The Environment

As a Group, environmental stewardship is a key responsibility of our management which carries both financial and physical risks. This necessitates the Group to take appropriate measures to minimise the effects on the environment while being proactive to monitor our impacts.


The Group’s decisions and activities have an impact on the environment. The impacts are associated with the Group’s use of resources, location of the Group’s activities, the generation of pollution and waste, and the impact of the Group’s activities on natural habitats. To reduce its environmental impacts, the Group adopted an integrated approach that takes into consideration the direct and indirect economic, social, health and environmental implications of its decisions and activities.


Environmental stewardship is a key responsibility of our management, which carries both financial and physical risks. The Group takes appropriate measures to minimise the effects of the businesses’ operations on the environment proactively and monitoring our impacts. The Group ensures that operations are in compliance with environmental laws, voluntary and international best practices and standards to minimise impacts on the ecosystem, biodiversity and climate. The Group calculates its carbon footprint in order to understand its current impact on climate change, allowing it to establish and to optimise the Group’s use of resources while minimising its environmental impacts and reducing long term risks.

Waste Management

The Group is committed to reduce the amount of waste deposited at landfills and to increase the Group’s commitment to the 4 R’s (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Recover), the zero-waste philosophy and Best Environmental Option (BEO) approach to managing waste with the safe and responsible disposal of residual waste. Waste management plans are being implemented by each business.

During the year, the Group produced a total of 9 748 tonnes of waste, of which 6% was disposed at landfills, 57% of the Group’s waste was suitable for use on farms with the majority being chicken manure which was used as organic fertilizer. 16% was plastics and 10% paper or cardboard waste which has or have the potential to be recycled. During the reporting year 321 tonnes of waste was incinerated in the National Foods’ Harare boiler. Coal ash was used to run boilers.

The Group’s types of waste is presented in the chart below.

Environment wide

Recycled Waste

Three of the Group’s businesses have focused on recycling their waste. Natpak through its recently installed chipping machine crushes branded plastic waste to chips, which are bought by small enterprises for their plastic moulding machines. The corrugated box manufacturer, Alpha Packaging recycles waste cardboard and recycled paper to make mulch to produce egg cartons, while Probrands recycled 8 tonnes of plastic and 3.6 tonnes of cardboard boxes in the past year through local enterprises. Irvine’s produced 5 107 tonnes of chicken manure which farmers use as organic fertilizers.

For plastics, which are non-recyclable and are not halogenated, National Foods’ cyclonic boilers are the best waste disposal solution turning waste into energy, within permitted air pollution parameters.

Sustainable Resource Use


Efficiency in the use of materials is key to the Group’s objective to reduce our negative environmental impact. By setting objectives with corresponding targets, each business is working towards optimising the use of natural resources used over time with the goal for the most efficient production processes and systems.

Environment wide tall

Energy Consumption – Within the Organisation

Energy TypeUnit20212020201920182017
Heating (Coal)Tons8,1597,203*5,895*5,133*4,121 *
Diesel (Ovens, Boilers, & Generators)Litres6,810,4476,070,305*5,892,984*5,620,494*4,674,432 *

* Data has been re-evaluated in conformity with standard measurements

Energy Consumption – Outside the Organisation

Energy TypeUnit20212020201920182017


The Group used in total 1 772 380m3 of water which is sourced as municipal water provided by the City of Harare and Bulawayo and borehole water – as reflected in the Water Usage per Business chart above. Water being a finite natural resource, the Group is investigating ways to minimise our water footprint throughout the Group.

Water sources

Water Sources for the Group

Borehole water1,332,4971,195,260938,282837,064683,531
Municipal water199,341141,945215,321215,56797,665
Dam Water240,542353,982473,358451,162262,833
% change year on year+5%+4%+8%+44%

Water gRAPH

As the graph above shows, the Group still relies heavily on borehole water with 75% of its water, especially in the Harare area, being sourced from groundwater during the year.

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation


The Group recognises that our operations contribute to climate change in some way and it is therefore the Group’s responsibility to ensure that our businesses respond positively to calls for climate change protection and mitigation. Conversely, changes in climate can in turn have an impact on our businesses, particularly those that rely heavily on water and on agricultural inputs. This potentially very important impact is recognised by the Group as needing to be taken into account in any future business plans.

Carbon Footprint

The Group reports its carbon footprint across all its businesses. The Group continues to use the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (United Kingdom’s) UK Government GHG (Greenhouse Gases) Conversion Factors. The information is presented as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tonnes CO2e), which is the universal unit of measurement to indicate the global warming potential (GWP) of GHGs, expressed in terms of the GWP of one unit of carbon dioxide (CO2). The GWPs used in the calculations of CO2e are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) over a 100-year period. Electricity carbon footprint factors are taken from those developed using IPCC factors by applying the Zimbabwean electrical grid parameters, including both renewable and non-renewable sources as found on

When reporting on GHGs, there are three scopes of emission which are to be included in the calculations:

Scope 1 - Calculations including emissions from direct fuel use


Scope 2 - Calculations including emissions from indirect sources – electricity

Scope 3 - Calculations including indirect emissions not included in Scope 2, e.g. business travel, shipment of goods.

The Group’s carbon footprint is presented below, calculated for Scope 1 and 2.

Scope 1: Direct Emissions

Scope 1 relates to direct emission arising from business activities within our control and ownership. DEFRA Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2021 are used for these calculations. The carbon footprint has been calculated based on the fuel used for the production processes only. This includes the use of coal as well as diesel used to run ovens, boilers and generators.

Table: Scope 1: Direct Emissions

Emissions SourcesUnit20212020201920182017
Fuels (Coal and Diesel for ovens, boilers & generators)tonnes CO2e38,07933,73930,11327,54622,553

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions

Scope 2 relates to the emissions arising from the use of electricity generated by a third party or sources over which a company has no control. The data below is calculated based on’s IPCC calculation value of 0.729770333127 kgCO2e/kWh for Zimbabwe.

Table: Scope 2: Indirect Emissions

Emissions SourcesUnit20212020201920182017
Electricitytonnes CO2e71,59058,53573,17668,28463,574

Carbon Footprint