IGD’s Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) UK initiative has set a new waste prevention target for the food and grocery industry.
Building on the success of the original target set in 2010, the industry’s extended target now aims to prevent 200,000 tonnes of waste from being created by December 2014 – reducing the amount of packaging, food and other product waste that goes to landfill, delivering a direct environmental benefit.
There are 34 major UK food and grocery companies who have committed to this target, representing engagement all along the supply chain to prevent waste between the factory in-gate and till.
The best practice, online tools and example case studies IGD and the group have developed are published on www.igd.com to share the learnings with the wider industry.
IGD’s ECR UK Product and Packaging Waste Group encourages the consumer goods industry to work collaboratively to minimise waste, ideally by preventing it occurring, but also by diverting it from landfill or sewers.
The group, which is co-chaired by Asda and Unilever, encourages businesses, colleagues and trading partners to engage at all levels to eliminate waste in areas such as product and packaging design and range and forecasting decisions.
Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “While diverting waste from landfill is important, preventing it from happening in the first place is even better. And, if we can encourage everyone to think about waste at each stage – from conception and design, to packaging and distribution – we have the best chance to make the biggest difference.
“In a tough trading environment, with the planet’s resources becoming scarcer, cutting waste and, at the same time, cost is more important than ever.
“IGD’s ECR UK initiatives will continue to lead the way in spreading best practice and driving ambitious achievements in waste prevention. The progress we have already made in such a short space of time demonstrates the power of collaboration and what the food and grocery industry can achieve for commercial, environmental and public benefit when the whole supply chain works together.”
Gavin Chappell, supply chain director at Asda, said: “I am tremendously proud of the progress the industry is making on waste reduction. We have delivered our three year waste elimination target early, within two years, which is a fantastic testament to the energy and focus the retail and FMCG industry has put on this issue.”
Simon Bailey, global customer service director at Unilever, said: “We have to reduce waste to reduce costs for customers and to make the planet’s resources go further. All of us involved in this work know that there is absolutely more to do, which is why we have extended our target to reduce waste by 200,000 tonnes by 2014. Waste prevention matters for customers, shareholders and the environment – we have to continue to work hard on this issue collaboratively throughout the supply chain.”