UK food and drink industry halves emissions

Coca-Cola, Mars and Mondelez are among a group of major food and drink manufacturers that have reduced carbon emissions by 51% against a 1990 baseline.

That is according to the latest sustainability report published by trade body the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). The likes of Britvic, PepsiCo and Warburtons have managed to reduce emissions through a continued focused on energy efficiency and decarbonisation, the report found.

However, it also attributes the headline figure in part to a fall in production in a number of sectors across the industry.

“The food and drink manufacturing industry continues to deliver progress against our environmental ambitions,” FDF chief scientific officer Helen Munday said.

She said the group will now look to work with the Government to deal with plastic waste and enhancing the UK’s natural capital, in wake of last week’s publication of the 25-year Environment Plan.

Next steps

FDF has also publicly made available its Sustainability Resource Hub, which could only previously be accessed by member companies. The Hub includes information on voluntary certifications, collaborative platforms and practical tools available to food and drink manufacturers looking to boost their sustainability credentials.

Munday said: “The Sustainability Resource Hub is the next step on our journey to support a shift towards integrating sustainable sourcing into decision making at all levels throughout the supply chain and achieving our Ambition 2025.

“We hope this tool will provide companies, particularly small- to-medium sized ones, with practical guidance to contribute to their sustainability goal.”

Cool savings

In related news, a new report has found that European retailers could save more than €500m by switching to natural refrigerants.

Retailers are being forced to re-evaluate their refrigeration systems as a result of EU regulations and global targets for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase down.

Analysis conducted by technology company Emerson has shown that the transition to more environmentally sustainable technologies using low GWP refrigerents could create savings of more than €50,000 per system.

Any operator with 10,000 stores could therefore achieve potential savings of more than €500m over a ten-year lifespan of their systems, the report concluded.

George Ogleby

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