected over 90,000 surplus pies from us, to distribute to food banks and frontline charities across the region.  Other ‘wonky pies’ (delicious pies that aren’t quite perfect appearance-wise) are frozen down, ready to donate the good causes through our Little Acts of Pieness initiative.

    If you are inspired by what you’ve read, our Bio-Bee service can also help your business deal with its food waste in a sustainable way – if you’re interested, please get in touch with a member of our team at info@geneco.uk.com.