Five-fold Environmental Ambition: Progress Report 2014

This report marks the seventh anniversary of FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition.


Melanie Leech - Director General, FDF (2005 - 2014)

Melanie LeechThe food and drink industry is acutely conscious of the responsibilities that come with our scale and reach as the UK's largest manufacturing sector. As part of a global food production system we face the fundamental challenges of world population growth, increased pressure on natural resources and the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

To meet these challenges our sector has set itself the aspiration to grow sustainably by 20% by 2020. Through our Five-fold Environmental Ambition, we have been successfully delivering major improvements in resource efficiency since 2007. Our member companies are making improvements at all stages of production and introducing new technologies and solutions as well as products. This innovation is helping us towards our goal of producing more from less and with less impact on the planet, and we know that science and technology will be fundamental to driving further improvements in sustainable production.

Our members' commitment is clear, and I am delighted to report in 2014 that we achieved our ambition to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions way ahead of the original target of 2020. Our members have delivered an absolute reduction of 35% in their emissions measured against a 1990 baseline. This is a fantastic achievement – it means that since the launch of the Five-fold Ambition, absolute emissions have fallen by 664,000 tonnes of CO2 - equivalent to the annual emissions arising from around 200,000 average homes in the UK. Of course our success begs the question of 'what next' and the FDF will be considering this over the next few months – but the drive to reduce emissions whilst increasing our activities and outputs remains undiminished.

FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition is the roadmap for collective environmental performance and the FDF is committed to helping member companies adopt life-cycle thinking to help achieve more sustainable production and consumption, as well as promoting innovation and technology to help us meet the environmental, social and economic challenges we face.


Our wider aims

  • Our role as food and drink manufacturers is to supply consumers with safe, nutritious, appetising and affordable food and to help them make sustainable choices which will secure these benefits for the future.
  • We will lead by example, building on the success of FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition to extend our influence across the supply chain as part of a longer term food strategy.
  • We will work with our suppliers, customers, employees, policy makers and other stakeholders to develop the necessary information, skills and business environment to deliver continuous improvement in the use of energy, water and other natural resources to help address the pressing global issues of climate change and loss of biodiversity.
  • We will encourage the development of life-cycle thinking throughout the supply chain and try to remove systemic barriers to improving resource efficiency, from the sourcing of raw materials to the disposal of post-consumer waste.
  • We will promote innovation and technology to reduce waste and extract maximum value from the resources we use and to help consumers get the most from our products.

Next page: Foreword: Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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Last reviewed: 27 Jan 2015