The host of food and drink company members of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Food and Drink Federation (FDF) have developed a series of new sustainability commitments. The newly-released “Ambition 2025” document builds on the group’s previous “Five-Fold Environmental Ambition” and includes goals related to climate change, food waste, packaging, water, transport, supply chains and natural capital, as well as case studies highlighting some of their members’ best practices.
“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,” said FDF’s sustainability and chief scientific officer Helen Munday.
FDF members represent 16 percent of the entire UK food manufacturing sector and include companies such as Coca-Cola GB, Cadbury and McVitie’s. Case studies included in “Ambition 2025” feature members McCain Foods, Apetito, PepsiCo UK & Ireland, Ivan Wood & Sons, Warburtons, Mondelez International, and Nestlé.
The FDF’s new goals include the following:
- Climate change - Achieve a 55 percent absolute reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 against the 1990 baseline;
- Food waste - Send zero food waste to landfill from members’ own direct operations from 2016 and beyond; and Reduce food waste across the whole supply chain from farm to fork including within members’ own operations;
- Packaging - Minimize the impact of used packaging associate with food and drink products and encourage innovation in packaging technology and design that contributes to overall product sustainability;
- Water - Deliver continuous improvement in the use of water across the whole supply chain and take action to ensure sustainable water management and stewardship; and Contribute to an industry-wide target to reduce water use by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2007;
- Transport - Reduce the environmental impact of members’ transport operations or third party hauliers, in terms of both carbon intensity and air quality aspects; and Embed a fewer and friendlier food miles approach within food transport practices;
- Supply Chains - Promote the recognition and uptake of sustainability standards and initiatives in the food and drink sector; and
- Natural Capital - Work to increase awareness of natural capital amongst members, promoting the business benefits and supporting a shift towards integrating natural capital into decision-making.
Under its Five-Fold Ambition, FDF members achieved a 44 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, in line with the national targets set out in the UK’s Fourth Carbon Budget, as well as a 30.1 percent reduction in water use, 6.8 percent reduction in transport emissions, 3.9 percent reduction in carbon impact of packaging, and 3.2 percent reduction in supply chain waste.
Food waste has been of particular interest in the UK lately, leading to numerous initiatives across supply chains. Earlier this year, the waste reduction experts at WRAP found that action to increase prevention of food waste could save businesses £300 million a year. Several members of the FDF are also committed to reducing food waste under the Courtauld Commitment 2025 and the Champions 12.3 coalition in accordance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.
“Ambition 2025 is the next step on our journey to help deliver a sustainable food system into the future,” McCain Foods regional chief executive and chair of the FDF’s sustainability steering group Nick Vermont commented. “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.”