Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

Food manufacturers set bold targets

The Food and Drink Federation has announced bold new environmental targets for its membership, which covers over 6,000 businesses in the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has announced bold new environmental targets for its membership, which covers over 6,000 businesses in the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector.

FDF’s Ambition 2025 covers key areas where members can deliver positive impacts by working collaboratively across supply chains. It includes new commitments on greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, sustainable packaging, water use and transport.

FDF’s 6,620-strong membership covers 16 per cent of the UK manufacturing sector and includes many of the largest food and drink manufacturers, such as Nestle, McCain, PepsiCo and Warburtons.

Commitments

The Ambition 2025 initiative builds upon FDF’s existing 2025 targets under the industry-wide Courtauld Commitment, which aims to cut the waste and emissions associated with UK food and drink by at least 20 per cent against a 2015 baseline. 

New commitments and best practice examples include:

  • Sending zero food waste to landfill from members’ own direct operations from 2016
  • Cutting carbon emissions across the membership by 55 per cent on 1990 levels
  • Continuously improving water use across whole supply chains, with a reduction target of 20 per cent on 2007 levels
  • Minimising the impact of used packaging by developing a sustainable packaging checklist for members
  • Reducing the impact of transport operations through a ‘Fewer and Friendlier Food Miles’ approach
  • Promoting the uptake of sustainability standards across supply chains, including a new online tool for sustainable sourcing
  • Working with partners to increase awareness of the business benefits of valuing natural capital.

‘Great progress’

Helen Munday, director of food safety, science and sustainability and chief scientific officer at FDF, said: “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.”

Environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, added: “I am extremely proud of our innovative food and drink sector, which is world-leading. But there is always more we can do and I want us to build on this success to see UK food businesses boost productivity, use resources more efficiently and become more sustainable in the process.”

FDF will assess and report on the progress towards its targets on an annual basis.