Natural capital is an economic metaphor for the limited stocks of physical and biological resources found on the earth. It consists of land, air, water and living organisms that provide the goods and services we use.

Food and drink businesses rely on natural capital, including services such as pollination, flood management and climate regulation. They also have an impact through land and resource use, greenhouse gas emissions, supply chain impacts and investment decisions.

Businesses that appreciate their impact and dependency on natural capital will be better positioned to respond to scrutiny of the sector's impact; natural capital increasingly influences the public policy agenda, for example through the 25 Year Environment Plan.

The FDF works with members to understand and protect natural capital. We focus on soils, biodiversity and water stewardship. The FDF joined the Natural Capital Coalition in 2015 and helped to deliver the first Natural Capital Protocol and Food Sector Guide.

Updates & milestones

Date for return of the Environment Bill confirmed

It has been confirmed that the Environment Bill will return to Parliament on 26 May to finish Commons Report stages, before proceeding to the Lords.

We Value Nature launch food & drink training

We Value Nature will be launching their business training on natural capital tailored to the food and drink sector during their We Value Nature 10-Day Challenge Event.

The first training session will take place on 16 March, 14:00 – 16:00 and will explore the relationships between food and drink businesses and nature. It will also introduce key approaches and tools to integrate natural capital into decision-making. Register

The second training session will take place on 23 March, 14:00 – 16:00 and will provide concrete guidance on how food and drink businesses can begin to approach a first natural capital assessment. Register

We Value Nature 10 Day Challenge

We Value Nature will be running a 10-day business challenge from 11-24 March 2021.

They will be offering a series of over 40 practical session and small challenges spread across the 10 days to help businesses take the next steps on their nature journey.

Download the final programme here and registration for individual sessions is open here.

Sign-up to the challenge to receive daily challenges throughout the event as well as news about upcoming sessions.

Ambition 2025 progress report and mid-term review published

On 24 February, the FDF launched our Ambition 2025 Mid-term Review and Ambition 2025 Progress Report 2020 which was supported by a series of member case studies.

As highlighted in this year’s progress report, there has been exceptional progress in some areas, including:

  • 55% reduction in CO2 emissions, five years before the target was due to be reached.
  • 41.5% reduction in absolute water consumption in 2019 and support for the Courtauld 2025 Water Ambition.
  • Contributed to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
  • Continued to build relationships with key stakeholders and with UK governments including through engagement on various the Plastics tax; undertook advocacy on PRN cost crisis; supported the UK Plastics Pact; and launched new guidelines on using recycled content in plastic packaging applications.
  • Promoted the fewer and friendlier miles agenda through FDF’s 10 Point Checklist.
  • Updated and promoted the Sustainability Resource Hub.
  • Promoted the FDF Natural Capital Awareness Document.

The FDF also published a press release, with supporting quote from Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow MP. The launch has been extensively covered across the trade media.

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

Past webinars

A wealth of content provided by both our Professional Affiliates and our dedicated in-house teams. From current legislative updates to the future of the industry, we’re certain there is something for all those working in food and drink today.

Environmental sustainability webinars

Related topics

Wind turbine

Ambition 2025

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

wind turbines

Environmental sustainability

Our members have continued to significantly reduce carbon emissions and water consumption, as part of their commitment to reduce our environmental impact.



The UK food and drink industry has an essential need for reliable and sufficient freshwater for raw materials, processing needs and as an ingredient.

Report: Ambition 2025: Progress report 2022

30 May 2023

Despite the new set of challenges, the industry remains focused on their commitment to lead the charge for a sustainable, resilient and responsible food and drink industry, and deliver on our ambition to reach Net Zero by 2040 – a decade earlier than government targets.

Read more

Report: Ambition 2025: Progress report 2021

10 March 2022

In 2020, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and our members achieved the target of reducing CO2 emissions set in the Ambition 2025 commitment – five years earlier than planned. In 2021 we set our sights even higher.

Read more