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Producing food requires significant resources including land, energy, and water. Globally 25% to 30% of total food produced is lost or wasted, and food waste is estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to create between 8% to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.

UK households and businesses produce around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste a year, which has a value of more than £19 billion. Of this edible waste, more than 15 billion meals could have been created.

The estimated greenhouse gas emissions from this waste are around 25 million tonnes of CO2e, which is the equivalent of ten million cars, or one in three cars on UK roads. 

What are we doing to change things?

Acting on food waste is a key part of our commitment to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. Since 2016 we’ve reduced food waste in our operations by 45%.

The less we waste the less we need to produce

Our approach is ‘Waste not want not’. We conduct food-waste audits to identify hotspots where we can reduce food waste at source. These assessments ensure we have a consistent approach to measurement and reporting of food waste, making us better able to identify opportunities and implement changes.

In 2015, we achieved zero waste to landfill, including food waste, across our entire UK and Irish operations.


We work with Fareshare and Community Shop in the UK and Food Cloud in Ireland to redistribute more of our surplus food for charitable and commercial use.

We are a member of Champions 12.3, a coalition of the world’s leading food retailers and providers working to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 – to reduce food waste, by 2030, to 50% of its 2016 level. 

The effective management of the supply chain can help create a more resourceful, sustainable and equitable food system. When food goes to waste, the resources used to produce, transport and store that food are also wasted. By redirecting good waste and surplus food for alternative uses, we can help feed the nation and minimise environmental impact.

Matthew Beddoe
Matthew Beddoe Head of Procurement, Nestlé UK & Ireland


The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)