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SFF recognised for sustainability work

AWARDED: Silver Fern Farms has earned the Toitu enviromark diamond certification for environmental management. File picture

SILVER Fern Farms has achieved Toitu enviromark diamond certification, the highest New Zealand-based environmental certification.

It represents another important step in Silver Fern Farms’ commitment to playing a leadership role in driving sustainability in the red meat sector.

Enviromark diamond certification is recognised internationally as equivalent to ISO 14001 accreditation, and to achieve it New Zealand companies need to exceed some ISO requirements.

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Simon Limmer said achieving enviromark diamond was a massive endorsement for the company’s systems and the ways it was managing environmental impacts and risk.

“The enviromark process with Toitu has verified our processing sites as industry leaders in environmental management.

“We hope this gives our communities, suppliers and customers another strong signal of our continued work to tread more lightly on the environment.”

Silver Fern Farms group environmental manager Alison Johnstone said the process of pursuing the highest Toitu certification had enabled the identification of improvements that have been made at 14 processing sites around the country.

“One example is the work we have done mapping and testing our stormwater drains, then permanently labelling the drains with bright blue fish-shaped plaques which include clear ‘for rain only’ instructions.

“We have also ramped-up environmental data collection and tracking as this lets us see improvements in real time,” she said.

“Better data means we can set and hold on to strong targets, share quality reporting, and make informed investments to improve environmental outcomes.”

Toitu enviromark diamond certification is described as the ultimate step in environmental management for a participating company.

All certified organisations must have a robust environmental management system in place, strong internal systems for compliance and continuous improvement including management buy-in.

Toitu chief executive Becky Lloyd said Silver Fern Farms was one of the largest companies to attain diamond certification.

“Since joining our programme in 2019 they have worked hard to achieve nationally harmonised systems and create a strong foundation to drive effective continual improvement.”

Looking forward, Mr Limmer said there was more work to do.

“Across our processing plant network there is still significant investment to be made to get to where we want them to

be, including work to reduce waste to landfill, improve wastewater management and phase-out the use of coal by 2030.

“We are already looking to stretch into global best practice processes and are committed to improving environmental performance across other areas of the business including our office hubs and secondary processing sites,” Mr Limmer said.

“We are up for the challenge and I want to recognise our team and partners for the serious mahi done to get us to here.”