In 2 years, Tesco Polska has reduced its food waste by 41%
Tesco today published its annual food waste data for third time, revealing doubling the amount of food that was redistributed to food banks, local charities and animal feed.
The retailer decreased the amount of food safe for human consumption going to waste by 27% year-on-year.
Overall, this led to the amount of food going to waste at Tesco Poland operations falling by 12% to 8 946 tonnes compared to the previous year and is now very close towards its target to halve food waste in its own operations.
Over 12 months, Tesco sold around 1 000 000 million tonnes of food in Poland. A small fraction – 12 356 tonnes – remained unsold. Of this total, 3 411 tonnes was redistributed and stopped from going to waste.
Tesco was the first (and stilly only) Polish retailer to publish its own operations data in 2017.Thanks to Food Waste Data reporting, Tesco can proudly say that in just two years it decreased food waste in its operations by 41%, while donated 3 372 tonnes of food for people in need.
Efforts to halve food waste are not only good for business or for charity purposes, they have deeper meaning when put into global context. From an environmental perspective, food loss and waste is causing around 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If food loss was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of a global greenhouse gas emission after China and the USA. Therefore one of the UN sustainable development goal is to halve food waste by 2030. As one of the biggest retailers in the world, Tesco is aware of its responsibility in the fight against food waste and hence has committed to this target.
Tesco believes that what gets measured gets managed. The Food Waste Data Report gives an exact picture on the amount of food surplus and waste, so Tesco can make steps to effectively minimise the amount of waste, including increasing the amount of food surplus that is donated.
“Reducing food waste is a global challenge: one in nine people are going hungry whilst a third of the world’s food is wasted. This food waste has a huge environmental impact, creating unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Publicly reporting food data is crucial to delivering on our ambition to help halve global food waste by 2030. Our efforts lead us to achieve a fantastic progress. Less than 1% of food sold in Tesco goes to waste. Already in 2019, we are very close to achieve the UN sustainable development goal to halve food waste in our operations.
I am very proud of the work of all colleagues who have contributed to this effort and of course all charities´ and Food banks` representatives who are doing an amazing work distributing the food to those who need it the most. Our results are encouraging, however there is still more work to do. Last year we wasted 1 779 tonnes of food that was suitable for human consumption. We will continue to work hard that no good food will go to waste and we call on other retailers and companies in the food supply chain to join us in this effort, and measure and publish their food waste data” - said Martin Behan, Tesco Polska Managing Director.
In the 2018/19 financial year, Tesco offered 1 003 675 tonnes of food out of which 12 356 tonnes were not sold to consumers. This represents food suitable for human consumption, animal feed as well as food not suitable for donation and therefore sent to disposal. In the last year, Tesco donated 3 372 tonnes of food to Food banks and local charities to help people in need. This represents an increase of 50% compared to the previous year. In addition, company donated 39 tonnes of food as animal feed last year.
Tesco’s goal is that by 2020 all of its stores will be donating food surplus to Food banks and local charities. Currently 254 stores are able to donate food surplus.
“Being transparent on food waste is essential to identify the sources of this issue and decreasing it. Tesco has been our partner for years and we are happy that the number of food donated by the retailer is growing year by year. Today the biggest challenge in this process is encouraging to cooperation more local charities that could take part in donations scheme” – said Marek Borowski, Head of the Polish Food Banks Federation.
Tesco believes that by publishing food waste data again, for the third year, it can set a model for other retailers and players in food industry (like manufacturers, distributors or restaurants) to follow – transparency is key in tackling food waste.