Leading UK sushi manufacturer, ichiban UK, has taken top prize as the ‘Greenest Business’ in the 2016 Creating the Greenest County Awards.
The company, which has invested heavily in enhancing its environmental credentials over recent years, beat off competition from around its home county of Suffolk to be confirmed winner in a ceremony last week.
A 364 day a year operation with more than 450 employees, ichiban produces over 1800 tonnes of cooked sushi rice every year and is sole supplier to two of the UK’s leading retailers.
Amongst the reasons for ichiban’s selection as greenest business, was its significant investment in a woodchip biomass boiler, which it commissioned in late 2015 to replace a kerosene steam boiler.
The biomass boiler now heats all the factory’s water use, and replaces the need for some 300,000 litres of kerosene every year.
Adding to their environmentally conscious efforts, ichiban’s management team elected to replace all of its 400 plus lights (the majority being fluorescent) to LED. Estimated cost savings when the light phase is finished will be around 57%.
Factory waste projects have also reduced landfill waste by 23 tonnes (11%) and water reduction projects have seen a 25% reduction.
Andrew Wilkinson, managing director of the privately owned business, said: “We are enormously pleased and proud to have been acknowledged for our work in making significant environmental-impact decisions.
“Our management team has worked extremely hard to implement a strategy which reduces waste and energy consumption, so to be named as winner of the Greenest Business title is a real credit to them.
“As well as making these changes, we have placed emphasis on educating our staff about our efforts, so it very much feels as if environmental awareness is part of our everyday culture here on the ichiban site.”
The company intends to continue its strategy around reducing its carbon footprint further, and is currently exploring aspects of its business around sourcing and design its materials.
ichiban is the largest sushi supplier in Europe and uses many traditional Japanese techniques to produce its sushi.
It is based near Stowmarket, in Suffolk.