Tackling food waste in our own operations
We have made a commitment that no food that’s safe for human consumption will go to waste from our UK retail operations.
We strive to eliminate unsold food going to waste by continually optimising our forecasting, ordering and reduce to clear processes for food close to its expiry date to reduce the amount of food surplus at the end of each day.
If food cannot be sold, we prioritise its redistribution to charities and community groups who feed people in need and offer to colleagues through our Colleague Shop. Any suitable remaining surplus food is sent to pet food or converted to animal feed. Where no other options are available, we recover energy from food waste through anaerobic digestion or incineration. No food waste is sent to landfill in the UK and Ireland.
We have reduced overall food waste in our operations by 42% since 2016/17 and are making good progress toward our ambition of halving food waste by 2030. Just 0.37%◊ of the food handled across the Group in 2020 ended up as waste.
In the UK, 82%◊ of unsold food safe for human consumption was redistributed in 2020/21, up from 77% last year. In Central Europe the amount of unsold food redistributed was 87%.
Food Waste Data
We were the first UK retailer to publish independently assured food waste data for our own operations. Publishing a detailed breakdown of our waste enables us to identify hotspots and take action. This has enabled us to work in partnership with others to reduce food waste and increase food surplus redistribution in a targeted way.
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