The ambitious ten year Commitment, led by WRAP, brings together over ninety organisations from across the food system to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable for the future. This is the first time the world-leading voluntary agreement will solely focus on reducing the environmental impact of our food and drink across the entire value chain. Previous Courtauld commitments had a wider focus and approach to tackling waste.
The signatories involved, which also includes all major UK retailers as well as the farming sector and local authorities, will work together with WRAP to identify new actions and opportunities to save resources and make their supply chains more resilient for the future. Specifically the commitment outlines three key targets which all signatories must work collectively towards:
- A 20 per cent reduction in food and drink waste arising in the UK
- A 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK
- A reduction in impact associated with water use in the supply chain
For Unilever UK and Ireland, the agreement will help contribute towards the business’s environmental commitments outlined in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan as well as its broader ambition to meet the targets outlined by the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Tackling food waste is also a key priority for the UK and Ireland business which has focused recent efforts on changing and improving consumer behaviour in this area.
Gina Boswell, General Manager of Unilever UK and Ireland said: “With our consumers becoming increasingly aware of the consequences of food waste, and with retailers, campaigners and policy makers all agreeing that more collective action is needed to solve the challenge, Courtauld 2025 is a strong commitment that will continue to move our industry in the right direction. In particular for our UK and Ireland business, the Commitment will help strengthen and drive forward our own food waste reduction ambitions as well as contribute towards our global target of halving the waste associated with our products by 2020.”
To ensure signatories work towards the targets outlined in the Commitment, WRAP will monitor and report on progress. It is estimated that meeting these targets will deliver £20 billion worth of savings to the UK economy, with approximately £4 billion in business savings. The Commitment will help the UK deliver its part of the objectives of COP 21, and put the UK on track to reduce food waste by half (home and retail), in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.