Bread and Sustainability

Sustainability is definitely the buzzword of the moment. Sustainable fashion, sustainable business, sustainable food, sustainable travel. As more and more people are buying electric vehicles in Ireland, some people might think that this is a new phenomenon. Far from it! The original bread and milk “floats” that delivered around Dublin and other cities were electric powered, and when we look back we can see how things have come full circle, with electric cars and vehicles once again evident on our streets.

Sustainable bread making is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, using less, re-using more, and accessing “green” services such as renewable energy. Our bakers aim to bake their breads with as low an environmental impact as possible. Not alone is this good for the environment, but it's good for business too!

Our Irish Bread Bakers Association members are very committed to sustainable bread production and in reducing their carbon footprints, and they are involved in many sustainability initiatives on an ongoing basis. For example:

  • The Bord Bia Origin Green enables Ireland’s farmers and food producers to make measurable sustainability commitments which allow the industry to reduce its environmental impact and serve local communities more effectively. Brennan’s Bread is proud to be a member of Origin Green and has set up a formal Sustainability team and they have installed an energy monitoring and targeting system.
  • The wax paper packaging on Brennan’s Family Pan white sliced pan and other breads, is now 100% recyclable and compostable. This gives consumers the choice to put it into either their green or brown waste bins.
  • A soft plastic is any type of plastic that you can scrunch in your hand. So any of the soft plastic bags used to wrap breads made by all our bakers can go into your recycling bin.
  • Both of Johnston Mooney & O’Brien’s bakeries were converted to 100 LED lighting in past four years. They are also working on increasing their recyclable waste, and the waste split has gone from 30% recycled in 2018 to 50% today.
  • Johnston Mooney & O’Brien Bakeries are members of the Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil
  • Brennan’s Bakery has installed LED lighting in all its dispatch areas with motion and daylight sensors.
  • Brennan’s Bakery are also members of RSPO and all of the palm oil that is procured is fully segregated (SG) under the RSPO model.
  • Rain water harvesting for vehicle washing, monitoring fuel efficiency, smaller printers using less paper are all activities that contribute to Brennan’s sustainable practices
  • Checking sustainability measures with suppliers too is part of everyday activities to ensure the sustainability “chain” is intact!
  • Irish Pride, Pat the Baker, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien and Brennan’s are all members of Repak.

Working sustainably is a work in progress and will be an ongoing, essential element of all our bakers’ operations for the future of their businesses, their customers and, of course, the planet.

For more information, check out these resources:

  1. Brennan’s Bread Sustainability video
  2. Bord Bia Origin Green
  3. Sustainability In Baking -