The recently published Courtauld figures indicate that a significant progress has been made by the grocery sector towards reaching its ambitious Courtauld targets.
The Courtauld Commitment 2 is a voluntary agreement between the UK grocery sector and WRAP, the Waste and Resource Action Programme, aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint and wider environmental impact of the UK grocery retail sector. In 2010 they agreed on waste reduction targets concerning three waste streams – grocery packaging waste, household food waste, and product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain – to be achieved by December 2012.
Supply chain waste has seen a reduction of 8.8%, well ahead of the three-year target of 5%. With a reduction in carbon impact by over 8%, the second year results seem encouraging for the final packaging target (10%) as well, especially considering the fact that they were achieved alongside an increase in volume sales among signatories.
Dr Richard Swannell, the Director of Design & Waste Prevention at WRAP, commented that those were good results and an indicative of the hard work that signatories have been putting in to be more resource-efficient but that there is still more to do.
According to WRAP, the challenges now lie in embedding good practices that allow businesses to take full advantage of the benefits of reducing waste. Reinforced focus on waste prevention is also an important and challenging issue.
In anticipation of the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment, WRAP is presently working with government representatives, Courtauld signatories and trade bodies to determine the best way forward.