We take our commitment to sustainability very seriously. We have taken several initiatives to reduce our environmental impact and increase our energy efficiency. Here are some of the many initiatives we have undertaken.
Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme. It is the world’s only national programme which enables the industry to achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities effectively. The programme is independently monitored and verified, and our accreditation at farm level is provided to ISO: 17065 and Carbon Trust (PAS 2050). In 2021 O’Shea Farms became a Gold member of Origin Green, one of only 50 companies in Ireland to attain this accreditation.
Integrated Wetland Wastewater Management System
All our wastewater is treated in our 13-acre reed bed system. Reed beds are a natural, environmentally friendly, ecologically sustainable solution to the treatment of wastewater. Clean recycled water enters the River Suir when the cleaning process is complete.
We have taken several measures to reduce our packaging waste, such as introducing re-usable crates and pallets. All our cardboard and plastic waste is segregated and recycled for greater efficiency and sustainability. Plastic packaging for the retail industry has been reduced by over 30% and further reductions are imminent. Some plastics have been replaced by hessian and cardboard.
In 2015 we installed 960 individual solar panels, which at the time was Ireland’s largest photovoltaic solar energy installation.
We have a large electricity demand and we are interested in promoting a sustainable energy practice while continuing to meet our daily business objectives. Over the years we have reduced our energy consumption, for example we have replaced our light fittings with energy efficient Led lights and we have replaced the motors on our production equipment with lower kwh variable speed drives.
To generate renewable energy on site in 2015 we installed a 250kw solar photovoltaic system (960 panels) producing on average 210,000 kWh of electricity per annum, which is approximately 12 % of our annual electricity consumption. We hope to increase our renewable energy production in the coming years as energy storage technology improves.