Placing sustainability at the heart of business

Blue Skies is a supplier of fresh fruit, with 5,000 employees in 10 factories spanning Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Benin and the UK.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Blue Skies outlined three key targets to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of its business:

1. Zero waste

Blue Skies has committed to sending zero waste to landfill by 2030, and to all its packaging being 100% recyclable and from more than 50% recycled content by 2025. In order to make these goals a reality, Blue Skies established an R&D hub, supported by government funding, to accelerate innovation in plastic packaging.

2. Zero biodiversity loss

Blue Skies has committed to achieving a net biodiversity gain every year, through measures such as helping farmers work to embed sustainable farming practices while conserving and enhancing biodiversity, engaging in tree planting programmes across many of its sites, and implementing measures to promote biodiversity, such as installing bat boxes and beehives.

3. Zero emissions

Blue Skies completed its first comprehensive carbon footprint measurement in 2021 and plans to repeat the process on an annual basis to measure progress against that baseline. It has set a target in line with the Science-Based Targets Initiative of achieving net zero carbon emissions across its Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 2050, within an interim target to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030.

In order to have more ownership over the carbon measurement process, Blue Skies worked with the Carbon Trust to develop its own in-house carbon calculator.

To ensure that responsibility for these goals is embedded throughout the business, responsibility for individual targets is given to the head of the relevant department, instead of with a central sustainability team.

Measuring its emissions has produced highlighted opportunities for improvement and enabled Blue Skies to target its carbon reduction efforts, such as improving maintenance processes to reduce the impact of leaking refrigerants.

“Build a holistic strategy, focused on how sustainability aligns to know your mission and values as a company. Having the confidence in your own strategy and the direction that you want to go in is important.”
Simon Derrick,
Global Head of Sustainability, Blue Skies

Related courses and resources

Surveys show that a large majority of global consumers expect companies to be run in a socially responsible manner, with 81% saying they are more likely to buy from brands with similar values to their own. Full IoD members can request a template CSR policy for your company from the Information & Advisory Service.

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