B Corp Oddbox targets net-zero emissions by 2030

Surplus fruit and vegetable redistributor Oddbox has unveiled new pledges to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 and reduce emissions by saving 150,000 tonnes of food waste by 2025.

B Corp Oddbox targets net-zero emissions by 2030

Oddbox’s own product surplus is also donated to charities The Felix Project and City Harvest

B Corp Oddbox has outlined new commitments to sustainability in its first annual Do Good Report. The company, which redistributes fruit and vegetables not wanted by retailers directly from growers to households, has committed to reaching net-zero by 2030.

Additionally, the company will attempt to save 150,000 tonnes of food from going to waste by 2025. Currently, Oddbox offers the produce to households who sign up to its community and the initiative is expanding to cover the Midlands and South West. More than two million new households now have access to the community.

Oddbox’s own product surplus is also donated to charities The Felix Project and City Harvest. More than 300 tonnes of surplus fruit and veg has been donated since 2018, providing the equivalent of around 700,000 meals to help alleviate poverty.

The 150,000 tonnes that Oddbox is aiming to be saved would lead to the prevention of 16 billion litres of water from being used for nothing, while also avoiding 164,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions. That equates to the amount of water that 270,000 people drink in their lifetimes and the emissions needed to power half of the homes in the UK for a whole day. 

Oddbox’s sustainability manager Heather Lynch said: “We’re making business a force for good. So alongside our food waste mission, we’re looking at ways of maximising the difference we make. We will be net-zero by 2030 alongside other B Corps – 20 years earlier than the deadline set by the UK Government.

“Last year we measured our own carbon footprint and from this, we have made a series of sustainability commitments, including reducing the carbon footprint of each box by 5% in 2021 and planning a fully electric delivery fleet by 2025, all working towards our overall net-zero goal.”

Food waste costs

In related news, new research from WRAP compiled by The UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers to mark Stop Food Waste Day (Wednesday 28 April) has uncovered the extent of food waste in the UK.

The research found that Brits waste 4.5 million tonnes of food annually. This waste is down to households throwing out food that is past its sell-by date or no longer needed. According to WRAP, this waste is equitable to £700 annually.

Food waste from all sources has decreased in recent years, however, a further 1.8 million tonnes of food waste will need to be prevented by 2030 if the UK is to align with SDG 12.3. WRAP believes that if 400 more businesses commit its roadmap, this figure can be achieved.

However, around £2bn of edible food waste occurred across the retail and manufacturing sectors in 2018, and the businesses involved in the new commitment will aim to work towards Defra’s target of halving food waste by 2030.

Fortunately, households are aiming to play their part. Lockdown has made many re-think the way that food is used, or waste. A recent survey found that 84% of households believe food waste is now a national issue.

Matt Mace

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