With the awareness of sustainability growing, there are three key areas to be aware of in the food sector.
- Understand your climate risk
Climate change is affecting the food supply chain and these impacts are likely to increase over time. Understanding your hotspots and taking measures to mitigate the most material risks will future proof your assets and operations against risk. A few recent examples of how climate change is impacting the food sector are:
- More regular and intense floods closing down sites, hindering access for customers / suppliers and leading to losses in revenue
- Shifting weather patterns reducing agricultural productivity, decreasing supply, and driving up the cost of products
- As customers become increasingly aware and concerned with environmental issues, failing to address these can cause reputation damage
- Climate risk is becoming a key consideration in investor decision making and investors will demand visibility into your organisation’s climate risk and strategy in place to reduce it.
- There is increasing pressure from stakeholders, especially food retailers, to set Science-Based Targets (SBTs) to align with the Paris agreement.
SBTs are targets with emissions reductions in line with a well-below 2°C or a 1.5°C scenario compared to pre-industrial temperatures. Stakeholder decision making is increasingly influenced by the commitments of their suppliers, aligning your targets to climate science will ensure they are credible and stand up to scrutiny. Target setting should be thought of as a strategic decision in your business.
- Engaging with your supply chain is required to tackle the largest part of your footprint to achieve net zero.
For many retail and manufacturing companies, Scope 3 emissions (supply chain) will make up over 95% of their footprint so engagement with suppliers is important. Customers will request information on the emissions associated with your organisation before wanting to collaborate and work with you to identify ways of reducing the environmental impact over time. It is recommended all organisations have a clear understanding of their GHG emissions footprint with identified projects to reduce impact.
The increased focus on how we use our resources more effectively presents a clear opportunity for the frozen sector to demonstrate leadership by minimising waste, reducing carbon impact, and engaging suppliers. Frozen food is part of the solution, evidenced by the fact we are seeing retailers allocate more space for frozen and that sustainability is becoming a key driver for innovation in refrigeration technology.