Food manufacturers unveil 2025 targets to deliver 'sustainable food system of the future'
McCain Foods, Cadbury, Coca-Cola GB and McVitie's are among a host of British food and drink manufacturers that have developed a series of ambitious new sustainability commitments this week.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), which represents 16% of the entire UK food manufacturing sector, has unveiled its new ‘Ambition 2025’ document, which ramps up industry efforts to reduce environmental impacts, protect natural capital, and contribute to the delivery of a sustainable food system for the future.
The new CSR targets target carbon, food waste, water consumption, sustainable packaging and transport emissions, and also place an emphasis on “shaping sustainable value chains” for the future.
FDF’s sustainability & chief scientific officer Helen Munday said: “FDF’s five-fold Environmental Ambition was truly ground-breaking when we launched it in 2007. Now, having made great progress across a range of areas including massive CO2 emission and water use reductions, we’ve looked again at what more we can deliver, engaging with more companies within our sector and beyond.”
Zero supply waste
Under Ambition 2025, FDF members are tasked with achieving a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 from a 1990 baseline – having already achieved a 44% reduction – in line with the national emissions reduction targets set out in the UK’s Fourth Carbon Budget.
One of the standout commitments under Ambition 2025 is the target to send zero supply waste to landfill from members’ direct operations from 2016 and beyond. As a signatory of WRAP’s Courtauld 2025 commitment, this target will contribute to a 20% per capita reduction in UK food and drink waste by 2025.
Food and drink manufactures will also now be looking to reduce water use across their entire supply chain to help cut operational water waste by 20% by 2015 from a 2015 baseline. Other goals include reducing the carbon impact of members packaging waste and overall transport emissions within company fleets.
Commenting on the new targets, regional chief executive of McCain Foods and chair of FDF’s sustainability steering group Nick Vermont said: “Ambition 2025 is the next step on our journey to help deliver a sustainable food system into the future. It is a journey that will see our industry continue to take a leading role to further improve resource efficiencies and address the wider sustainability agenda.”
Pressure has been building on the food and drink industry to drive sustainability up the business agenda, particularly in the area of food waste. The newly-formed Champions 12.3 coalition of companies recently called upon the sector to step up its UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitments by reducing $940bn economic losses caused by food waste.