Our Environmental philosophy

Lessening our environmental impact is a priority for Famous Brands. We identify our environmental impacts and monitor them with the aim of introducing continual improvements over time.

During the last review period we identified three of the UN SDGs that are aligned to our environmental philosophy and activities across the Group. These are goal 12 (responsible consumption and production) and goal 13 (climate action).

Our Environmental and Climate Change Policy outlines the Group’s commitment to responsible environmental practices and identifies key areas of improvement. This includes measures to reduce air pollution and eco-efficiency aimed at reducing our environmental footprint and creating a more sustainable operating environment for the benefit of our stakeholders.

As a responsible corporate citizen, we are moving away from simply mapping existing activities to the SDGs. During FY2021 we have commenced the process of identifying aspirational goals for each SDG. After approval by our Social and Ethics Committee, targets for each of the specific goals will be set, communicated and integrated into business processes.

At present, we see the greatest opportunity for reducing our environmental impact in:

  • food waste reduction across the supply chain; and
  • utilities reduction (particularly fossil fuels) across the supply chain.

Famous Brands sustainable development focus areas

Our current activities to reduce our environmental impact include:

Manufacturing Logistics Restaurants
  • Efficient water usage and effluent management set against a continuous improvement target
  • Maximising recycling opportunities for our general waste
  • Responsible sourcing of sustainable food products for processing
  • Responsible re-use or redistribution of food through donation of excess food products
  • New plant design focused on responsible consumption
  • Planned projects around renewable energies to replace fossil-based sources of energy
  • Investigating alternative cleaner fuel and energy options (with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors)
  • Optimisation of transport efficiencies in our Logistics fleet
  • Better route planning
  • Reduction in number of trips
  • Responsible redistribution of near expiry date stock through donations to identified charities
  • Use of improved quality refrigerants, reducing electricity consumption
  • Maximising recycling opportunities for our general waste
  • Eliminating balloons
  • Eliminating plastic straws
  • Rolling out fully bio-degradable and compostable takeaway coffee cups
  • Converting from plastic toothpick wrapping to paper wrapping
  • All brand packaging ranges are currently 100% recyclable
  • We are investigating converting to bio-degradable and compostable packaging
  • Reduction in food wastage through portion control and made-to-order practices in our restaurants
  • Responsible re-use or redistribution of food through donation of excess food products

The Group’s consumption of non-renewable resources on a geographical basis is detailed below. All energy sources have decreased in the year under review when compared to the comparable periods in the previous years.

Carbon footprint report

In line with the SA regulatory and tax landscape regarding climate change, the Group has aligned its environmental assessment methods with local legislation and international best practice. This approach will allow the Group to comply with legislative requirements, adequately prepare for the introduction of carbon tax and take proactive steps to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

Famous Brands has conducted a detailed assessment of the Group’s carbon footprint, with specific focus on the following:

  • identifying and quantifying direct (Scope 1) emissions that will require reporting to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, and be liable for the carbon tax; and
  • understanding the main sources of indirect emissions (Scope 2 and 3) contributing to the Group’s overall carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint assessment applies to the Group’s Manufacturing and Logistics divisions. The Group does not have equity in, nor financial and/or operational control of franchised restaurants, and therefore the franchise operations are not included in this assessment. The GHG emission categories assessed are:

  • direct which includes mobile fuel combustion (own fleet) and stationary fuel combustion (on-site equipment); and
  • indirect including purchased electricity, water supply and waste disposal.

The Group’s total GHG emissions in FY2021 by Scope are detailed in the table below:

Steam emissions at Coega Cheese, previously categorised as Scope 1, have been recategorised to Scope 2 purchased electricity, heat and steam. To compare like with like, the percentage increase or decrease from the previous year in stationary fuel combustion emissions, purchased electricity emissions and Scope 1 and Scope 2 totals have been based on the previous year’s emission source categorisation.

Purchased electricity use across operations decreased 17%, however due to the 2% decrease in the Eskom grid emission factor purchased electricity emissions decreased 19%.

Lifecycle studies in the water industry have shown that the contributor which carries the highest environmental burden is the use of electricity. This presents an argument for the use of an electricity index as a measure of environmental performance for urban water systems.

For this reason, the measurement approach was changed to use an emission factor based on electricity use. This has increased the emission factor by 120% from the previous financial year. Water use in Famous Brands’ operations decreased 22% from the previous year, however the emission factor change has had the net effect of increasing water supply emissions by 72%.

Waste generated in operations has increased due to more complete data across operations, as well as a significantly higher emission factor applied to mixed industrial and commercial waste to landfill (458.176 kg CO2e/tonne waste compared to the previous year’s factor of 99.7592 kg CO2e). The emission factor increase was due to remodelling based on the most up to date compositional analysis.

Overall, the carbon footprint report reveals that the Group’s emissions have decreased by 22% over the past year and 28% over the past two years. This can be attributed to the following:

  • Less operational activity due to COVID-19;
  • a Company-wide utilities savings awareness programme;
  • smart metering of electricity, water and key fuel usage tied to key performance indicator settings for each business unit;
  • fuel type conversion to lower carbon fuels;
  • paraffin consumption has stopped in KwaZulu-Natal since April 2020, with the closure of the ice cream plant;
  • the annual electricity generated from solar systems increased during the year;
  • close monitoring and evaluate of new generators; and
  • employee awareness campaigns to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour.

To reduce our carbon footprint in future, we have identified the following possible opportunities:

  • Improving plant efficiencies to make more units per hour of plant time
  • Better measurement of large utility users to bring more management focus to must win sites daily and even every shift
  • Making fuel switches to low carbon fuels where practical For example, less Coal and paraffin and more gas and solar)
  • Reduction of electricity usage per ton produced by improving refrigeration plant efficiencies
  • Fleet route optimisation, reducing the number of trips taken and so the carbon impact
  • Investment in renewable energy, for example Solar.

The Meat Plant, Cater Chain, Lamberts Bay Foods and our Midrand Campus are the heaviest consumers of non-renewable resources and utilities in the Group. In the year ahead, particular attention will be paid to introducing mitigating measures to offset the GHG emissions of these business units.

We are targeting a 25% improvement in our water and carbon usage per case of production over the next 5 years. F2022 to F2026.

Carbon tax implications

Although Famous Brands is below the threshold for paying carbon tax, all sites are registered for carbon tax with SARS.