We remain committed to operating with high standards of environmental responsibility and lowering our overall environmental footprint. We have plans to reduce our carbon and water usage by 25% by 2026 versus 2020’s figures.

Our Environmental and Climate Change Policy

Our Environmental and Climate Change Policy outlines our commitment to responsible environmental practices and continuous improvement. This policy includes initiatives to limit air pollution, use more environmentally-friendly packaging, invest in renewable energy, and reduce water and energy usage.

Since this policy was developed in 2022, we have consistently achieved our environmental objectives. There is still a significant opportunity to further reduce food waste across the front and back end and lower energy consumption through energy efficiency initiatives.

In 2023, we invested in solar energy at key sites, including the meat plant and the new KwaZulu-Natal Distribution Centre. We have plans to invest further in solar energy in 2024.

Our environmental focus areas
  • Maximising recycling opportunities for our general waste.
  • Using more environmentally friendly packaging.
  • Offering fully biodegradable and compostable take away coffee cups.
  • All brand packaging ranges are 100% recyclable.
  • Reduction in food wastage through portion control and made-to-order practices in our restaurants.
  • Responsible re-use or redistribution of food through the donation of excess food products.
  • Recycling coffee grounds through a new project (read more).
  • Investigating alternative cleaner fuel and energy options (with lower GHG emission factors), including planned renewable energy projects.
  • Use of improved quality refrigerants to reduce electricity consumption.
  • Efficient water usage and effluent management are set against a continuous improvement target.
  • New plant design focused on responsible consumption.
  • Maximising recycling opportunities for our general waste.
  • Responsible sourcing of sustainable food products for processing (read more).
  • Responsible re-use or redistribution of food through the donation of excess food products (read more).
  • Optimisation of transport efficiencies in our Logistics fleet.
  • Better route planning and reduction in the number of trips.
  • Responsible redistribution of near-expiry date stock through donations to identified charities.
  • Use of improved quality refrigerants to reduce electricity consumption.
  • Controls are in place to ensure that any unsold products are donated to non-profit organisation’s prior to expiry date to prevent food waste.

Carbon footprint report

Famous Brands aligns its carbon footprint assessment methods with global best practices. This alignment allows the Group to appropriately prepare for the potential introduction of a carbon tax while taking steps to reduce its overall footprint.

While our operations are below the threshold for paying a carbon tax, all sites are registered for this tax with the South African Revenue Services. Famous Brands conducted a detailed annual assessment of the Group’s carbon footprint for its Manufacturing and Logistics divisions and Company-owned restaurants. The Group does not have equity in nor financial or operational control of franchised restaurants, and the franchise operations are not included in this assessment.

This assessment focused on:

  • Scope 1: Identifying and quantifying direct GHG emissions that will require reporting to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and be liable for the carbon tax. Direct emissions include mobile fuel combustion (own fleet) and stationary fuel combustion (on-site equipment).
  • Scope 2 and 3:Understanding the primary sources of indirect GHG emissions contributing to the Group’s overall carbon footprint. Indirect emissions include purchased electricity, water supply and waste disposal.
The Group’s total GHG emissions in 2023 by scope and division are detailed below.

Energy and water usage

The Group’s consumption of non-renewable resources on a geographical basis is detailed below. In 2023, our diesel usage has increased substantially due to the high incidence of load shedding.

Total emissions across Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 in our Supply Chain decreased by 0.9% year-on-year due to increased trading activity from the front end of the business.

  • Mobile fuel usage decreased by 2.5%, while stationary fuel increased by 22%. The increase in stationary fuel is attributed to the burning of diesel in our generators due to increased load shedding.
  • Purchased electricity usage decreased by 4.9%.
  • Water supply emissions increased by 5.4%, driven by increased production in the Lambert’s Bay Production facility, and the commissioning of new plant in the Famous Brands Cheese Company plant. Both facilities have planned capital investment to reduce usage going forward.

Waste generated in our operations was 1 719 tonnes for a mix of industrial and commercial waste to landfill. Emissions related to waste decreased by 10.4% and were calculated at 971 metric tonnes of CO2e. We recycled 903 tonnes of waste material including paper, plastics, metal and glass. We composted 211 tonnes of organic waste material.

We have the following measures in place to reduce our emissions:

  • A Group-wide utilities savings awareness programme and an employee awareness campaigns to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour.
  • Smart metering of electricity, water and key fuel usage tied to key performance indicators.
  • Fuel type conversion to lower carbon fuels wherever possible, and an annual investment in solar plants.
  • Close monitoring and evaluation of new generators as well as monitoring electricity usage by refrigerators.
  • Cultivating potatoes closer to the Lamberts Bay Foods processing plant, reducing travel emissions.
  • Enhancing plant efficiencies to produce more units per hour of plant time.
  • Fleet route optimisation to reduce the number of trips required.