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Cakes baked with the planet in mind

Cakes baked with the planet in mind

When our customers buy a cake they know it’s been made with the planet in mind,” says Steve Plarre, Chief Executive Officer of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses.

This century-old, fourth generation family business is committed to operating sustainably. From packaging to water and energy efficient bakery design, Ferguson Plarre actively looks for opportunities to reduce its environmental footprint.

Since 2007, Ferguson Plarre has been planting forests with Greenfleet. Today, almost 35,000 trees are absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, reducing soil erosion and building habitat for native wildlife.

Working with Greenfleet isn’t just about putting oxygen back into the atmosphere – it’s about finding practical ways to be more sustainable,” Steve says.

We look for environmental initiatives that give us the best return for our investment – and we’ve identified two key areas: planting trees and solar power.”

Each day, fresh baked goods from Ferguson Plarre’s central bakery are delivered to its 65 stores around Victoria – with a fleet of trucks required to transport the precious cargo.

Steve says Greenfleet provided a simple and straightforward way for the company to measure its fuel consumption from its fleet of trucks, calculate the emissions generated and translate that into real trees planted.

Trees are tangible – and they represent the environment so beautifully. We are able to share our carbon offsetting commitment on our cake boxes – something that really resonates with our customers and our 800-plus staff.”

Baking consumes a lot of energy, but at Ferguson Plarre’s main bakehouse, clever design and technology combine to reduce energy and water consumption. Special cooling tunnels recover heat from freshly baked products to warm up the main production area in winter, while hot water needed for cake production is made from waste heat captured from refrigeration. These initiatives save thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas every year.

The ‘holy grail’ for us is legitimately abating so we don’t need to offset, which is why we are looking to install a large solar panel system on our roof. Up to 60 per cent of our products will be baked straight from the sun.”

This is a big project, and is still in the final stages of planning.

It won’t reduce the number of trees we need to plant to offset our transport emissions, but it will help us to reduce our emissions in other ways.

We have a very long line of sight in our business – and are looking out 50 and even 100 years. Operating with sustainability in mind – both in the economic and environmental sense – is our legacy for future generations of our business.”

This Mother’s Day is a chance to give mum something that lasts a lifetime. For every Love Mother Earth Heart Biscuit tin sold between 18 April 2016 and 8 May 2016, Ferguson Plarre will donate 50 cents towards Greenfleet revegetation projects around the country. Find them in store or online: