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Project launched to tackle greenwashing in food and drink

The Environment Agency has announced plans to introduce standardised metrics for environmental performance in the food and drink sector, helping manufacturers to avoid greenwashing.

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The project will encourage manufacturers to communicate their environmental credentials to the public more effectively, and incentivise greener manufacturing processes, by establishing consistent metrics for the entire industry.

The metrics will include criteria such as greenhouse gas reduction and resource efficiency, making it simpler for consumers to compare the environmental performance of different companies.

 Becca Tremain, Project Lead at the Environment Agency, explained:

“One of the big challenges for food businesses trying to mitigate climate change is how to communicate their environmental performance that goes beyond legal compliance effectively and efficiently. Different food businesses have developed and adopted various environmental metrics and it can be time-consuming for food businesses to collect data from different supplier systems.

“This project seeks to address this challenge by standardising environmental metrics for food businesses that go beyond legal compliance. It aims to provide an effective and efficient solution to enable the automation of environmental performance data transfer across different food businesses.”

The Environment Agency will be working in partnership with a range of organisations on the project, including the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

Several major food and drink firms are also involved, including Sainsbury’s, Nestle, Cranswick, 2 Sisters and Vitacress.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published a new Green Claims Code to tackle misleading environmental claims by all businesses, warning that firms have until the end of 2021 to comply with consumer protection law.

Greenwashing: What it is and how to avoid it

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