Brakes ramps up ambitious plan to harness natural energy across its UK estate

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

1 million kWh of renewable energy is now powering Brakes' Aylesford depot. Pic: Brakes
1 million kWh of renewable energy is now powering Brakes' Aylesford depot. Pic: Brakes

Related tags Brakes Renewable energy Sysco solar panel Carbon footprint

The UK provider of on-the-go and other foodservice products has completed its second project in a phased programme that will see the company generate renewable energy at its sites across the country.

The installation of a solar array will provide 1 million kWh of renewable energy for its Aylesford depot and follows the successful installation of a similar array at its Harlow site in July 2022, which is expected to save the equivalent of more than 200 tonnes of CO2 ​every year.

Decarbonisation strategy

Brakes solar installation graph

The renewable energy initiative is the latest step towards the science-based targets set out by Sysco, a global foodservice leader, to cut carbon emissions by 27.5% between 2019 and 2030 and to move to 100% renewable electricity.

Brakes became part of the Sysco family in 2016 and shares values to promote an ethical and sustainable supply chain, lower waste and operate with a smaller carbon footprint.

Challenging carbon reduction goals

The 2,400 solar panel system at its Aylesford depot will provide almost a quarter of the site’s energy requirement and like the Harlow project, will save the equivalent of approximately 200 tonnes of carbon every year. It will see the company reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 27.5% by 2030 and ensure that suppliers covering 67% of Sysco’s Scope 3 emissions establish science-based targets by 2026.

“We are helping to meet Sysco’s challenging global carbon reduction goals by tackling the energy consumption in our own transport and infrastructure here in Britain,”​ said Peter Owen, Sysco GM Engineering and Environment director.

“We’ve seen this work well in Harlow with our first 1MW solar array. Now, our ambition is to roll this out and install solar wherever possible across our estate – generating our own source of renewable, clean energy. This is key to our decarbonisation strategy.”

Brakes is a leading UK broadline supplier in the UK, delivering fresh and frozen food and ingredients to foodservice clients ranging from pubs and restaurants to schools, caterers, care homes and hospitals.

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