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Supermarket chain Iceland utilises AD to tackle food waste

UK supermarket chain Iceland has announced food waste reductions of almost 2,500 tonnes (23.2%) over the last two years through community initiatives and anaerobic digestion.

The announcement comes 12 months after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot called on businesses to ‘step up to the plate’ and drive plans to cut food waste. Iceland has followed the ‘target, measure, act’ approach set out in the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap launched by WRAP and the Institute of Grocery Distribution.

In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, Iceland has committed to a 50% reduction in food waste across its operations by 2030. The supermarket giant has sold more than 1.3 million tonnes of food to its customers, sending zero food to landfill. Instead, it has donated food to local communities, processed it into energy using AD, or converted it into animal feed.

“Tackling food waste is high on our agenda as one of our many commitments to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker. “We’ve worked with communities, colleagues and customers to make significant reductions and I am delighted that we have been able to make great strides in reducing our food waste footprint over the past two years.”

While community initiatives have been at the heart of Iceland’s food waste reduction plans, it has recognised the benefits of AD and biogas production. The retailer also found unique ways to use surplus food, such as sending unsold bread from its Welsh stores to Tiny Rebel Brewing in Newport, south Wales, to produce its award-winning Bread Board Pale Ale.

Peter Maddox, director at WRAP, commented: “I am delighted by the progress Iceland has made to reduce its operational food waste so significantly over the last two years.

“These are impressive results and we welcome the company’s commitment to halve its operational food waste in line with UN goals.

“Publicly reporting shows a long-term commitment to tackling food waste in an efficient and transparent way, and we encourage all food businesses to adopt this approach. As both a Courtauld 2025 signatory and an active participant in the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, Iceland is also helping its customers cut waste in the home, and is an advocate of managing food surplus.”

 




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