PIES, PLANET, PEOPLE GOALS
OUR ANIMAL & ECOLOGICAL WELFARE GOALS
We will never compromise on our high animal welfare standards, raising them even higher where we can.
With the threat of lower welfare and environmental food standards looming over the British food industry, we believe that it’s important that we not only maintain our long-held high standards but, in some cases, raise them higher.
Our chicken has always been free range and British, sourced from a single farm in Somerset. And since early 2022, we only use chicken from a slow-growing breed called ‘Hubbard’.
Hubbard birds are healthier and more active, literally ‘ranging’ far more than fast growing breeds were able to in the same free range environment. By insisting on this breed of chicken, we are ensuring that the birds have a significantly better quality of life – and a longer one too.
This change has also meant that we are able to use the thigh as well as the breast meat from each bird, meaning that as a business we require almost half the number of birds than before the switch.
This means that we now meet five of the six criteria laid out in the Better Chicken Commitment. Our focus now is to work closely with our chicken farmer so that together we meet the final criteria as soon as is possible and before 2026.
And finally, to ensure that our chickens are 100% deforestation-free we asked our farmer to find an alternative to soy feed. They are now fed a diet of British wheat, barley and lupins (which are grown by a neighbouring farmer).
Despite a very difficult market, all of the pork that we use remains free range and British; a significantly higher welfare standard than either outdoor reared or outdoor bred pork.
Our beef remains British and farm assured. We’d love to be able to guarantee that it is 100% grassfed and regeneratively reared too but high cost and low supply means this just isn’t an option for us at present, and sadly this isn’t going to change overnight. So while we continue to explore our options…
…we will grow our plant-based product range while decreasing the range space currently given to our beef pies.
The number of non-beef pies we create continues to grow vs. beef.
With the arrival of our new filo-pastry range and our plant-based THIS™plant-based isn’t A Chicken & Bacon Pie, beef’s share of our total sales portfolio is slowly but surely decreasing.
It’s not always easy to persuade committed carnivores to switch beef for jackfruit ‘steak’ (as in our Mooless Moo range) but slowly we’re seeing the balance tip as people become increasingly aware that we need to reduce the amount that we consume globally as the demand for beef far outstrips the supply of the ideal (grass-fed beef). And that overall, beef has almost 10x CO2e emissions compared to chicken or pork, and 40-60x emissions of the majority of vegetables.
We will champion the use of deforestation-free ingredients, leading with 100% identity preserved palm oil and soy.
In line with leading environmentalists including Greenpeace and WWF, we believe that when sourced responsibly from a certified deforestation-free source, palm oil and soy are the most ethical and sustainable ingredients of their kind. Many consumers have been misinformed, believing that all palm oil and soy is responsible for deforestation and should be boycotted.
We want to help put the record straight, demonstrating how and why it is important to support truly sustainable deforestation-free growers of these crops.
We continue to source our deforestation-free identity preserved (IP) palm oil from Daabon, one of the world’s most transparent palm oil producers. Not only can we trace every single gram of oil from the palm to our pie production line we’re impressed with their commitment to not just protect Colombia’s rainforest but also to regenerate it, planting thousands of native tree species in and around the plantations.
All Daabon’s palms are grown on land that has been cultivated for over a century and they protect any surrounding rainforest as they see it as a huge asset, not least because the wildlife living within it provides natural pest control to their fully-organic palms.
And while much of the produce we source is British, we believe local isn’t always the best option. Daabon’s palm oil carbon footprint is considerably lower than most British butter, for example. In fact, Daabon has achieved net zero carbon emissions, through a methane capture and control project using the palm ‘mulch’. Approved by the UN under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), this initiative has so far produced well over 8 million kilowatt hours of clean methane, powering Daabon’s operation with enough power left to redistribute to the Colombian national grid, giving something useful back to the country’s communities.
The soya flour that we use in our Gluten Free Pastry is from Austria. And the soy cream is from beans grown in Europe (mainly France).
The plant-based protein we use in our THIS™ Isn’t A Chicken & Bacon Pie is made using non-GMO soy grown in North America.
OUR CLIMATE CHANGE & WASTE GOALS
We will decrease our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) by 50%.
This 50% reduction target by 2025 is in line with (and actually exceeds!) the Science Based Target Initiative for businesses of our size to act, in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A big target for us, but anything less isn’t an option.
And as shown in our latest report (2022/23) our greenhouse gas emissions are now 34% lower than baseline year (2019/20).
This means that we’ll use the money that we would have spent on ‘offsets’ (i.e. decarbonising something, somewhere, unrelated to Pieminister) on ‘insets’ instead. As of winter 2023, we are in the process of outlining our net zero target emissions and plans over the next few months – so watch this space.
