Green And Brown – A Winning Combination! June 02, 2018 10:08

There’s been much in the news recently about Going Green and as someone who has been evangelical about recycling and sourcing local for years I’m all for this.  However, there was that little nagging doubt in the back of my mind that questioned if we were really doing all that we could.

Thankfully, when I sat down and took a focused look at our policies and processes I was very happy to see that we were indeed already doing a pretty good job! Not perfect, and certainly with room for improvement but our over-riding policy of sourcing locally where we can, thinking about seasonality and sustainability has served both you, our customers, and the planet well!

There were a few areas I knew we needed to look at though, and as a person who cares about the environment and the impact we are having, I knew we should and could do more.  Over the past few months we’ve made an even bigger effort and I’m delighted to say, it has paid off.

The results are a greener, leaner business and the cherry on top is that we’ve been awarded a Green Tourism Bronze Award for our efforts.  We’re all very proud and I hope that the differences we’ve made will also help you be greener when you choose to shop in Provender Brown.

  • We’re now well on the way to converting our disposables to compostable ones. Think deli pots, cups, cutlery, paper bags etc. These are now mostly Vegware, made from plants.
  • We receive huge amounts of packaging material each week, much of it not recyclable. Bubble wrap, polystyrene beads, pillow packs all go across the road to our fellow indie, Pharos Parcels, who re-use it to send out parcels.  We also save some to use in our own hampers at Christmas time.
  • Polystyrene cool boxes – we keep some to use for our own chilled orders going out – particularly handy for cheese wedding cakes.  The others go to a couple of our local suppliers, Puddledub and Strathearn Cheese, who re-use them.
  • Cardboard boxes – we pass on whatever we can to The Bean Shop, Puddledub and Strathearn Cheese who all make good use of them for sending out their own deliveries.  We’ll often get the same box back the following week with our delivery in it!  We do get a LOT of cardboard and most of it goes in our big recycling bins out the back.
  • Food waste – stuff that’s either seasonal and unlikely to sell or past its best before date but still edible (biscuits etc) – goes via one of our customers to the food bank.  General food waste goes in our food bin and is sent for composting.
  • Waste oils from olives are collected and converted into biodiesel.
  • Paper (including receipts), cardboard, rigid plastic and cans all go in our recycling bins.  I am evangelical about ensuring that everything that can be recycled does.  I’m forever going round taking things out of the general waste and moving them to recycling.
  • Local suppliers – wherever viable we like to use local suppliers, for instance we’ve just switched scotch egg supplier to a Scottish business that uses Scottish ingredients (including free range pork from Ramsay of Carluke) – they deliver in their own vans and take back the polystyrene boxes for re-use.  70% of PB’s expenditure goes to businesses and individuals within 50 miles of Perth.
  • We’ve replaced our big chiller at the back of the shop with one that has doors and a remote (outdoor) condenser.  This is much more efficient to run and also means there is less heat generated in the shop so less need for air conditioning.
  • The big chiller at the front produces a lot of heat so we do still need to have air-con but much of the time it’s switched off and we try to open the door instead.  There are times when we need air con and so a few years ago we replaced the unit with one that is more modern and more environmentally friendly. 
  • Our shop lighting has now been part replaced with LEDs and we’re looking to replace the remainder in the near future.
  • The company has a PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle) that’s used for all company business.

Here’s what the Green Tourism report said: “Provender Brown Delicatessen has done well to gain a high Bronze award as a result of a Green Check call. There are lots of great practices in the business from the use and story telling of Vegware products, the vast range of Scottish produce on sale and the creation of a local Gin festival within the city. A processional move to LED lighting is a great feature within the business as is the excellent recycling and re-use policy with other business owners in the city. Overall a very good start to the Green Tourism journey and with lots of potential and a higher award very achievable.”