In 2019, the UK was the first major economy to pass net zero emissions into law. In light of the new targets, FDF published a decarbonisation of heat report in 2020, strengthened our commitments under Ambition 2025 and as a signatory to Courtauld 2025, announced a Net Zero by 2040 Ambition in April 2021 and in November 2021, published a handbook for Net Zero to the sector.

The launch of our handbook at COP26 in Glasgow marks a key milestone in FDF’s work supporting members in their decarbonisation journey.  Looking ahead, under the Food and Drink Sector Council we have now established a Net Zero Working Group to take forward the council members roadmaps to agree and align on common challenges we face across the supply chain.  This is still at early stages but as we will update this page with plans, progress and next steps in due course.

article image


Net Zero Handbook Overview

The 8-page summary introduces UK food and drink sector emissions, drivers for change and actions manufacturers can take towards Net Zero


Net Zero Roadmap Handbook

Launched at COP26, this handbook guides manufacturers on actions to reduce the embodied carbon emissions of their products towards Net Zero

decarbonisation of heat


Decarbonisation of heat

Launched in June 2020, this report outlines how carbon emissions from heat generation in food and drink Manufacturing can be reduced to Net Zero.

Updates & milestones

The FDF launches Achieving Net Zero handbook


Following the announcement of our ambition for the food and drink sector to reach Net Zero emissions by 2040, the FDF has today launched its Handbook to help food and drink manufacturers on their journeys to Net Zero.

The achievement of our ambition will require significant changes across the sector; we will need to decarbonise rapidly while continuing to feed the nation an affordable, varied and healthy diet.

The 'Achieving Net Zero' handbook outlines how the FDF and the food and drink sector can address these challenges, and provides guidance for food and drink manufacturers, particularly those at the early stages of developing their climate strategy. 

The core of this Handbook on value chain stages presents practical actions and information for each stage of the chain from farm to fork. Supporting information for each stage provides the context for action, and signposting to useful further resources available online.

The Handbook has been released alongside the Roadmap for Net Zero Overview which summarises the business case for climate action and is aimed at wider stakeholders.


WRAP publishes Food Systems GHG research

On 6th October, WRAP published major new research into the UK food system GHG emissions.  The research shows that the equivalent to 35% of total emissions come from production and consumption of our food & drink. The new report also outlines the actions that policymakers and the food & drink sector must take to deliver the Courtauld 2030 GHG target and the UK’s net zero ambitions.  WRAP notes the key actions for businesses include:

  • De-carbonising business operations
  • Developing a clear understanding of emissions throughout the supply chain
  • Meeting commitments to zero deforestation
  • Reducing food waste
  • Influencing consumer behaviours

The forthcoming FDF Roadmap to Net Zero handbook to be published on 9th November – with a webinar to go through the handbook in detail on 18th November (you can register here) – uses the WRAP research to underpin the assessment of manufacturers carbon footprint.  For each part of the farm to fork value chain the handbook proposes the actions that manufacturers can take to reduce their carbon emissions towards Net Zero.

Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP Low Carbon and Circular Economy Fund

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership will be running an in-person event to launch their Low Carbon and Circular Economy Fund.

This new fund is targeted at low carbon and food and drinks manufacturing sector across the West Midlands. The GBSLEP will offer up to £30,000 of revenue funding to exemplary projects, with 30% match funding from the project proposal. A total of £240,000 will be available to support these projects from businesses located in the GBSLEP, Black Country LEP (BCLEP) and Coventry and Warkwickshire LEP (CWLEP) areas.

The networking breakfast event will take place on 21 September, 7:45 – 9:30. During the event, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP will be running a "speed networking" session where you can pitch your business to other businesses. You can find out more and register here.

FDF / Cambridge University Research – your input sought!

Our Head of Climate Change & Energy Policy, Emma Piercy, is undertaking a PGDip in Sustainable Business at Cambridge – and is now working on an ‘Analysis Paper’ looking at a sustainability challenge in the food and drink sector – specifically looking at the role FDF can play in helping to drive change, and then applying those conclusions to the Net Zero policy area.  This will be followed by a second assignment around creating an action plan on account of recommendations from the analysis paper.

