10 February 2022

Today (10 February 2022) leading organisations working in the food and drink industry came together at the Courtauld Commitment 2030 annual meeting to support the development of a shared framework for measuring the impact of their global supply chains in a consistent way.

About one third (30 per cent) of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be attributed to food systems. As food businesses work towards net zero targets, their scope 3 emissions can account for up to 90% of the value with the majority from the ingredients they use. This means that measurement requires data to be accessed from hundreds of thousands of farmers across the world.

WRAP, which ran today’s event, believes that the climate emergency cannot be addressed without the creation of a shared framework for measuring scope 3 emissions and better access to data, and that this must be created in partnership with suppliers. It has set up a working group to find a solution, with over 100 organisations joining.

WRAP Chief Executive Marcus Gover said: “There is currently no consistent way of quantifying supply chain emissions and businesses either have to commission expensive life cycle analysis for each ingredient or use average values from a variety of contrasting public data sets. This is a burden for suppliers and makes it impossible to compare the information provided by different businesses.

“If we are to make reliable progress in tackling climate change then we have to have a common measurement and an agreed set of emission factors that everyone can use. Over the last year we have been working with businesses and suppliers from the UK and internationally to create this framework and establish a consistent way of collecting and checking data along the supply chain. Today’s conversation reiterated the urgency for making this data available.”

In April a draft document will be published for practical piloting and WRAP will publish the best publicly available data sources for food and drink ingredients to help businesses. The resources will be rigorously tested by WRAP through 2022 and 2023 to create a living document that will be updated on an on-going basis.

Marcus Gover continued: “This is new, difficult and incredibly important work – no one has quite tackled the problem in this way before. It will enable incentives to be introduced as part of driving systems change, rewarding practices that support net zero and biodiversity targets. It will also enable clear eco labelling to be developed that can be trusted by consumers.

“We have had unprecedented interest and support from the signatories of the Courtauld Commitment 2030 in this work, with over 100 organisations wanting to be part of the working group. Everyone is aware of the need for data they use to be trustworthy and of the need to collaborate to reduce the burden on suppliers – the majority of whom are family farmers. We received strong feedback today and look forward to sharing the result later this year with a new tool, fit for business.”

The protocol being developed by WRAP will have a consistent accounting and reporting method that builds on the GHG Protocol, SBTi and Gold Standard and is specifically interpreted for food and drink businesses.


Notes to Editor

  • About WRAP: WRAP is a global NGO based in the UK. It is one of the UK’s top 5 environmental charities and works with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. It is the charity leading the UK Plastics Pact (a world first), Courtauld Commitment 2030, Textiles 2030 as well as the citizen campaigns Love Food Hate Waste, Love Your Clothes, Clear on Plastics and Recycle Now. It also runs Food Waste Action Week and Recycle Week in the UK. WRAP works collaboratively and develops and delivers evidence-based, solutions to reduce the environmental cost of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the plastic packaging we use. Founded in 2000 in the UK, WRAP now works with partners in forty countries, across six continents and is a Global Alliance Partner of The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot PrizeFollow our citizen campaigns on Instagram: @lfhw_uk @recyclenow_uk @WalesRecycles @ClearOnPlastics @LoveYourClothes_UK 
  • About The Courtauld Commitment 2030: The Courtauld Commitment 2030 is a voluntary agreement that enables collaborative action across the entire UK food chain to deliver farm-to-fork reductions in food waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water stress that will help the UK food and drink sector achieve global environmental goals.
    • The 2030 targets are:
      • For food waste: To deliver against UN SDG 12.3: a 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 vs the UK 2007 baseline (covering manufacture, retail, hospitality and food service, and household).
      • For GHG emissions: To deliver a 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline).
      • For water: With an overall target by 2030 that: 50% of fresh food is sourced from areas with sustainable water management.