New environmental targets set

Green initiative the Courtauld Commitment has announced a change in strategy for the next two years.

WRAP announced today (Thursday March 4) it has moved away from “solely weight-based targets” and said it now aims to achieve “more sustainable use of resources over the entire life cycle of products, throughout the whole supply chain”.

The three new targets have a deadline of 2012 and are:

Packaging – to reduce the weight, increase recycling rates and increase the recycled content of all grocery packaging. Through these measures the aim is to reduce the carbon impact of this grocery packaging by 10%.

Supply chain product and packaging waste – to reduce traditional grocery product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 5%.

Household food and waste – to reduce UK household food and drink waste by 4%.

The announcement of the new targets follows the original Courtauld Commitment launched in 2005.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, said: “One of the biggest challenges society faces over the next decade is reducing the environmental impact of the things we buy. This new agreement will bring about changes ranging from more efficient methods of production right through to the impact of household consumption.

“It’s no longer enough to look at the impact of packaging alone – that’s why Courtauld Commitment Two takes into account the environmental impact of product waste in the supply chain as well as at household level.”

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “A fifth of household waste is packaging, and more than half of this comes from the groceries we buy. This packaging can be essential but in many cases using less and smarter packaging can achieve the same result.

“Grocery manufacturers and retailers have already started to take action and halted the increase in packaging. The new Commitment sees them go further than ever in reducing food waste and packaging, and making it smarter – and I want to see members of the industry continuing to sign up over the coming months.”

So far 28 companies have signed up, including Fosters EMEA, Constellation and the major multiple retailers.