By Cathryn Higgs, Head of Food Policy
Our Future of Food ambition launched last year, defining our sustainability plan until 2030. In it, we outlined our simple goals we wanted to achieve as a business by then. We want to:
- Source and create with care
- Treat people fairly
- Learn and celebrate together
We’re in an unprecedented time and the challenges we face as citizens of the world have never been more apparent. With this, we’ve also noticed a shift in our customers views on sustainability issues. We’ve become more conscious about plastics and our ‘throwaway’ culture, and the terrifying effects of climate change are ever apparent. Our customers want action and solutions and they want them fast.
Now, as we draw the year to a close, it feels like the right time to stop and reflect on what we’ve achieved together through our Future of Food ambition.
Together, we’ ve:
- Made outstanding progress in our Action on Plastic plans – removing black plastic, moving our packaging to 76% recyclable packaging by line to reflect what customers see in store (95% by weight). This work has included innovations like making our ready meal packaging easy to recycle and using aluminium and cardboard alternatives where we can, removing black plastic from our protein ranges and increasing recycled plastic content in our bottles and oils
- We rolled out compostable carrier bags across the UK to stores in areas where food waste is collected, and lobbied local councils that don’t to change their position
- Continued to strengthen our Fairtrade commitments – celebrating 25 years of Fairtrade commitments with our colleagues, members and customers
- Committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in line with limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C, pledging a move to net-zero by 2050
More recently, our Future of Food ambition was awarded the IGD Sustainable Futures award and commended for being “the blueprint that others should follow”, which is something we’re hugely proud of. It’s a great example of how everyone can take more responsibility to do better, and how we can achieve these things by working together with a conscious.
Amazingly, this isn’t even everything. We’ve had so much to be proud of, we’ve created a ‘Coop_One Year On_Digital’ summary booklet which looks at all our highlights and achievements. Please take a look and find out about all the incredible progress we’ve made so far.
No matter how far we’ve come, there’s always much more to do! As we move into 2020, we’ll be accelerating our plans on plastics, our climate change ambition, and will continue to collaborate with our members to find sustainable solutions to the challenges ahead.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you in the coming year – the Future of Food is in our hands and together we can make a difference.