By Lea Pachta

UK food and drink manufacturers have reduced their carbon emissions by 19% since 1990 — the equivalent of one million tonnes of CO2 — according to a new report published by the Food and Drink Federation.

FDF members have committed to reducing their CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010 against a 1990 baseline. The new figures — the latest available under our Climate Change Agreement with Government — show they are well on track to achieving that ambitious goal. The data also suggest that FDF members are on target to meet the longer-term aspiration of a 30% reduction by 2020.

Carbon reduction is one of the key pillars of FDF’s Federation’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition, which was launched in 2007 to help define how the UK’s largest manufacturing sector could make a real difference to the environment.

In addition to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, FDF is today announcing that:

The first 36 signatories to the Federation House Commitment on water efficiency have reported savings of more than 500,000 cubic metres in the first year of operation of this voluntary initiative

As part of our commitment to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill, FDF has conducted 13 detailed waste prevention reviews in conjunction with WRAP to promote best practice across the sector

23 FDF members have signed the Courtauld Agreement to reduce packaging while 15 members have joined a labelling scheme to provide consumers with standardised on-pack information about recyclability

FDF President Ross Warburton says:

“FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition demonstrates the leadership our industry will show in shaping the future of sustainable food production. We’ll continue to work with our members to build on the successes of the last two years, continually building on the Ambition to deliver even greater measureable achievements.”

The Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says:

“I’m delighted to support the FDF’s second progress report on its Five-Fold Environmental Ambition, setting out the food and drink sector’s environmental achievements in the past year. I’m particularly struck by the way FDF members have further cut their CO2 emissions. The FDF’s second progress report clearly shows how best practice, well applied, can yield both economic and environmental benefits.

“The large number of companies that have signed up to the Courtauld Commitment on waste packaging is very welcome, as is the FDF commitment to review the FEA further in the light of developments, including Food 2030. This report clearly sets out the progress made in the past year and I hope the FDF will be able to get even more companies involved, so that we can meet our legally binding CO2 targets.

“Well done to the FDF for its leadership!”

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