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NRAs 2018: Waste Reduction Initiative - Commercial

WINNER: ACM Environmental and Brakes Group

ACM Environmental has been working with food service supplier Brakes Group’s waste since 2006. It currently services all 56 Brakes sites, providing fully managed waste and recycling solutions. Having achieved zero waste to landfill ahead of target, it set about helping Brakes to cut the amount of waste produced at each site.



The group was producing around 17,155 tonnes of waste (with none going to landfill) across multiple sites. A goal was set to reduce the volume of waste sent to recovery across all sites by 15%. This target would only be achieved by working in close partnership with both Brakes Group and its individual sites.

ACM’s Greener Path Programme with Brakes includes three key elements:

  • WasteAvert – an on-site auditing programme designed to minimise and eliminate waste at source.
  • WasteClear – a resource recovery solution to divert up to 100% of waste from landfill via efficient recycling and energy recovery.
  • WasteTrack – an online portal that tracks progress at every stage.

waste reduction initiative – commercial

waste reduction initiative – commercial

Activities now carried out across Brakes sites include: selling off food that is near to date but safe to consume to staff; giving milk to staff if the date is too short to give to customers; offering a staff email service of products on offer; changing packaging if products are being damaged due to insufficient protection; training staff on good and proper use of manual handling equipment to reduce damage; using a sophisticated stock management system to keep track of products and highlight any near to date products; and trialling a pallet wrap system to reduce damage to stock in-transit.

The company has also partnered with charity Fareshare, which ensures that unwanted food products are utilised.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “They have done something different, thought outside the box, put clear processes in place and taken the business to the next level.”

This reuse of unwanted food products has been pivotal in reducing Brakes’ food waste by more than 30%. The work has also resulted in 13% of Brakes’ waste being reused, with the figure set to rise next year.


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