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big supermarket chains are big signatories to courtauld commitment 3

29th July 2013

The Courtauld Commitment entered its 3rd phase on the 9th of May 2013 and has initially attracted 45 signatories to the voluntary WRAP incentive and its ambitious targets to reduce waste. Signatories, who range from across the grocery supply chain, include the supermarket chains Waitrose, ASDA, Morrison's, Tesco and Sainsbury's and give a positive indication that grocery produce consumed by UK consumers could see up to a 20% reduction in household food and packaging waste from Courtauld Commitment 1 in 2005.

Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 targets are:

  • "To reduce household food and drink waste by 5% (tonnage) by 2015. This represents a reduction of 9% relative to anticipated changes in food and drink sales.
  • To reduce traditional ingredient, produce and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% by 2015. This equates to an 8% reduction relative to anticipation production and sales volumes.
  • To improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content (as appropriate), improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging by 2015. This equates to a carbon reduction of 3% relative to anticipated sale volumes.” – The Courtauld Commitment, WRAP data sheet

Courtauld 3 will run from 2013-2015 and the focus on optimisation of packaging and food waste reduction which presents real challenges to the supermarkets in this time. WRAP has set a waste reduction target of a further 1.1 million tonnes on top of the 2.3 million tonnes of waste prevented by the Courtauld Commitment during phases 1 and 2, potentially delivering a further £1.6 billion of savings to signatories on top of the £3.5 billion waste spend which has already been prevented by the actions of Courtauld signatories.

A recommendation for improved packaging design for carbon efficiency exemplifies how over the course of the previous phases, the Courtauld Commitment has identified the need for a life-cycle  approach to product level carbon in the overall reduction of waste and optimisation of carbon efficiency.

As previously reported by Comply Direct, supermarket chain Waitrose are an example of a signatory who are already addressing the design of their packaging. As a part of Waitrose's the 'Waitrose Way' pledge, the chain have cut the packaging of some of their leading ready meal ranges by 20% while cutting the packaging of their fresh lamb and pork by 70% in a complete container re-design.

Comply Direct's Business Development and Marketing Manager, Laura Bennett praises the ambitions of the Commitment and said: "Courtauld phase 3 could present some real changes for the waste management industry and reducing overall volumes of packaging waste in the UK could potentially see the cost of compliance come down as more producers take responsibility for the waste life-cycle of their products as a part of their company mission. These are exciting times indeed for the UK waste stream” (click here for more information about Comply Direct's packaging compliance scheme).

With some of the UK's largest supermarkets and other big national grocery supply chain companies committing to the Courtauld phase 3 targets, the future looks bright for reducing the home waste of UK  consumers as well as the overall waste generated by some of the biggest UK producers.

The ambitious waste targets look promising with DEFRA's Resource Minister, Lord de Mauley commenting: "It's crucial that we keep reducing waste so we can continue to see significant benefits for businesses and the environment.”

For more information about the Courtauld Commitment 3 or the packaging compliance and carbon management services that Comply Direct provide, click on the links or call 0844 873 1034 or email info@complydirect.com.