THE FOOD and drink industry has slashed CO2 emissions by 25%, putting it on target to meet the target of 35% cuts by 2020. Cutting 163 million HGV road miles helped business to deliver the cuts.
Water use has also fallen by 5.3%, while product and packaging waste has been cut by 6.9%, according to the latest Five-fold Environmental Ambition progress report published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
The FDF said that, crucially, companies have achieved these reductions while increasing production to meet growing demand. Decoupling environmental impacts from economic growth is key to meeting the sustainability challenges of the future and to our own and global food security, said Andrew Kuyk, FDF's director of sustainability and competitiveness.
In 2011, the Five-fold Environmental Ambition, FDF's flagship environmental programme, also began to address the sector's environmental impact beyond the factory gates by conducting research into sustainable supply chains, actively raising awareness amongst its members of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems and developing its 'Every Last Drop' guidance on efficient water use for food and drink companies.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice said the sector had made great progress but warned that there was always more to be done to meet the longer-term targets.