The funding will support the roll out of a series of process innovations and operational improvements to help the business on its net zero roadmap, the company revealed.
Upgrades include completing the transition to LED lighting across all of its sites and swapping equipment with more energy efficient alternatives, such as heat pumps in place of gas boilers and optimised refrigeration systems.
The business already has local solar and wind projects at many of its sites and is now expanding these to the remainder of its manufacturing plants across the country – all of which will help to reduce carbon emissions by 11,000 tonnes annually.
Pilgrim’s UK said the investment was part of its plan to become a net zero business by 2030. The company claimed its target at Pilgrim’s UK means it was 'going further and faster than any other major company in its sector and puts the business 10 years ahead of the NFU’s industry-wide goal'.
Pilgrim's UK said its core strategy was to support its customers in achieving their own sustainability ambitions as the business aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its supply chain by 2035.
It will continue to use 100% renewable electricity across its manufacturing sites and has committed to using fully verified, zero-deforestation sustainable soya by 2025.
Pilgrim's UK said its sustainable farming practices, combined with diet reformulation research & development for its pigs, had contributed to average on-farm emissions of 2.53kg CO2e/kgLW - half the industry average level in UK pig production.
“The sector has grappled with significant challenges over the past few years, which we continue to help our farmer network and supply chain partners to navigate," said Morten Knudsen, chief financial officer at Pilgrim’s UK. "But our unwavering commitment to our sustainability roadmap remains at the heart of our business.
"We recognise as one of the leading farming and food businesses here in the UK we have a responsibility to be trailblazers in this space, supporting our global ambitions. We want to accelerate our progress, working with the entire value chain, so that we can continue to go further and faster to becoming a net zero business and that means investing in vital sustainability projects like these to help us get there.”