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Wholesaler Dunns Food and Drinks to deliver on sustainability drive with £1.5 million investment

21/03/2023
Julie Dunn (Operations Manager at Dunns Food and Drinks)

ONE of Scotland’s largest wholesalers is investing £1.5 million in a range of major sustainability measures to support its long-term Net Zero ambitions. 

The investment includes a £1m energy-efficient CO2 freezer, solar panels, and LED lights with motion sensors. At the same time, on the 100-year anniversary of its first motor lorry hitting the streets, the company is set to trial an electric van as part of the Scottish Wholesale Association’s decarbonising wholesale project.  

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Julie Dunn, operations director at Dunns Food and Drinks, said: “Dunns has a rich history in innovation because we’re always looking for ways to positively impact our suppliers, our customers, and our community.

“This is a major investment in our future and the future of Scotland’s food and drinks industry. This investment will secure more jobs within our community and is another step towards long-term sustainability goals.”

The Scottish Government has set a target date for Net Zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. To meet Scotland’s targets, the government has stated that ‘a rapid transformation across all sectors of our economy and society is required’.

In its annual report on Scotland’s climate strategy, UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an official advisory body, said there were ‘glaring gaps’ between its ambitions to cut emissions by 75% by 2030 and its success in meeting them.

Ms Dunn agrees more needs to be done if Scotland is to reach Net Zero within a generation. She said: “As a company, we can do everything we can to make positive steps towards Net Zero. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of readying Scotland’s infrastructure.

“We navigated the switch from horse and cart to motor lorry in 1923, and we hope there will one day be a similarly smooth transition to electric vehicles – although it certainly won’t happen overnight. 

“Charging a vehicle to go from Glasgow to Edinburgh and back costs more than fuel, and the best mileage an electric van can offer is around 130 miles on a full charge; as a national distributor this limits where we can use electric vans.  

“Electric vehicles also aren’t carbon neutral until they have been used for four years, which is usually around the time businesses renew vehicles, meaning there need to be more incentives for companies to choose green initiatives. There’s also a lot of talk and very little action when it comes to education for green jobs, while Scotland desperately needs a skills development plan for logistics.

“The Scottish Government must continue to work with industry to create a realistic plan to help companies who want to do the right thing and take the necessary steps.

“There can’t be a massive gap between the affordability and simplicity of carbon-friendly choices. Scotland’s hospitality sector is navigating an incredibly difficult time, with rising costs in almost every area; too many good operators are closing their doors. We are doing everything we can to support hospitality businesses, and we hope that becomes a major priority for the Scottish Government as well as its Net Zero objectives.”

Founded in 1875 as a soft drinks firm, Dunns Food and Drinks has since grown to become one of Scotland’s leading delivery wholesalers with a remarkable portfolio of food, beers, wines and spirits from around the world and supplies around 2,000 customers across Scotland.

For more information on Dunns Food and Drinks, visit the website.

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