Paterson Arran case study: Food waste

22 February 2020

The journey from a husband and wife team selling home baked oatcakes in Rutherglen, Scotland, to now joining one of the country’s best-known food companies, Burtons Biscuit Company, would have been beyond even the wildest dreams of John and Isabella Paterson, as they started out in 1895. Today, Paterson Arran produces a wide range of shortbread, biscuits and oatcakes from its site in Livingston, including the nations favourite shortbread brand*, Paterson’s. The company also produce a wide range of chutney, mustard and preserves from a site on the small Isle of Arran, and this is shipped around the globe, as per customer needs. Since 2006, total company output has increased by more than 80% to meet growing demand. Now part of the Burton’s Biscuit Company family, Paterson Arran has grwon into one of Scotland’s best known food brands.


Download (245 kb)

Paterson Arran is committed to achieving sustainability across its business and has annual SMART targets for waste, water and energy.

On waste, Paterson Arran has reduced the amount of general waste generated by 59% - this is despite production tonnage increasing by 87%. Since 2014, Paterson Arran has operated a landfill free site; general waste is sent to a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) plant to make electricity and all the company’s food production waste is recycled as animal feed. The company’s recycling rate also increased from 83% in 2008 to 94% in 2018.

On water, Paterson Arran has reduced the volume of water used to make each tonne of product by 63%. Total water consumption has been reduced by 31%.

On energy, overall energy per tonne of product (gas and electricity) is down 42% since 2006 and absolute energy consumption fell 10%.

The company has an Environmental Committee, which involved staff at all levels of the business. This has given different departments the opportunity to voice their ideas on environmental issues, and has helped communicate the company’s enviromental message throughout the wider business. The Environmental Committee carries out monthly environmental audits of waste, water and energy use led by the HSE and Hygiene Officer.

The Paterson Arran site in Livingston is home to two beehives. Bees play a very important role in the overall health of the eco-system and the world’s agricultural economy thus, through adoption of the beehives, Paterson Arran are giving back to the environment in order to best protect the planet for future generations to come.

Paterson Arran have also taken action to improve their supply chain, this includes, removing palm oil from its recipes wherever possible and, where this is not possible, only usng RSPO approved palm oil. The company has also invested in a traceability system. Paterson Arran works closely with its supply chain to identify potential improvements, including with its plastic film supplier and its sugar supplier.

View Ambition 2025 Progress Report 2019

*Kantar Worldpanel w/e 16.06.19

“At Paterson Arran, we take our responsbilities to minimise the environmental impact of our activities very seriously and we are very proud of our environmental track record. This commitment is one of our core values and involves every one of our colleagues. It is one of the criterion we use to assess our decisions and it has become ‘The way we do things around here’.”

Sean Austin

Managing Director, Paterson Arran