Standardised metrics on anvil to tackle greenwashing in food and drink sector

UK food industry commits to halve food waste by 2030
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The Environment Agency has launched a project to establish standardised metrics to measure environmental performance of the food and drink sector as part of the government efforts to tackle ‘greenwashing’.

The agency aims to make it simpler for businesses and for the public to understand the environmental performance of companies in key areas such as greenhouse gas reduction and resource efficiency.

“Different food businesses have developed and adopted various environmental metrics and it can be time-consuming for food businesses to collect data from different supplier systems. This project seeks to address this challenge by standardising environmental metrics for food businesses that go beyond legal compliance,” said Becca Tremain, project lead at the Environment Agency.

The project, working with partners like the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Waste and Resources Action Programme and the British Standards Institute, looks to provide a solution to enable the automation of environmental performance data transfer across different food businesses, helping manufacturers to more effectively communicate their environmental performance to the public.

The partnership will be working with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, trade associations and businesses including Sainsbury’s, Nestle, Cranswick, 2 Sisters and Vitacress to understand and ensure the feasibility of the metrics.

The project is funded by a £195,000 grant from the £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.