As of 2022/23 we’re measuring our entire carbon footprint – adding all of Scope 3 to our Scopes 1 & 2. Many businesses just measure their Scopes 1 & 2, but we believe it’s essential to measure Scope 3 too. Food businesses generally find over 75% of their emissions fall into Scope 3, so it’s the only way to get an accurate picture.
We will make 100% of our packaging reusable, widely recyclable or home compostable and continuously reduce our use of single-use plastic packaging.
We’re nearly there! Our recyclable packaging by weight now stands at 98.9% (up from 94.1% in 2019/20 and 97.5% last year).
That’s 2 tonnes less non-recyclable packaging sent into the world than last year.
And plastic packaging by weight decreased to 3.3% (down from 4.4% in 2020/21)
We’ve achieved this by looking at every single type of packaging we use, from our retail boxes (now made from 100% recyclable FSC-certified card printed using vegetable-based inks and sealed using a plant-based glue) to moving from plastic to paper for the tape and strapping on our consumer and wholesale deliveries.
From working with suppliers to reduce the packaging they need to trialling a packaging return scheme with our customers, minimising the amount used is a win-win for everyone.
We will send zero waste to landfill across all PM restaurants, offices & our pie kitchens.
We want all of our waste to be recycled or recovered because waste sent to landfill causes many environmental and social issues. When general waste biodegrades in landfill conditions it releases methane gas into the atmosphere (which is 30x worse than CO2 in terms of global warming) and leaches toxins into the groundwater.
We are in easy reach of this ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal, but we found that some loads of construction and engineering waste could have been managed better. It wasn’t a huge amount, but this is definitely something to improve on this year (2023/24)
We will reduce our total waste (including packaging) by 30% and increase the amount that is recycled or composted.
Producing less waste just makes sense, from every angle, so we have set ourselves a challenge to cut ours by almost a third in five years. And not just what goes into a Pieminster bin, either. We want to include everything we send out that ends up in anyone else’s bin too.
For the waste that does occur, we want to maximise the amount of it that gets reused or recycled, rather than recovered for energy via incineration, where possible.
We reduced the total waste/kg generated – including all packaging – by 10% vs last year (and 12% down on 2019/20) And the amount sent for recycling is 1% up on baseline, but slightly down on last year due to operational changes in our bakery (which have since been rectified).
…and we will reduce food waste across the business by 50%.
This target of 50% is in line with WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap which aims to help achieve both the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 and Courtauld 2025 targets through UK food and drink businesses following their Target, Measure, Act guidance.
Food waste has reduced by -16% vs last year (but still up slightly on 2019/20 – driven by the pastry trimmings from our Bristol kitchens). We’re constantly working on bringing this down, meanwhile it’s good to know that this pastry waste is excellent anaerobic digester input, creating biogas for energy, fuel and sustainable fertilisers.
Any surplus pies are given to good causes through our Little Acts of Pieness initiative. This is why we freeze any wonky pies (perfectly delicious pies that have ‘blown out’ during the cooking process) so that they are ready to donate when needed.
OUR HUMAN WELFARE & WELLBEING GOALS
We will expand our support of UK and global charities, through more Pie ‘n’ Cash donations (AKA: Little Acts of Pieness).
Other Little Acts of Pieness recipients include non-profit organisations of all sizes across the South West and sometimes further afield. We also have a long-standing arrangement with St Peter’s Hospice, providing pies every week for both patients and visitors.
Through a partnership with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) we raised over 10K in 2022/23 for their free, confidential hotline. For every It’s All Gravy pie feast sold during Summer-Autumn 22, we donated £1 to the Charity, while raising awareness of their potentially lifesaving services available for anyone and everyone struggling with life.
Another regular recipient is FRANK Water who provide safe drinking water and sanitation to communities across Northern India and Nepal. The funds raised are thanks to the generosity of our restaurant customers, who are invited to donate 75p per table in return for tap water; a way to use the clean water we’re fortunate to have on tap to help those that don’t have this privilege. In this way, we spilled over the £20K donated mark in Autumn 2022. This is enough to revive multiple natural springs in Northern India where water scarcity is a growing concern, enabling thousands of people to have access to safe water.
We will continue to cultivate a happy, healthy, inclusive and diverse internal pie team.
We will commit to giving a proportion of our time in work to external volunteering & social action.
Eght hours (one day) per every permanent member of staff can be taken as paid leave to volunteer for a charitable cause.
This year (2022/23) we volunteered over 400hrs of our time for projects in and around our restaurants, bakery and offices (and had a blast doing it).
All of our Pies, Planet, People goals are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – the UN’s blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.