With help from Champions 12.3 and WRI-led Food Loss and Waste Protocol, 32 of the world’s 50 largest food companies set ambitious targets to reduce food loss and waste. In addition, more than 100 companies – including a third of Fortune 2000 companies – are measuring food loss and waste for the first time.

The Challenge

More than 10 percent of the world’s population is undernourished even as one-third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted along the supply chain—from farm to table. Food loss and waste results in $940 billion per year in economic losses and produces a level of greenhouse gas emissions that put it in league China and the United States, the world’s two biggest emitters. Recognizing the scale and urgency of the problem, Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030. Achieving this ambitious target requires companies to do their part.

WRI’s Role

The Champions 12.3 coalition—a group of public and private sector leaders dedicated to achieving SDG Target 12.3, with WRI as the co-secretariat—works to help companies “Target, Measure and Act” on food loss and waste. Through Champions 12.3, WRI has played a role in persuading companies to set targets and measure how much food is lost or wasted in their operations. WRI also is the secretariat of the Food Loss and Waste Protocol, which sets global guidelines and standards on how to measure food loss and waste.

The Outcome

By the end of 2018, 32 of the world’s 50 largest food companies (by revenue) set specific food loss and waste reduction targets aligned with SDG Target 12.3, up from just one in 2015. More than a dozen of those companies use the Food Loss and Waste Protocol to measure food loss and waste in their operations. Furthermore, over 100 companies — with a third among the Fortune Global 2000 — now measure their food loss and waste for the first time, including Hilton Foods, Kellogg Company, Tesco, Nestlé, Unilever and Walmart. These developments represent the start of a private sector movement to shift towards more efficient and sustainable food supply chains.