Protecting Our Environment
We know that the Isle of Man is a special place, for people and nature. We are proud of our beautiful, special island and by maintaining it today, we hope we will secure a sustainable future for tomorrow. We want to ensure our supply chains are as environmentally friendly and efficient as possible, from cow to carton.
Encouraging and maintaining wildlife biodiversity on farms
There are various areas of every farm which support a magnitude of wild flora and fauna, including various small mammals, insects and wild birds. The quantity of animals which call the farm home goes way beyond the number of cattle that are owned. Habitats such as ponds, wetlands, hedgerows and woodland areas provide important habitats for such creatures and flowers to flourish. Our farmers work with nature, not against it and preserve these areas.
We understand the benefits that trees provide to our environment. They produce oxygen and capture carbon, create habitats and shelter for wildlife, protect against soil erosion and generally enhance our countryside. We are excited to be working with ‘Manx Native Trees’, where this Autumn, we will allocate £3000 to plant even more trees on our producer’s farms. Only trees native to the island and ‘honorary native’ trees will be planted; it is our aim to support local biodiversity and ensure that the trees we plant are not only appropriate for the area they are planted but will hopefully thrive.
Carbon sequestration through effective grass and soil management
Did you know that grass absorbs carbon dioxide, in a similar way to how trees and other plants do? Through photosynthesis, each grass plant takes carbon from the atmosphere and uses it to build more plant matter, above and below the ground. Some of this organic carbon becomes part of the soil as plant parts die and decompose, and some is lost back to the atmosphere as gaseous carbon emissions through plant respiration and decomposition. Grass plants can then release carbon out of their root tips into the fungi within the soil, which in turn, will become stabilised and stored.
The process of herbivores grazing the grass plant can aid this process. When the plant is pruned back, as with grazing, a roughly equivalent value of roots dies off (adding carbon to the soil). This is because the remaining top growth can no longer photosynthesize enough food to feed the plant’s entire root system. In due course, both roots and top growth recover, and the cycle begins again. With good grazing management, perennial plants can live and reproduce for many years with an ongoing cycle of pruning, root-sloughing and regeneration, contributing more and more carbon to the soil indefinitely.
Our farmers take great pride in ensuring excellent grassland management. Our cows move between grazing paddocks, always allowing time for the grass to recover and never overgrazed. This is something our farmers have done for many years and will continue to embrace going into the future.
K. Ghosh, P & Mahanta, Sanat Kumar. (2014). Carbon sequestration in grassland systems. Range Management and Agroforestry. 35. 173-181.
Improving efficiencies on farm to reduce energy consumption
Our farmers are embracing technology and science wherever possible to improve efficiencies of energy and fuel on farm.
Replacing conventional lighting with LED alternatives
Adopting GPS technology in tractors. As a result, routes are mapped and followed, using less fuel.
Using energy efficient equipment and the correct operation and maintenance of the equipment, especially with regards to the milking parlour, milk cooling systems and hot water production.
Maximising the use of organic nitrogen on farm, bringing natural nutrients back to the land and therefore reducing the need for artificial fertiliser.
Closed loop cereal system, whereby most feed and straw requirements are grown on the farm, rather than transporting from further afield.
Isle of Man Creamery processes over 26 million litres of milk every year! We are always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact and improve our processes.
In 2017, we invested in new steam boilers which have improved our efficiencies, since that date we have reduced the following consumptions:
Oil by -15%
Electricity by -4%
Overall carbon emissions by -5.5%
On top of this, we have added other smaller improvements, which over time we expect to make a big change, such as LED lighting with motion sensors and new windows.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by switching to efficient packaging
Cartons are carbon negative
As our cartons are flat packed, we can transport nine times as many cartons in one trip compared to the plastic poly bottles.
Reduced waste to incineration and increasing quantity sent to recycling
Since 2017 cardboard has been collected on site for recycling
April 2019 we upscaled our recycling efforts by also recycling poly bottles, cartons, plastic, waxed paper and cream pots.
Summer / Autumn 2019 we will begin doorstep recycling collection – picking up rinsed, compacted cartons from our doorstep customers and sending onto the recycling facility from the Creamery.