The environment secretary Owen Paterson has praised the environmental record of food and drink manufacturers.
Commenting on the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) Five-fold Environmental Ambition Progress Report 2012, Paterson said: “The Food and Drink Federation’s members are leading the way in showing how growth can contribute to a healthy environment.
“There’s a really exciting opportunity to rethink the way our food production works from farm to fork. I’m right behind the food and drink industry as it uses technology and innovation to increase production while improving the environment.”
‘Eliminating food waste’
The FDF launched the five-fold project five years ago to set a range of targets for cutting carbon dioxide, promoting more efficient use of water, reducing packaging and transport and eliminating food waste to landfill.
The fifth Progress Report, published this week, showed “continuous improvement across the industry, clearly demonstrating the business case for sustainability, even in difficult economic circumstances”, said the FDF.
Andrew Kuyk, FDF’s director of sustainability, added: “FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition has come a long way in the past five years. Not only has it demonstrated that good environmental practice makes good business sense, but it has also shown the value of voluntary and collaborative action across the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing to the sustainable growth that is essential for economic recovery, as well as future food security in the face of a range of risks, including climate change.”
168,000 new cars
Over its five-year life, the FDF claims the project has removed the equivalent annual emissions of 168,000 new cars on the road and saving 2,400 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of water.
The project was recently expanded to look at impacts across the whole food chain. Last week, the FDF launched new guidance, Sustainable Sourcing: Five Steps towards Managing Supply Chain Risk.
The guide is intended to be a simple step-by-step guide to help companies, large, medium and small, to identify and manage supply chain risks as part of an integrated approach to sustainable sourcing.
Five-fold Environmental Ambition – in numbers
• 168,000 – number of new car equivalent annual emissions prevented
• 34M – number of wheelie bins worth of supply chain food and packaging waste saved
• +80,000 – number of homes from which the equivalent heating emissions have been avoided by reducing the carbon impact of packaging
• 2,400 – Olympic-size swimming pools worth of water saved
• +400 – return journeys to the moon, measured in miles, saved by reducing road miles.