UK food and drink sector moves closer to 2025 sustainability goals

Food and beverage giants such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Lucozade Ribena Suntory made great strides in slashing their carbon and water impacts in 2017, according to the industry trade body.

Several FDF members became founding signatories of the UK Plastics Pact last year

Several FDF members became founding signatories of the UK Plastics Pact last year

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) members have collectively reduced their emissions by 53% since 1990, inching closer to a 2025 target of 55%. This was the main highlight of FDF’s latest annual sustainability report, which praised the results despite “increased throughput” in 2017.

The report also claims that between 2007 and 2017, FDF members slashed their absolute water consumption by 39%.

On packaging, it is noted that FDF and its members contributed to recommendations for reform of the packaging producer responsibility system, which helped influence Defra’s recent Resources & Waste Strategy.

Several FDF members became founding signatories of the UK Plastics Pact last year, while many supported the food waste campaigns Your Business is Food and Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

FDF’s chief scientific officer Helen Munday said: “This was a year dominated by striking images and compelling evidence of the impact of plastic pollution on our natural environment.

“The food and drink manufacturing industry has been challenged like never before to account for its output from farm to fork and beyond. Our membership is determined to step up to this challenge, while addressing the other aspects of our Ambition 2025 and maintaining the key aspects of food safety.”

Going forward, FDF expects to face “major challenges” of ongoing climate change and energy policy uncertainty. It also anticipates a battle to implement the most effective and economic way to decarbonise heat production.

Food and drink manufacturing sector insight report

edie’s food and drink manufacturing sustainability report, published in November, provides an end-to-end overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's food and drink manufacturing industry are taking to ramp up efforts across all areas of sustainable development. You can read that report for free, here.

George Ogleby


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