PARIS, 7th March, 2017 – One-third of all food produced in the world is never eaten, which has tremendous economic, social and environmental consequences. New research on behalf of Champions 12.3 finds that for every $1 companies invested to reduce food loss and waste, they saved $14 in operating costs – concrete evidence of the clear return on investment from food loss and waste reduction.
In a first-of-its kind analysis, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 1,200 sites across 700 companies in 17 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on their investment to reduce food waste. The types of investments companies made include: quantifying and monitoring food loss and waste, training staff on practices to reduce waste, changing food storage and handling processes, changing packaging to extend shelf-life, changing date labels, and other staff and technology investments.
The 14:1 return on investment comes from not buying food that would have been lost or wasted, increasing the share of food that is sold to customers, introducing new product lines made from food that otherwise would have been lost or wasted, reducing waste management costs and other savings.
The Consumer Goods Forum is proud to be involved in Champions 12.3 and is very encouraged by the findings presented in the report as it has long stated that it makes business sense to identify, measure and reduce food waste from the supply chain – a stance solidified in 2015 with the CGF Food Waste Resolution.
The report recommends leaders from governments and business to take a “target, measure, act” approach to reduce the amount of food lost and wasted. First, every government and company should set a target to halve food loss and waste, in line with Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Second, governments and companies need to start measuring food loss and waste so they can identify hotspots and monitor progress over time. The recently launched Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard can help them do this. Third, leaders need to act, implementing programs and practices for reducing food loss and waste.
In line with the “target, measure, act” approach, the CGF will continue collaborate and work with its partners and other key stakeholders to drive improvements in food loss and waste reduction. Additionally, the CGF will continue to provide vital implementation support for members committed to measuring and reporting on their food waste actions, such as our best practice sharing Food Waste Case Studies booklet.
Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum: “The CGF’s members are already committed to reducing food waste globally, as set out in our 2015 Food Waste Resolution. The compelling business case now presented by this research gives all of us in the consumer industry one more reason to accelerate implementation initiatives. We at the CGF are dedicated to providing practical implementation support and advice to our members, consistent with Champions 12.3’s target-measure-act approach.”
Liz Goodwin, Senior Fellow and Director of Food Loss and Waste at World Resources Institute and the new Chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board: “The success we saw in the United Kingdom proves that it’s possible to make real inroads in reducing food waste. The challenge now is to get every country, major city and company to realise that reducing food loss and waste is a win-win. There are far too many tough, intractable problems in the world – food loss and waste doesn’t have to be one of them.”
For more information, read the full report at https://champions123.org/the-business-case-for-reducing-food-loss-and-waste/.
The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste was made possible by support from the Walmart Foundation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Lead authors were Craig Hanson (WRI) and Peter Mitchell (WRAP).
Champions 12.3 is a coalition of nearly 40 leaders across government, business and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving Target 12.3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Target 12.3 calls on the world to “halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses” by 2030.
The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the World Resources Institute serve as co-secretariats of Champions 12.3. www.Champions123.org
The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.
For further information, please contact:
The Consumer Goods Forum