Courtauld signals more work needed on waste prevention

Retailers and manufacturers still aren't reaping the full benefits of waste prevention despite making good progress in reducing waste across their supply chains.

Latest findings from the Courtauld Commitment show a considerable reduction (8.8%) in supply chain waste across the grocery sector – well ahead of the three-year target of 5%.

But while the cost and efficiency benefits of tackling waste prevention at retail and manufacturing sites across the supply chain are being realised, work is still needed to embed good practices so that businesses can profit more effectively.

Under Courtauld, the packaging target is also on course, at more than three quarters of the way towards the target 10% carbon reduction.

According to WRAP who facilitates the voluntary agreement, the second year results are “encouraging given they have been achieved alongside an increase in volume sales among signatories.”

But it adds: “The need to focus on waste prevention is ever increasing, which is a challenge and one being undertaken by signatories.”

Commenting on the findings, British Retail Consortium food & sustainability director, Andrew Opie said that preventing waste was the key aim and a vital part of a sustainable supply chain.

“Recycling is good, but dramatically more resources are saved by not producing that material in the first place.”

WRAP is now working with government colleagues, as well as current signatories and trade bodies, to determine the best way forward as Courtauld is set to enter its third phase.

Maxine Perella

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