The UK’s food and drink industry has cut emissions by more than half
According to the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) latest report, companies such as Coca-Cola, Mars, and Mondelez, have successfully reduced carbon emissions by 51% against a 1990 baseline.
Food and drink firms including Britvic, PepsiCo, and Warburtons are also amongst the group who focused on energy efficiency and decarbonisation.
However, the reduction of carbon emissions can also be attributed to a fall in production across the industry.
“The food and drink manufacturing industry continue to deliver progress against our environmental ambitions,” commented Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer at FDF.
FDF has opened access to its Sustainability Resource Hub, making it available to the public.
The Hub features information on voluntary certifications, collaborative platforms, and practical tools with the aim of increasing sustainability credentials for manufacturers.
“The Sustainability Resource Hub is the next step on our journey to support a shift towards integrating sustainable sourcing into decision making at all levels throughout the supply chain and achieving our Ambition 2025,” added Ms Munday.
“We hope this tool will provide companies, particularly small- to-medium sized ones, with practical guidance to contribute to their sustainability goal.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.