Tesco CEO Dave Lewis calls for more action to tackle food waste

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Tesco & suppliers cut 200,000 tonnes of food waste from operations
Tesco has now exceeded the UN's SDG 12.3 goal of halving food waste by 2030 in its Central European operation by cutting 58 per cent of its food waste intensity.
// Tesco publishes food waste data for the 8th year, in with which it revealed it has cut 200,000 tonnes of food waste
// It reached this milestone by working closely with 71 of its largest suppliers around the world
// “If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet,” Dave Lewis says

Tesco’s outgoing chief executive Dave Lewis has urged businesses and countries to do more to tackle food waste, which currently makes up eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The call comes as Tesco published its own food waste data for the eighth year, in with which it revealed it has cut 200,000 tonnes of food waste from its combined operations.

The grocery giant said it reached this milestone by working closely with 71 of its largest suppliers around the world, all of which are also making their food waste data public today.


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Tesco said it helped its own-label suppliers cut 125,000 tonnes of food waste over three years and worked in partnership with 11 of the world’s biggest household brands – including Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Nestlé and Unilever – as they cut a further 30,000 tonnes from their operations.

The Big 4 retailer also revealed that it has cut 45,000 tonnes from its global operations since it began reporting.

It added that it has now exceeded the UN’s SDG 12.3 goal of halving food waste by 2030 in its Central European operation by cutting 58 per cent of its food waste intensity.

The combined effects of climate change and Covid-19 have made tackling food waste more urgent than ever, according to Tesco and Champions 12.3, a global coalition of government, research and business bodies working to achieve the SDG Target 12.3 by 2030.

The coalition warned that food waste accounts for eight per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions and any delay in action would fatally undermine the ability to tackle the climate emergency.

Champions 12.3 also highlighted that Covid-19 has exposed weaknesses in the global food system, driving up food waste, impacting farmer incomes and increasing the number of people who go to bed hungry.

“If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet,” Lewis said.

“In order to halve global food waste by 2030, more must be done with more urgency than ever before.

“Significant progress is being made. The UK has cut its food waste by 27 per cent since 2007 and hundreds of companies, including many of our own suppliers, are doing their part too.

“But there is still more to do. We need even more companies to set food waste reduction targets and publish their data.”

He added: “We are also asking the UK government, and its counterparts around the world, to embed food loss and waste reduction into post-Covid plans to bolster supply chains, as well as strategies to meet commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

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