A THIRSK-based firm has become the first major pet food manufacturer in the UK to become carbon negative and wants to go even further.

Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN), who produce Harringtons and Wagg, is celebrating after being accredited by Carbon Footprint Ltd as carbon negative.

And the company has now launched its 'A Positive Pawprint' project, with the ambition of becoming the most sustainable pet food manufacturer in the country.

The project sets out a host of environmental goals, such as using more recycled packaging and green energy.

It also has a focus on social responsibility - starting with a new Miles and Meals campaign.

This urges pet owners to walk, run or cycle as many miles as they can and IPN will then select from a network of animal charities and shelters it works with and donate a meal for every mile.

Corporate marketing executive Hannah Page, said: “We’ve all spent a lot of time indoors in 2020 and it’s clear that taking exercise with your pet really helps improve physical and mental wellbeing.

"So we wanted to give people an extra reason to get out and about, in the knowledge that each mile will fund a meal for a pet that needs support.”

To reach carbon negative status, IPN worked with Carbon Footprint to calculate its production emissions, which then guided investments above that amount in renewable energy projects. IPN will also plant a tree each for its near 300 employees.

CEO Richard Page said: “Lots of companies are now promising to address climate change in the coming years, which is good to see – but we didn’t want to set a distant future pledge for something that could be done today.

"Sustainability isn’t new to us, it’s part of our DNA as we’ve always tried to make the right choices for people, pets and the planet and led the way when we launched Harringtons into compostable bags back in 2009.

"Becoming carbon negative is the next big step towards our goal of being the UK’s most sustainable pet food manufacturer.”