What is SDG 12.3?
Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 seeks to halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels, as well as to reduce food loss during production and supply, using two indices; a Food Waste Index (FWI) and a Food Loss Index (FLI).
The Economic and Environmental Impact of Food Waste
Reducing food waste remains a largely untapped strategy by companies and organisations looking to reduce their carbon emissions footprint. While climate mitigation approaches such as emissions reductions often take centre stage, strategies to reduce food waste have the potential to be among the top solutions for global emissions reduction.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2011), 32% of all food produced in the world is wasted, which equates to an annual loss of US$ 680 billion in industrialised countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries. Cutting our food losses across the supply chain from farm to fork can support sustainability and financial goals alike. It is critical that companies and consumers play their part in eliminating food waste to assure this world remains habitable for generations to come.
Our Food Waste services
- Waste quantification
- Hotspot analysis
- Change management route map development
- Food surplus data analytics and monitoring
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Food waste technology reviews
- Carbon accounting
- SDG 12.3 Strategy
- Bottom-up food calculations using Alteryx
- Zero waste to landfill strategies
- Business case development for food waste reduction
- Training programmes for retailers and suppliers
- Organisational capacity building
- Stakeholder engagement
- Market opportunities from food waste materials (valorisation)
- Software platforms for supplier management
- Implement pilot studies with new policies and practices
- Support innovative partnerships to redistribute food surplus
- Internal and external reporting
Drivers for food waste reduction strategies
International recognition of the scale of the food loss and waste challenge is building, and the European Union and Member States have committed to achieving the UN SDG 12.3 target. This particular SDG aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030.
Organisations cutting food waste through SDG alignment
We’ve seen major organisations adopt targets that reflect SDG 12.3 including the Consumer Goods Forum, US EPA, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Further, organisations part of Champions 12.3, a coalition of business, government, farmers and other food organisations have also committed to SDG 12.3, to halve food waste by 2030. Some of the members representing 10 of the largest retailers and providers in the world are also part of the 10x20x30 Initiative committed to engaging 20 suppliers by 2030.
The compounded impacts of addressing food loss and waste
Reducing food waste across the supply chain impacts a number of social, economic and environmental issues including:
- Reducing financial losses from unsold inventory
- Reducing biodiversity loss
- Improving livelihoods of farmers and other workers throughout the supply chain
- Reducing Scope 3 supply chain emissions
- Addressing poverty and public health issues with well-designed produce redistribution programs of fresh fruits and vegetables
Webinar: Food Waste: Setting Goals and Practical Advice to Achieve Them
Anthesis’s Food Waste Reduction Strategy
The Anthesis team of internationally renowned food waste reduction experts has been working in this space for 10+ years advising governments and policy-led organisations on the development of voluntary and legislative approaches and managing food resources more efficiently from production through to consumption. Anthesis experts have supported the development of industry-leading standards and solutions to account for and address food loss. Namely, Anthesis contributed to the development of the global Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Accounting and Reporting Standard; detailing the FLW standard and common framework for global measurement of food waste.
Companies looking to reduce food loss and waste within their own operations must first quantify where and how much food is wasted throughout their supply chain. To support efforts beyond food waste data analytics and monitoring the company must measure the business case to cultivate internal buy in at all levels of the organisation. Next, the company will use their newfound understanding of food waste across their operations to design strategies to target hotspots to reach SDG 12.3 or other food waste goals. Successful strategies require supplier engagement and training, technology to support data submission and analytics, and partnerships within and beyond the value chain. Finally, the company must report to their stakeholders throughout the process.
Anthesis can support clients throughout the entire process from measuring to strategising to reporting. Our deep expertise in food waste helps us support our international client list which includes many companies who are taking a proactive position in driving sustainability in the food supply chain, including those in the grocery retail, hospitality, catering and food and drink manufacturing sectors. We work with a number of retailers and food businesses on food waste reporting, food redistribution strategies and training on reporting requirements.
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Our Food Waste Team
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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.