THE ISSUE WITH FOOD WASTE
A third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted, generating 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. To put that in context, if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after the US and China. As a food company we have an important role to play in bringing this figure down.
We want to reduce food waste overall, but also make sure that any food surplus is put to good use and sent to those who need it, rather than being wasted.
WE’RE REDUCING FOOD WASTE
We want to be a zero waste business by 2040, so we’re taking bold action in this area. We are signatories of WRAP’s food waste reduction roadmap and friends of Champions 12.3, a global coalition dedicated to accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve global food waste by 2030.
We’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to reduce food waste throughout our business. In 2020, for example, we changed processes in our dairies in order to extend the ‘once opened’ life of our milk from three to five days, saving 16,500 tonnes of waste each year.
REDISTRIBUTING EDIBLE FOOD WASTE
Where edible food waste is identified we redistribute it to local charities and foodbanks via our partners at Fareshare and the Felix Project. Through these partners, we’ve distributed 104 tonnes to those most in need within our communities in the past year alone.
We also work with The Community Shop to redistribute surplus product and, since 2017, have prevented 5737 tonnes of waste, and contributed to 13.6 million meals. We believe that by ensuring no good food goes to waste we are contributing to a more equitable food system for everyone.
We are changing the way we use water so we use less and conserve this precious resource where we can. Within our own business, we recycle water at every opportunity so we don’t need to use local water resources. Currently around 60% of our total water consumption comes from this recycled water.
Through these initiatives, and others which are being explored, we’ll achieve a 30% relative reduction in water brought onto site by 2030.
Water conservation is a key focus of our Müller Advantage Programme, which supports British farmers with the tools and advice they need to tackle a wide range of environmental challenges. We’re working with our farmers to identify water risks and hotspots for action, and creating plans to encourage conservation and manage water scarcity.
RETHINKING WASTE ACROSS OUR BUSINESS
We’re approaching waste with a new mindset. We believe that all material has value, so there’s no such thing as waste material. We’re continually identifying ways to reduce our overall consumption of material, and then to repurpose what we do use. From going paperless in our customer deliveries to setting up onsite repair stations for our metal milk trolleys, we want to keep valuable resources in use for as long as possible. We’re even working with farmers to turn backing paper from labels into animal bedding!
We are signatories of WRAP’s food waste reduction roadmap which aims to halve food waste by 2030
We’ve extended the ‘once open’ life of our milk, saving 16,500 tonnes of food waste each year
We’ve redistributed 305 tonnes of edible food since 2019, and our work with The Community Shop has prevented 5737 tonnes of waste since 2017
We recycle and reuse over 430 million litres of water each year across our Bridgwater, Severnside and Droitwich dairies