Food and Drink manufacturers slash CO2 emissions by 35%

Food and drink manufacturers have achieved their target for reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by 35%, way ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the Food and Drink Federation's Five-fold Environmental Ambition.

So says the FDF Five-fold Environmental Ambition progress report 2014 which was published today and outlines major improvements in the sustainability performance in food and drink manufacturing operations since 2007.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss said: “This report showcases that economic growth and success need not be at the expense of environmental ambitions. For FDF members, producing more with less isn’t a series of buzz words, it’s an opportunity to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

“These are real achievements and it’s encouraging to see that FDF remains committed to working with its partners across the supply chain to face the environmental and economic challenges of the future.”

FDF’s members have reduced emissions by 664,000 tonnes of CO2 on 1990 levels since the target was set in 2007, achieving the 35% reduction target in 2013.

“Our significant achievement of an absolute reduction of 35% in CO2 emissions is a result of continued focus on energy efficiency and low carbon innovation by members and proof that this collective approach is working,” said FDF’s interim director general Jim Moseley. 

Waste to landfill

The industry has also reduced water use by 15.6%, saving 6.1 million cubic metres of water, and reduced the carbon impact of packaging by 4.5% well ahead of the 2015 zero-increase target of the WRAP Courtauld Commitment.

Food and packaging waste sent to landfill has been reduced to just 3% and members are focusing on achieving the zero waste to landfill target by the end of 2015.

Despite this reduction in waste to landfill, the first year results of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 released last week revealed that there has been almost no change in the amount of overall manufacturing and retail waste, although there has been an increase in recycling, and food redistribution is up by 80%.

Moseley added: “This focus and drive to raise our collective environmental performance remains at the heart of the Five-fold Environmental Ambition and we will continue working together to improve resource efficiency, including revising our emissions target over the coming months.”

In 2014 FDF has been working with DECC and BIS on the Food and Drink ‘Industrial Roadmap for Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency to 2050’ which aims to identify those opportunities and technologies that could help further deliver a low carbon food and drink manufacturing sector beyond FDF’s current Five-fold Environmental Ambition time horizon of 2020.

Lucinda Dann

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