Yeo Valley to boost sustainability drive
Yeo Valley is a privately-owned food company based in Somerset, UK. Run by the Mead family, whose history of farming in the county stretches back to the 1400s, the business started operating in 1961 as a smallholding with just 30 cows. Now, Yeo Valley is the UK’s no.1 organic dairy brand.
In 2011, the company celebrated its half-century by winning a third Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development plus a Good Dairy Award from Compassion in World Farming. Today, it employs over 1750 people across four production sites and two distribution centres. A field of solar panels powers Yeo Valley’s milk bottling plant, reflecting the firm’s focus on sustainability - as does its choice of energy partner: Haven Power.
Yeo Valley believes in using fewer fossil fuels wherever possible, says Julie Standard: “We choose green electricity for all our dairies. To help power our Blagdon site, we’ve recently installed photovoltaic (PV) cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity.”
In another twist to the company’s sustainability efforts, Julie adds: “We don’t have gas central heating in our office. In the winter, we fire up our boiler using our elephant grass, which is a homegrown sustainable biofuel.”
In addition, Yeo Valley uses the renewable electricity that Haven Power supplies from its parent company Drax. The Drax power station in Selby, north Yorkshire, is the single largest renewable energy generator in the UK and provides a reduction of over 80% in carbon emissions compared to coal.
Saving energy by working together
Yeo Valley also strives to reduce electricity consumption - for example, by increasing the maintenance time on its warehouse equipment. “We’re looking at replacing the lighting in the chilled stores with low-energy LEDs too,” adds the spokesperson, “because they use less power and don’t heat up the room.”
Yeo Valley is also asking Haven Power to help it reduce energy consumption and expenditure, as Julie explains. “We’ve always had good access to our account information and we’re currently working with Haven Power’s risk management team to explore our energy options.”
To help Yeo Valley achieve this aim, Haven Power is supporting the customer’s implementation of a Demand Side Response (DSR) initiative by providing tailored reports and analytics. The DSR initiative will help Yeo Valley to reduce its costs over the winter periods.