Based in the beautiful, picturesque rural village community of Stradone, our business has always been very aware of our impact on the environment. We strive for best practice in all aspects of the business and nowhere is that truer than in relation to environmental impact and carbon footprint.
Much like our customers, we share a passion for protecting the environment and operating mindfully in our market. This means environmental, social and governance [ESG] policy and impact is front and centre of all our key business decisions, operations and new product launches.
This section outlines several of our operating practices and initiatives designed to drive our focus on sustainability and minimise our impact on our environment.
Sourcing & Procurement
We always strive to source the best, most sustainable ingredients, packaging and eco-focused partners and suppliers as part of our procurement processes. We are strongly committed to sourcing recyclable packaging, thereby reducing waste in our market. This includes cardboard, recyclable aluminium foil and recyclable plastic wrap where possible. We request all potential suppliers conform to specific sustainability requirements, such as sustainable sourcing, and request credentials upfront prior to partnership. We check our sustainability performance regularly. For example, by 2021, 99% of the packaging used was recyclable.
Natural & Sustainable Ingredients First
All our products are free from artificial colours, flavourings, and preservatives with all products being gluten free. We strive to only add natural, quality ingredients always straight from local eco-friendly suppliers and partners.
Thinking Global, Acting Local
Our founders heart lies in the quaint Co. Cavan village of Stradone, a rural setting surrounding by green fields, farms and trees. We are very aware of our surroundings and the responsibility on our own responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment. We employ locally in the village and surrounding communities, minimising staff travelling and commuting times to our offices in addition to leveraging modern video conferring and communication technology to further eliminate non-essential travel to clients, partners and suppliers.
Manufacturing & Production
Our team is committed to eliminating all unnecessary waste in our manufacturing and production processes. We do this by adopting a lean approach to all operations which drives efficiency in our processes and ensures sustainable business practices across all departments.
Áine's Handmade Chocolate are members and active contributors to Origin Green, the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, Sustainability Programme. Certified ‘Gold Standard’ under the programme, we excel at sustainability in areas of packaging, waste and community engagement. We are also Rain Forrest Alliance certified.
We encourage our customers to buy in bulk where possible, particularly our larger retailers and partners. The fulfilment of larger orders and bulk distribution means a lower impact on carbon footing from our factory floor to their shop floor. We encourage all customers to buy online where possible, leveraging the latest digital, web and self-service technology and tools to promote and fulfil our customer orders quickly and efficiently.
Green for Micro Programme
Through the Local Enterprise Office [LEO] Cavan, our team took part in the ‘Green for Micro Project’, allowing us to determine our path to further Environmental Certification. Upon completion of our current factory expansion, we are focused on pursuing certification under ISO 14001 and to adopt the GHG (greenhouse gas) Protocol.