Creatively sustainable

Covid-19 has had many impacts on the food and beverage worlds from people using their time at home to be inventive and learn new cooking, baking or coffee-making skills to businesses taking the opportunity to create a sustainable world.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) released its sustainability-focused Ambition 2025 Progress Report, showing impressive progress with targets initially set in 2016, from its members.

Companies across the food and drink sectors are heeding the call to act on climate change and have made exceptional progress in some areas, for example, food and drink companies have achieved a 55 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions already, five years before the target was due to be reached. 

Many more are setting and meeting ambitious goals to invest in clean energy or transportation and drive sustainability within their own business operations and supply chains.

Due to the successful work of FDF’s members, the FDF undertook a review of the former targets and revised these, creating the Ambition 2025 Mid-Term Report. As a result, the FDF has updated its ambitions on carbon, food waste and packaging to better reflect the current UK and international targets, as well as other policy goals in the space. 

In the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report, water crises were identified as one of the top five greatest risks to society over the next decade. Companies must understand what goes into operations. A notable achievement included in the FDF’s work is its work on water, where between 2007 and 2019 FDF members reduced their absolute water consumption by more than one third (41.5%) and the amount of water consumed per tonne of product was also reduced by 44.5 per cent in the same period. 

The report also highlights the contribution FDF members have made to reducing food waste, including the progress made under the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap. In addition, there has been substantial engagement with UK Governments on the packaging policy reforms alongside our ongoing support for the work of the UK Plastics Pact.

The FAO announced that 2021 will be the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables to improve healthy and sustainable food production and to reduce food loss and waste.

With the FDF’s Ambition 2025 Progress Report, we can see how important the trend of sustainability has become. Sustainability and climate change have never been so much in focus. Companies disclosing their efforts to drive down environmental impacts demonstrates how much reducing carbon dioxide emissions from food production will be one of our greatest challenges. We will need a menu of solutions: changes to diets; food waste reduction; improvements in agricultural efficiency; and technologies that make low-carbon food alternatives scalable and affordable. Ambition is critical.

Photo by Akil Mazumder from Pexels

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