Technology

Food and drink companies reach CO2 reduction targets five years early

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published its sustainability-focused Ambition 2025 Progress Report, showing progress made towards targets initially set in 2016 from its members.

The report found that food and drink companies have achieved a 55 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions five years ahead of their deadline.

Drinks fridgeThe “Ambition 2025” project was launched in 2016, encouraging companies to make sustainable decisions about carbon, food waste and packaging.

The FDF is made up of over 800 different food and drink companies, including Alpro UK, Birds Eye, Cadbury and Coca-Cola. It represents both international companies and small, local businesses.

After the positive results of the mid-term update, the FDF members have made new goals to push the companies even further with their ambitions. A new target is in place to reach 60 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050.

FDF’s report also found positive statistics surrounding the cutting down of excessive water use, between 2007 and 2019 FDF members reduced their absolute water consumption by over a third (41.5 per cent).

The amount of water consumed per tonne of product was also cut down by 44.5 per cent in the same period.

In terms of steps FDF members have made towards the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, the report found that members contributed to 180,000t of food (worth £300 million) being saved from becoming waste in 2019 compared to 2018.

FDF members also claimed to be on track to cut out six out of eight of the items classed as problematic or unnecessary by the UK Plastics Pact, by the end of 2020.

Commenting on the progress report and renewed targets set out in the Ambition 2025 Mid-Term report, the FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Helen Munday, said: “Despite the difficult year the industry has faced, sustainability and environmental initiatives have remained at the forefront of our agenda and this is clearly seen in the progress being made.

“We of course know there is more to achieve which is why we undertook the Mid-Term Review work, and can now present fresh, forward-thinking targets which we know our members are keen to embrace.”

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow MP, said: “We all need to play our part to protect and improve our environment. The Food and Drink sector’s commitment shows it is leading British business to greater levels of sustainability.

“The FDF’s support for the Courtauld 2025 targets and the UK Plastics Pact have the potential to make a real difference to how the nation uses its resources more sustainably and minimises waste, both vital to making progress in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

“The sector is setting an example to all businesses by supporting the Government’s commitment to a natural capital approach and reducing the UK’s environmental footprint overseas.”

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