Posted: 17 Nov 2022 by Poppy Gardner

Building nutrient neutrality into your housing development

Is mandatory sustainability reporting coming for food and beverage companies

The Investor Coalition on UK Food Policy, a group worth some £6 trillion is calling on the UK government to implement a mandatory system of reporting on the nutrition and sustainability metrics of food sector produce. So is mandatory sustainability reporting coming for food and beverage companies?

The question to ask is why? Why the push for mandatory reporting from these financial establishments and why now?

Hidden in Scope 3

In July of 2021, the coalition wrote to the UK government to raise their concerns over the problems with voluntary reporting. Recent progress reports by FAIRR and Ceres revealed that a staggering 90% of the total emissions from the fast food industry were “hidden in scope 3”. A sobering snapshot of the issues and struggles the industry faces when trying to positively impact climate change.

Is mandatory sustainability reporting coming for food and beverage companies?
A correlation between Obesity and Poverty
On average, ‘healthy’ foods tend to cost around three times more than their processed alternatives. In a time of rising inflation, struggling households could increase their spending away from pricier (and healthier) options. This could mean a projected uptake in obesity-related illness, a fall in productivity and a decrease in the UK’s life expectancy average.

The bottom line is that large food sector companies need to urgently reevaluate their impact on climate change and sustainability as a whole.

The coalition is fighting for change and want the opportunity to invest their capital in sustainable produce that’s good for the planet and its people. Anything less simply will not move the dial.

The National Food Strategy Report

Independent reviewer Henry Dimbleby’s published report outlined four strategic objectives:

  • Escape the junk food cycle to protect the NHS
  • Reduce diet-related inequality
  • Make the best use of our land and
  • Create a long-term shift in our food culture

The push for mandatory reporting could be the key ingredient to ensure all four objectives have a chance of being successful. There’s no doubt that a positive change in the food industry will require a sizable overhaul in the way food is sourced, manufactured and brought to the consumer. Do we have the time and faith to wait for this to happen on a voluntary basis?

It’s crucial that mandatory reporting laws specify a request for a full transparency of scope 3 emissions of both the supply and value chains. Ambitious targets without rigorous accountability will become yet another example of corporate greenwashing.

So even though the UK government shelved their 2021 plans for more stringent reporting in the food industry, it seems likely that pressure from the coalition of investors could encourage a set of revised policies along these lines in the future.

Why is the Food Sector Crucial?

The human race marches on its belly. Without a sustainable food source there simply cannot be a prosperous existence of human life on the planet. It is no secret that this is an industry that requires many carbon-heavy practices to function. Transportation, agriculture and land use are some of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this, meat sourcing and fishing practices are having a negative impact on the biodiversity of natural habitats on land and at sea.

Do you operate in the food sector?

Are you prepared for the possibility of mandatory reporting in the future?

Are you looking for a cost effective one-stop shop that supports all your reporting needs?

Powered by QADEX, STAR Index has over 12 years’ experience helping businesses digitally transform their supply chain risk management processes within the food sector.

Get in touch and one of our ESG experts will get back to you as soon as possible and you can start your journey to a more sustainable supply chain.

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