Words by Caroline Curtis.
Our vision here at tails.com is to change the world of pet food, for good. Reducing our environmental impact as both a food provider and manufacturer is a major part of that.
Understanding the true nature of tails.com’s environmental impacts across the supply, manufacturing, packaging and distribution chain is really complex but we’ve identified 4 main areas where we should focus our efforts to minimise our impact on our planet:
- Our packaging
- Reducing food waste
- Sourcing our ingredients responsibly
- Reducing our climate impact
Our packaging -
One of the most significant impacts we can have is to make all our packaging recyclable. We’re at 89% recyclability currently, with our big kibble bag the most significant change we need to make. Our new, ready to recycle version is now in test with 1000s of our customers and we hope to roll that out permanently to every customer, everywhere, by the end of the year.
All our corrugated packaging is from FSC certified sources, and contains at least 50% recycled content. We contribute to consumer recycling schemes in the countries where we ship our food, to increase the amount of recycled material gathered. And we reduce unnecessary packaging wherever we can, for example we never use void fill in our parcels, and we slim down the amount of material used where we can’t remove it entirely - most recently we’ve successfully light-weighted our scoops and big wet food boxes.
Reducing food waste -
Our nose to tail approach at tails.com takes meat from the human food chain of less popular cuts. This food is highly nutritious and would otherwise be wasted.
We monitor and reduce food waste created in our packaging and manufacturing processes. For the small amount that remains we will never send it to landfill. Waste food that is good for consumption is donated to charity, and food that is not suitable for consumption is used in anaerobic digestion to create biogas - an renewable alternative to fossil fuels. We also aim to reduce overfeeding and obesity of pets by ensuring the correct amount of food is served - not too much, or too little - by giving every customer clear, personalised feeding directions and a perfect portion scoop.
Sourcing our ingredients responsibly -
By favouring ingredients that are readily grown in the UK and Europe (things like wheat, maize, potato, sorghum, peas) we can source as locally as possible and reduce our carbon footprint. We will not use genetically modified food which impacts biodiversity, or soya which has contributed to Amazon deforestation. We put our suppliers through their paces and ensure they uphold our values too - as we’re committed to ensuring our supply chain meets the highest standards in terms of quality, ethics and sustainability. We ask all our suppliers to sign up to our Code of Conduct and confirm actions they are taking to minimise waste and impact on the environment, to ensure longevity for tails.com as well as the world around us.
Reducing our climate impact -
Climate change is the biggest crisis our species and planet faces, and to play our part we need to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of our tails.com factories and offices. We’ve recently completed projects to install energy efficient PIR lighting across our estate, and have switched to 100% renewable energy for our UK factory sites. Our factory in the Netherlands is powered by solar panels installed on its roof. And to support our staff to make their own positive commitments to reduce their climate impact, we encourage low carbon forms of transport for our staff to get to work, including a Cycle to Work scheme.
It’s important that we do take time to reflect on the progress we’ve made on our journey to change the world of pet food for good, but there is still more we can and will do. We’ll continue working and innovating, to accelerate the positive impact tails.com can have for our consumers, our community and team, and our environment.