Government launches scheme to address greenwashing in food industry

The project aims to standardise environmental metrics for food businesses

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The government has launched a project to tackle potential greenwashing practices happening in the food and drink sector.

The project aims to standardise metrics on the green credentials of food and drink production.

The scheme is promised to help businesses and the public understand the environmental performance of companies, including carbon reduction and resource efficiency.

That follows a collaboration of the Environment Agency with the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Waste and Resources Action Programme and the British Standards Institute.

Partners will work with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), retail and food giants including Sainsbury’s and Nestle to see if the metrics are feasible.

The project had previously secured a £195,000 grant from the BEIS-launched £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund.

Project lead Becca Tremain of the Environment Agency said: “Different food businesses have developed and adopted various environmental metrics and it can be time-consuming for food businesses to collect data from different supplier systems.

“This project seeks to address this challenge by standardising environmental metrics for food businesses that go beyond legal compliance.”

Sarah Mukherjee, Chief Executive of IEMA, said: “Measuring the environmental performance of the food and drink sector is a complex task, but a vital one given the size and economic significance of the sector.”

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