Working in harmony with nature...
We’re proud to say that sustainability has always been a major part of our family business. Since the 1780s when the original water-wheel drove the Mill, we’ve been committed to working in harmony with the environment in everything we do.
We've been active members of Bord Bia's sustainability initiative, Origin Green, since it began and we're delighted to have been awarded Gold Member Status in September 2021 in recognition of our achievements over the past number of years.
Key areas we have made improvements on in 2020, which helped us secure our Gold Membership include:
- Manufacturing - Electricity intensity reduced by >7% to 168.5kWh/t in 2020, with motion sensor lighting having been installed in the warehouse and office
- Supplier Certification - We increased our intake of Irish organic oats in 2020 to 65% (an increase of 8% on the previous year), which represents our highest ever volume of Organic Oats sourced from Irish suppliers. Flahavan's has been pro-active in its promotion of organic tillage farming for many years, alongside Teagasc, the Organic Trust and the Irish Organic Association (IOA), in order to help increase supply
- Water - Water intensity was successfully reduced, recording a 7.5% improvement on the previous year
- Health & Nutrition - Four new products were launched during 2020, against a projection of two
- Community Engagement - Fifteen events were held against a target of five - events included online classes; brand partnerships and sponsorship of the Dublin City Marathon. More than 30 recipes were created and shared across digital and social platforms throughout 2020
We recognise our journey hasn’t ended – scroll to find out more!
As our business continued to grow, we decided to put a greater emphasis on the generation of our own renewable energy.
To this end, we installed a 500 kW wind turbine in 2015. This clean energy source provides us with 1.44M kWh of electricity (or approx. 60% of our total requirements) every year and as such, is the company's biggest power generator.
The River Mahon was used as a means to power the Mill since it was first founded. Originally a water wheel was put in place, however in 1935 a water turbine was installed, which has since been upgraded with a modern generator and controls. The water turbine contributes approx. 3% of our electricity requirements to assist with powering the Mill each day.
Fire & Sun
The milling process has a substantial steam and heat requirement – we’re committed to delivering this in an environmentally-friendly way.
We burn 80 tonnes of oat hulls (by-product and outer shell of the oat) to power the boiler each month, which in turn generates the steam for cooking. All the steam requirements and all of the heat used in the Mill comes from this boiler, which is solely fuelled with oat husks. This is the equivalent of 4.25M kWh per annum.
In the summertime when the wind turbine is slower and generates less power, we use solar panels to generate additional electricity. The solar panels have a rated capacity of 130kW of energy and are located on the roof or our grain store.
We’re very proud to say that 70% of our company’s total energy requirements are self-generated on site through our wind turbine, water turbine and solar panels, and 100% of our electricity supply comes from renewable resources. Nature has always been good to us, so in return, we make every effort to look after it too.
Locally Grown, Locally Produced.
We’re all aware that the ‘air miles’ used in shipping foods and ingredients all have a negative impact on our environment. That’s why at Flahavan’s we’re proud to source our conventional oats from farms within a 60-mile radius of our Mill.
This really is oat country and year after year, the cycle continues of growth, harvesting and milling. It’s a timeless way of working and like porridge oats itself, is one that’s healthy, natural and wholesome.
We recognise our journey hasn’t ended.
Our closeness to the land means we’re passionate about making the most of nature’s resources and giving back as much as we take.
We’ve turned our focus now to sustainable packaging and we have just undertaken a major initiative to bring our packaging into line with our sustainability commitments.
We’re committed to beginning our journey in using the most environmentally-friendly packaging to minimising our impact on the earth to protect the quality of our foods.