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13 October 2016

New Ambitions for Sustainability in Food & Drink Manufacturing

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Food and drink manufacturers are today announcing a new set of commitments to further reduce environmental impacts, protect natural capital, and contribute to the delivery of a sustainable food system for the future.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF)'s 'Ambition 2025' builds on FDF's ground-breaking Five-fold Environmental Ambition (FFEA), launched in 2007, widely acknowledged to be one of the first UK sector-wide set of environmental commitments.

Nearly a decade later, food and drink manufacturers have made significant progress on those targets. The new Ambition covers key areas where FDF believes food and drink manufacturing can help deliver the biggest positive impacts by working collaboratively across their supply chains. It includes new commitments on C02 emissions, food waste, use of more sustainable packaging systems, water use, and transport emissions.

The Ambition also goes further than the FFEA, with plans to engage members and stakeholders in the promotion of sustainable supply chains and the enhancement of natural capital. In collaboration with others, FDF believes the industry can play a positive role in building resilient and sustainable value chains into the future.

FDF's Ambition 2025:

  • The C02 emissions from FDF members' UK manufacturing operations have been reduced by 44% since 1990. We are setting a new and challenging target of a 55% absolute reduction by 2025, fully in-line with UK carbon budgets' target[2].
  • Our members have already contributed to a cut in supply chain waste of 3.2% under the first two years of the Courtauld Commitment 3. The new ambition also maintains a commitment to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill from members' own direct operations from 2016 and beyond. As a signatory of Courtauld 2025, FDF is committed to helping WRAP achieve a 20% per capita reduction in UK food and drink waste by 2025[2].
  • Reporting FDF members have reduced water use by almost a third (30.1%) since 2007. Delivering continuous improvement in water use across the whole supply chain, food and drink manufacturers are contributing to an industry-wide target of a 20% reduction by 2020[3].
  • Member organisations contributed to a 3.9% reduction in carbon impact of food and drink packaging under the first two years of Phase 3 of the WRAP Courtauld Commitment. Under the new Ambition they will be working to reduce the impact of used packaging as part of developing more sustainable packaging systems. Specifically, FDF is currently working in partnership with the Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) on a sustainable packaging checklist.
  • FDF members have contributed to a reduction in transport emissions of 6.8% since 2010 under the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) operated by the Freight Transport Association (FTA). To help FDF members commit to further reduce the environmental impact of their transport operations, whether their own or third party fleets, we have produced an updated checklist of environmental standards embodying the 'Fewer and Friendlier Food Miles approach'. We will also be supporting the FTA in developing a second phase of the LCRS.
  • Sustainable Supply Chains: FDF will promote the uptake of sustainability standards and will develop a comprehensive online signposting tool to guide members in integrating sustainable sourcing into their supply chain.
  • Natural Capital: FDF has become a member of the Natural Capital Coalition and will work with partners to increase awareness of the business benefits of valuing natural capital.

FDF commits to assess and report progress towards the new 2025 ambition on an annual basis.

Helen Munday, Director of Food Safety, Science and Sustainability & Chief Scientific Officer, Food and Drink Federation, 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. The partnership approach has proven most effective at engaging the diverse parts of the UK food chain. We're working with Government and partners such as WRAP and the Natural Capital Coalition to help deliver wider objectives.”

Nick Vermont, Regional CEO, McCain Foods and Chair of FDF's Sustainability Steering Group, said:
“The 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.”

Notes for editors

  1. CO2 emissions: We have set this target to be fully in-line with, and indeed ahead of, UK carbon budgets which are set to deliver an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, commensurate with limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C.To reinforce our new 2025 target we have also set a longer-term ambition to achieve an 80% reduction by 2050.
  2. Waste baseline 20% per capita reduction in UK food and drink waste by 2025 against a 2015 baseline.
  3. According to the Natural Capital Committee for England, “Natural Capital refers to the elements of nature that produce value (directly and indirectly) to people, such as the stocks of forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans”.
  4. FDF member case studies:
    • Climate Change: An average of 70% of the McCain Whittlesey site's total electricity is now generated by three wind turbines and an anaerobic lagoon and McCain has reduced its CO2 emissions from transportation.
    • Food Waste: apetito has halved factory food waste and ensured the remainder is directed to anaerobic digestion to produce electricity and generate agricultural soil improver.
    • Packaging: Pepsico has achieved zero waste to landfill across its UK manufacturing and logistics sites since 2011 as well as reducing the amount of waste from UK factories by 33% in the last four years.
    • Water: Ivan Wood & Sons was granted a patent for its Peel Tech water filtration system that allows waste to be separated from water and is working on a rainwater harvesting system which could further allow it to capture an extra 500,000 litres of water annually.
    • Transport: Warburtons installed a telematics system across its secondary distribution fleet to reduce fuel and carbon emissions and was named Fuel Efficient Operator of the Years at the LCRS awards (2015).
    • Sustainable Supply Chains: Mondelez International's Cocoa Life programme is a long-term $400 million investment to empower 200,000 cocoa farmers and their communities.
    • Natural Capital: Nestle works with partners on a programme of natural capital assessments across all their sites in the UK and to preserve and enhance natural capital in the UK.

Contact Skye Oudemans, Corporate Affairs Division, at: skye.oudemans@fdf.org.uk, or 02074207120.

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