As you consider your goal, make sure to check out the Project Gigaton™ Calculators, which may help you identify potential goal areas in each pillar and estimate the emissions impact of your work.
Food Waste in Your Operations
Due to differences of waste in the food value chain, we have dedicated a separate sub-section to food waste reduction in your own operations (farms and factories). The overall approach will be similar to the general waste goal and relies on the use of the Food Loss and Waste Protocol framework. When developing a food waste diversion plan and goal, consider the following food waste handling maturity model* (see RILA Waste Management Maturity Model above) to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Aware of main sources of food waste generation in company operations.
- Ad-hoc efforts to reduce food waste, donate and recover (animal feed, composting and anaerobic digestion) unsold food.
- Measure food waste footprint across operations including factories, farms, warehouses, and distribution centers using Food Loss and Waste Standard.
- Implement food waste minimization programs involving reduction, donation and recovery (animal feed, composting and anaerobic digestion).
- Implement leading food waste technologies and policies.
- Food waste reduction targets and continuous improvement method in place.
- Report food waste results publically using Food Loss and Waste Standard approach.
- Conduct comprehensive food waste footprint exercise across value chain.
- Effort in place to eliminate food waste from operations, product development, supply chain and at consumer level.
*Maturity model modified from RILA Retail Sustainability Management Leadership Model
EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy
The EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions organizations can take to prevent and divert wasted food. Each tier of the Food Recovery Hierarchy focuses on different management strategies for wasted food. The top levels of the hierarchy are the best ways to prevent and divert wasted food because they create the most benefits for the environment, society and the economy.
- Source Reduction
- Feed Hungry People
- Feed Animals
- Industrial Uses
Food Waste in Your Value Chain
To support the Consumer Goods Forum’s food waste resolution, we encourage you to work with your direct supply chain to reduce post-harvest losses at the farm level and food losses along production chains. Prioritize geographic regions that are important for you.
Food Waste at The Customer Level
To reduce the per capita global food waste at consumer level, we encourage you to standardize expiration date labels across your brands following the CGF and Champions 12.3. Date Labeling Call for Action which encourages food producers to take three important steps:
- Utilize only one label at a time per product.
- Utilize only two types of written food date labels on packaging: one expiration date for perishable items (e.g. “Use by”) or one food quality indicator for non-perishable items (e.g., “Best if used by”). The exact wording will be tailored to regional context and what is most understandable for the consumer.
- Educate consumers on how to understand date labels.
In 2018 Walmart collaborated with ReFED, WWF and Ohio State University, with support from the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center to develop methodology that calculates greenhouse gas emissions reductions at the customer level that results from implementation of standardized date labeling.
Until the industry has transitioned 90% of all food products to adopt “Best if Used By” and “Use By” label, suppliers will be able to account for the greenhouse gas benefits of switching to standardized date labeling for products sold. After that point, this methodology will be removed as a reporting option. Additionally to reduce food waste at customer level:
- Look for ways to introduce food processing and packaging innovations that extend food shelf life.
- Educate customers about measures to prevent food waste at the household level.