Dozens of retailers and food and drinks companies have signed up to the latest version of WRAP’s Courtauld voluntary initiative to cut down on food and packaging waste.
WRAP said the latest phase of the scheme, Courtauld 3, could reduce waste by 1.1 milion tonnes by 2015, and save consumers and businesses around £1.6bn. It is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those produced by one million cars.
Signatories include major grocery retailers and those producing household brands.
Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 targets are:
- Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% - representing a 9% reduction in real terms
- Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% - signatories will have to make an 8% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales
- Improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging - signatories will have to make a 3% reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin, above, said: “Courtauld 3 builds on the achievements of Courtauld 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that bring the greatest financial benefits to UK plc and deliver significant reduction in environmental impact.
“During the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20% reduction in UK household food waste is achievable, a deeply impressive outcome.”
Food and Drink Federation (FDF) director of sustainability Andrew Kuyk, welcomed the third phase of the commitment and said: “Delivering improvements in resource efficiency across our members’ operations remains the centre piece of FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition. In this regard, the Courtauld Commitment remains an important delivery mechanism for our actions on waste and packaging.
“This voluntary agreement is a great example of how industry and Government can collaborate to deliver a common set of aims and we look forward to working with WRAP and the signatory companies to complete this new set of goals in the months ahead.”
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also welcomed the new agreement. BRC food and sustainability director, Andrew Opie, said: “Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, the retail industry is continuing to innovate and collaborate on waste reduction as well as working hard to meet wider green goals across all aspects of its operations. That’s delivering real environmental benefits as well as value for customers.”
Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) said: “The grocery and retail sector has a critical role to play in reducing food and packaging waste, both in terms of improving resource efficiency within the supply chain and in helping consumers to make better and more informed choices and reduce their own waste.
“The Courtauld Commitment framework will continue to act as a welcome focal point to bring major high street brands and manufacturers together and provide a mechanism to stimulate and measure progress in this area.”