United Biscuits has become the first food manufacturer this year to set out ambitious new green targets.

It plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 35% by 2020 by rolling out new oven burners to five factories in the next three years and has set a target of cutting vehicle emissions 22% by 2012.

It has also set out its stall to increase its current level of 97% food waste recycling to 100% by 2010, with zero non-food waste going to landfill by 2015. On the packaging front, it has pledged to reduce material weight by 20% by 2015 and is working with a supplier to create a new lighter-weight snack film for its biscuits.

"Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility and we want to play our part," said chief operating officer Jeff van der Eems. "We have set targets to consider use of resources and make sustainable choices."

As part of the drive, UB has issued 9,000 staff with a free low-energy lightbulb to encourage greener attitudes.