The Consumer Goods Forum, a global association of 400 companies representing $2.7 trillion in combined annual sales, committed to halving food waste by 2025 in conformance with the new Food Loss & Waste Protocol being developed by WRI and partners. The commitment will save annually hundreds of millions of tons of food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The Challenge

One of every four food calories intended for human consumption is not eaten, a level of inefficiency that causes $750 billion in annual economic losses and exacerbates food insecurity and malnutrition. Food that is lost or wasted consumes a quarter of all water used by agriculture, requires cropland area the size of China, and is responsible for an estimated seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

WRI’s Role

In 2013, WRI invited the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to become one of six steering committee members to develop the Food Loss & Waste Protocol, a global accounting and reporting standard for quantifying food and associated inedible parts removed from the food supply chain. Lining up powerful players to help create this standard – including intergovernmental organizations like the FAO and the UN Environment Programme, private sector groups including the CGF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and technical experts at EU FUSIONS and the Waste & Resources Action Programme – taps into global expertise and enables global impact.

For the CGF, knowing that a standard for how to quantify and report on food loss and waste was in development and having a stake in its development provided a solid foundation for an ambitious Food Waste Resolution. Announced in June 2015, the Resolution sets a target for CGF members to halve food waste within their retail and manufacturing operations by 2025 relative to a 2016 baseline.

The Impact

CGF’s target is the first worldwide corporate resolution to reduce food waste at this scale. The commitment is massive: 400 of the world’s largest retailers, manufacturers and service providers will quantify food that is wasted within their manufacturing and retail operations in a globally consistent and credible manner. By knowing how much food is wasted and where, they will be able to develop targeted strategies for reducing waste and monitor progress over time. The CGF commitment will reduce hundreds of millions of tons of food waste every year by 2025 and sets an example for other decision-makers to follow.