Food and drink sector delivering on Net Zero ambition

10 March 2022

The members of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) have continued to significantly reduce carbon emissions and water consumption, as part of the sector’s Ambition 2025 commitment to reduce our environmental impact.


According to the Federation’s latest Ambition 2025 progress report, since 1990 FDF members have lowered CO2 emissions by 58%. Our members have also cut water consumption by 39.4%, successfully contributing to an industry-wide target to reduce water use by 20%.

The report is being released during Food Waste Action Week, and showcases the progress made by the food and drink industry in all our target areas – from food waste to transport to natural capital – to create a more sustainable food supply chain.

While the work being done by our member companies is important, we know it isn’t enough. To make a real difference, our sector needs to collaborate with government and other partners across the farm to fork food chain to create a truly sustainable food system that is fit for the future.

The FDF stepped up its engagement with government and key stakeholders over the last 12 months, particularly in driving our ambition for the sector to be Net Zero by 2040 and on packaging reform.

As part of this, we are urging the UK Government to ensure legislation continues to allow chemically recycled plastic to be used in food packaging and for it to be recognised in the plastic packaging tax mass balance calculations; we also support the need for all plastic films and other plastic flexibles to be included in Consistent Collections, as well as making Extended Producer Responsibility efficient and cost-effective for business.

Last year, the FDF reviewed its 'Ambition 2025 - Shaping Sustainable Value Chains' project to deliver a more sustainable food system. It includes a strengthened target for reducing CO2 emissions as well as enhanced targets around water use, reduction of food waste, use of more sustainable packaging and the reduction of emissions from transport.

In all these areas, food and drink companies continue to deliver progress, working across supply chains through industry initiatives, including Courtauld 2030, UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and UK Plastics Pact.

Director of Sustainability at the Food and Drink Federation Nicki Hunt said:

"Food and drink manufacturers continue to work hard to ensure that we are firmly on the road to Net Zero as well as reducing our environmental impact by improving our water efficiency and in taking significant steps to improve the recyclability of our packaging.

"This is critical for the sustainability of our sector in the short, medium and longer term, and we know how important this action is for consumers, communities and our own employees."

Supporting case studies

The Ambition 2025 initiative forms part of the FDF’s goal for the food and drink sector to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040 – a decade earlier than government targets. Launched at COP26, the Federation produced a handbook providing practical advice for food and drink manufacturers in implementing their own decarbonisation roadmaps.


For more information, please contact Jack Atchinson, Media Manager, on 07701 380755,

Notes for editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. 
  2. FDF’s Ambition 2025: Shaping Sustainable Value Chains Progress Report 2021 
  3. The FDF's 'Ambition 2025 - Shaping Sustainable Value Chains' builds on the success of our Five-Fold Environmental Ambition and is the next step on our journey to help deliver a more sustainable food system.
  4. The FDF’s Eating into household budgets report examines the impact on industry and consumer food prices of seven different policies coming from either the sustainability or public health policy arenas.
  5. We have produced a roadmap for sector stakeholders and policymakers which outlines how the FDF, and the wider food and drink sector, are contributing to deliver Net Zero. It is accompanied by the FDF’s Achieving Net Zero handbook, which provides practical guidance for all food and drink manufacturers in implementing their own decarbonisation roadmaps.