As part of the research she is reaching out to different stakeholder groups – and there is a specific questionnaire for food and drink manufacturers, and it is open to both members and non-members of FDF: there are 9 multiple choice questions with the option to add additional comments – and 3 free text questions.  All information gathered is confidential and non-attributable unless explicit permission is otherwise given.  The final paper will be viewed only by Cambridge University and key FDF staff.

If you would like to participate in this survey – you can do so via this link:

Responses to the survey are requested by Friday 20th August, but will be open a little longer.  Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing your views!

WRAP launch Courtauld Commitment 2030 with renewed targets

Today WRAP have announced that they have extended their Courtauld commitment to 2030, with renewed targets on food waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water.

  1. On food waste, to deliver against UN SDG 12.3: a 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 vs the UK 2007 baseline (covering manufacture, retail, hospitality and food service, and household)
  2. On GHG emissions, to deliver a 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline)
  3. On water, for businesses to increase water use efficiency in their own operations and contribute to achieving sustainable water management to improve the quality and availability of water at catchment scale with an overall target that by 2030 50% of fresh food is sources from areas with sustainable water management

You can find a summary of progress to date in the Courtauld Commitment Annual Report.

At the same time, and to enable smaller businesses to engage with Courtauld Commitment 2030, WRAP has introduced an Associate Membership model.


The Food and Drink Federation launches Achieving Net Zero handbook to support food and drink manufacturers

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has today launched its handbook to help food and drink manufacturers on their journeys to Net Zero.

Read more

M5: UK manufacturing holds key to unlocking Government’s domestic and global ambitions

The success of the UK’s manufacturing sector will be central to Government’s ability to deliver on its national ambitions to level up the whole country, reach Net Zero by 2050 and become a global science super-power.

Read more

FDF Scotland's response to the Scottish Government's programme for Government 2021-22

“We are delighted to see the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to supporting the recovery and growth of Scotland’s vital food and drink industry. "

Read more

Food and Drink Federation launches ambition to reach Net Zero by 2040

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the food and drink industry, has today announced its ambition on behalf of the sector to reach Net Zero by 2040.

Read more

Environmental sustainability case studies

Net Zero & Decarbonisation: PepsiCo

PepsiCo’s Walkers brand join forces with British clean-tech firm CCm Technologies to reduce their carbon footprint by turning potato waste into fertiliser.

Read more

Alara - Climate Change

Alara believe that sustainability has four foundations: social sustainability, financial sustainability, sustainable governance and environmental sustainability. They have developed a simple measure for each foundational element, and chose the evaluation of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) as their environmental measure.

Read more

Mars Case Study: Climate Change

Mars partnered with Eneco UK in 2016 to build a new 20 turbine wind farm in Moy in the Scottish Highlands. The Moy Wind Farm enables all 12 Mars UK factories and office sites to produce its much-loved brands using renewable electricity.

Read more

McCain Foods Case Study: Climate Change

An average of 70% of the McCain Whittlesey site’s total electricity is now generated by three wind turbines and an anaerobic lagoon. McCain have also removed a further 360 tonnes of CO2  by transporting products in longer trailers.

Read more

Receive updates on this topic

Want to keep up to date on this topic?

You can receive email updates on this topic by registering for an FDF account. 

You can edit your preferences so that you receive updates on the topics and the type of information you are interested in. 


Interested in becoming a member?

FDF members have access to a range of benefits to grow, protect and strengthen their business.

Gain an advantage, join FDF today.


Check to see if your company is already a member

How we can help your business

Report: Decarbonisation of heat

10 June 2020

Launched in June 2020, this report outlines how carbon emissions from heat generation in food and drink Manufacturing can be reduced to Net Zero.

Read more

Decarbonisation of heat

Related topics

wind turbines

Environmental sustainability

The FDF is committed to creating a thriving and sustainable UK food and drink industry that acts responsibly for the benefit of society and the environment.

Wind turbine

Ambition 2025

Ambition 2025 sets out the FDF's vision for a thriving, responsible and sustainable UK food and drink industry.

climate change agreements

Climate change agreements

Climate Change Agreements agreed with the Environment Agency provide CCL tax discounts in return for reducing energy use and CO2 emissions.

content image


The global food system contributes to over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions with the impacts of climate change already evident. Discussions at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October to 12 November 2021 will set the path for a global food system that is sustainable, resilient and fit for the future.