Industry enhances its commitment to Sustainability
Friday, 30 November 2012 14:31

The launch today of the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) Sustainability Commitment represents a major step in reducing industry’s footprint and enhancing its approach to sustainable practices.

The AFGC’s Sustainability Commitment is a new industry wide strategy, setting clear objectives, targets, metrics and case studies on water, waste, energy, packaging and sustainable sourcing.

AFGC CEO, Mr Gary Dawson described the Sustainability Commitment as a cornerstone of industry’s commitment to sustainable business practices, by providing an accurate and transparent account of areas of good practice while demonstrating case studies which can be shared to improve performance.

“The food and grocery manufacturing industry is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector and produces around 24 million nutritious meals every day for Australian consumers,” said Mr Dawson.

“Sustainability is key to the industry’s future and to Australia’s food security. For the first time this whole of industry Sustainability Commitment provides a coordinated strategy for industry to participate in.”

Under the Commitment industry has agreed to significant sustainability targets. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework was used as a guide to develop the AFCG Sustainability Commitment. The sustainability reduction targets include:

  • To reduce water consumption per tonne of production by 20% by 2020, relative to a 2010-2011 baseline
  • To reduce waste to landfill per tonne of production by 40% by 2020, relative to a 2010-2011 baseline
  • To reduce energy usage per tonne of production by 10% by 2020, relative to a 2010-2011 baseline. To reduce carbon emissions per tonne of production by 20% by 2020, relative to a 2010-2011 baseline.
  • All AFGC members committed to actions of the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) to improve the sustainability of packaging
    • AFGC members to review all existing packaging against the APC Sustainable Packaging Guidelines by 2020
  • All AFC members have a sustainable sourcing (or equivalent) policy in place by 2015

“The key role of the Sustainability Commitment is to translate the principles of sustainable development into practices to ensure that industry operates in a manner which is attuned to the expectations of the community, and which seeks to maximise the long term benefits to society that can be achieved through the effective management of Australia’s natural resources,” said Mr Dawson.

“An important component of the AFGC’s sustainability work, and indeed the Sustainability Commitment, is the contribution of industry members in developing a fact based response to sustainability challenges, supported by meaningful performance measurements, targets and initiatives; as well as contributing insights and ideas.”

“As we move forward, some of the opportunities for the food and grocery manufacturing sector will be increasingly found by working closely in collaboration with retailers and our suppliers. Knowledge and leadership within the industry is critical, and the Sustainability Commitment will be core in collectively tackling critical issues and realise opportunities through adoption of best sustainability practices,” concluded Mr Dawson.  

To view the Sustainability Commitment in full, click here

-ENDS-

More information: James Mathews AFGC Director Communications 0407 416 002