Posted: 24 Jan 2023 by Jamie Lee

What is the UK Shopping Basket really costing us?

What is the UK Shopping Basket really costing us?

It’s January 2023, which for us in the UK means for the foreseeable the weather will be cold and miserable. Naturally, you might respond to this by cosying up under a blanket and drinking hot chocolate to your heart’s content. Given that it’s 2023, you’ll also know that the cold weather outside doesn’t necessarily provide an entirely holistic picture of climate change, and are you sure that hot chocolate isn’t behind all of this, after all do you really know where it came from and whether it was sustainably sourced before adding it to your shopping basket?

So maybe we’re taking things a little too literally here, maybe it’s not hot chocolate’s fault. However, it is true that the UK shopping basket is having an impact on the climate and nature. As we begin a new year, food production is at the heart of a tri-environmental challenge; climate change and nature loss challenges are being tackled on a daily basis, but both are heightened by the third challenge, which is to feed a global growing population simultaneously.

What impact is the UK Shopping Basket having on climate and nature?

The environmental footprint of our food supply chain is overflowing at almost every level but it is not yet flooded. Currently, food production here in the UK is part of the problem and is a large contributor to the decline in our planet’s health. If we have any hope of achieving climate targets and restoring nature in the UK, we must bring our food system on a sustainable footing, our ESG, sustainability, and food supply chains must be risk-free in order to succeed.

So, what are the facts? How can we put all of this into perspective? Well, according to WWF’s “What’s in store for our planet…” UK shopping basket report published in 2022, the following statements are true.

  • 50% of all habitable land on our planet is used for agriculture
  • 30% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food production
  • 70% of the planet’s accessible water is used for agriculture
  • 60% of global biodiversity loss is caused by the food system

The existing food system is unsustainable, but there is hope yet – with a properly managed supply chain, free of risks, you and your clients can make changes to have a significantly positive environmental impact across the seven key areas in which the WWF report focuses: climate, deforestation and land conversion, agriculture, marine, diets, food waste and packaging.

Who needs to take action?

In 2022, WWF and Wrap published retailers’ commitment for nature – climate action. A document which details the actions retailers will undertake to tackle their environmental impact. Action number two details how they will “support suppliers to decarbonise”, emphasising the importance of mitigating risk from your supply chains, or your client’s supply chains from day one, ensuring your climate action plan is on track.

Without action the destabilisation of our food supply chains will affect everyone in time, at every level of our food supply chain. If we are to succeed in turning the tide on climate change and nature loss it is essential that changes are made across the aforementioned priority areas. Understanding how to navigate yours or your client’s supply chain can be tricky but here at STAR Index we are on hand to support you on every step of your ESG and sustainability journey.

It’s Time to Take Action

If we continue with business as usual our food supply chains will only worsen, meaning the time for action is indeed now. You’re probably wondering what actions you should be taking exactly to support your business or your clients to fix our broken food system, and that’s where we come in.

take action against uk shopping basket's impact on climate

Here at STAR Index we understand the complexities of all supply chain risk, including the food sector; the following items can support your business or your clients to navigate through and make positive environmental changes within your food supply chain.

  • Transparent data – without visibility there is no accountability and you can’t manage what you can’t measure
  • Combining people and tech – our intuitive platform easily enables your clients’ suppliers to submit data and documentation to provide demonstrable due diligence.
  • Supply chain mapping – the STAR supply chain mapping tool allows you to gain great insight into the risks throughout your potential supply chain and helps to mitigate them
  • Industry specific expertise – by combining our own in-house expertise with the comprehensive network of partners we provide the best knowledge available

STAR Index is primed and ready to help you tackle the UK Shopping Basket!

Interested in acquiring the above services and more to support your organisation or your clients to take action on climate today? Get in touch today for a free demo by enquiring, here.

Talk to us today!

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