Project launched to measure environmental performance of food and drink sector

A project to establish standardised metrics to measure environmental performance of the food and drink sector has been launched by the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency – working in partnership with the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Waste and Resources Action Programme and the British Standards Institute – is aiming to make it simpler for businesses and for the public to understand the environmental performance of companies in key areas such as greenhouse gas reduction and resource efficiency.

The initiative will help manufacturers to more effectively communicate their environmental performance to the public, minimising the opportunity for green washing.

It is also hoped that it will incentivise companies toward greener manufacturing processes and business operations helping to tackle climate change.

Project lead Becca Tremain, of the Environment Agency, said:

“One of the big challenges for food businesses trying to mitigate climate change is how to communicate their environmental performance that goes beyond legal compliance effectively and efficiently.

“Different food businesses have developed and adopted various environmental metrics and it can be time-consuming for food businesses to collect data from different supplier systems.

This project seeks to address this challenge by standardising environmental metrics for food businesses that go beyond legal compliance.

“It aims to provide an effective and efficient solution to enable the automation of environmental performance data transfer across different food businesses.”

The project has been made possible by a £195,000 grant from the £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).