A new report on behalf of Champions 12.3
assesses global progress toward Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls for halving food waste and reducing food loss by 2030. Champions 12.3 is a unique coalition of leaders across government, business and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3.
Our Managing Director Peter Freedman is one of the Champions, as are CGF Board members Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison, Kellogg Company CEO John Bryant, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and Unilever CEO Paul Polman. It is, therefore, no surprise that the positive actions of CGF members to tackle the food loss and waste challenge are highlighted in the first Champions 12.3 report. Such actions include:
- The introduction of our Food Waste Resolution, which asks members to halve food waste within their individual operations by 2025
- Our work on co-developing the Food Loss & Waste Reporting Standard (FLW), which is the first-ever set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently and credibly measure, report on and manage food loss and waste
- Leadership from companies like Tesco, which has rolled out “Community Food Connection” to link unsold yet still safe food with local food charities
- Efforts from companies like Nestlé and Unilever to measure their food loss and waste
So What Else is the World Doing to Address Food Waste?
One year since the SDGs were adopted last fall, the report details promising steps around the world to set reduction targets, measure progress and lead on action on top of those covered by the FLW Standard.
Some highlights include:
- National reduction goals consistent with SDG Target 12.3 have been adopted by the United States, the European Union and African Union
- New financing for reducing food loss and waste, including Denmark’s grant programme to support domestic projects for combatting food waste and The Rockefeller Foundation’s Yieldwise
- UNEP’s regional capacity-building programmes to tackle food waste
Action Must Be Scaled Up
Given the enormous scope of the food loss and waste challenge, however, the report also correctly notes how action must scale up. The report offers three recommendations for leaders to meet Target 12.3 by 2030:
- Target: Targets set ambition, and ambition motivates action. Every country, major city and company involved in the food supply chain should set food loss and waste reduction targets consistent with Target 12.3 in order to ensure sufficient attention and focus.
- Measure: What gets measured gets managed. The report recommends governments and companies quantify and report on food loss and waste and monitor progress over time through 2030.
- Act: Impact only occurs if people act. Governments and companies should accelerate and scale up adoption of policies, incentives, investment and practices that reduce food loss and waste.
All-in-all, this serves as a timely report 12 months on from the SDGs announcement and it’s good to see action is being taken around the world. The food loss and waste challenge is monumental and it’s urgent. However, to succeed in 14 short years, action must accelerate and scale up. Every nation, city and company involved with food should move quickly to set reduction targets, measure food loss and waste within their borders or supply chain, and take action to reduce food loss and waste.
This post was written and contributed by:
Director, Environmental Sustainability
The Consumer Goods Forum