Julian Hunt

Director of communications, Food and Drink Federation

We have always believed that food producers who embraced the green agenda would discover that what was good for the environment was nearly always good for their bottom line as well. That was one of the rationales underpinning the Five-fold Environmental Ambition launched by the Food and Drink Federation in 2007.

And our experience over the past three years has borne out that belief with member companies reporting significant reductions in their environmental impacts, typically achieved by driving greater operating efficiencies through their businesses.

Earlier this month we reported on our members’ recent progress with some impressive headlines such as an overall reduction in carbon emissions by 21% since 1990 and the fact that 90% of all factory waste is now diverted from landfill. Companies have been so successful at working towards the commitments we set in 2007, that we have been working with members and key stakeholders this year to update our Ambition and challenge the sector to go further by refreshing our commitments in the areas of carbon emissions, waste, packaging, water and transport.

In upping our Ambition, we have also acknowledged that sustainability does not start or stop at our factory gates it affects every aspect of the supply chain. This is why we have also published a new set of sustainability principles that will guide our ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to achieve greater impact.

In a more resource-constrained future, the industry will have to do more to encourage greater efficiency of resource use. More will need to be produced with less and with less impact if we are to ensure that sustainable food and drink production can be at the heart of a strong, internationally-competitive, low-carbon UK economy.

We believe a combination of new targets and this new thinking will help us to work with many of you to take our Ambition to the next level. But at the heart of the Ambition is our core belief that reducing your overall environmental footprint does make good business sense.