Courtauld Commitment 3 interim results & case studies

The impact of Courtauld Commitment 3 is predicted to be a cumulative reduction of 1.1 million tonnes of waste, 2.9 million tonnes of CO2(e) and a cost benefit of £1.6 billion to consumers, grocery sector and local authorities.

Interim results for the second year of Courtauld 3 show that manufacturing and retail waste has significantly reduced against the baseline 2012 figure. 

Signatories have helped achieve a considerable reduction in traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the manufacturing and retail operations of participants, down 80,000 tonnes against the 2012 baseline. This shows strong progress towards the target standing at 3.2% after the first two years, against the overall 3% target by 2015 for the agreement.

Progress in reducing packaging waste remains well ahead of the packaging target despite growing sales (up by more than 5% for signatories who reported sales data) that account for packaging weight actually increasing by 0.7% over the same period. The latest figures show a sustained positive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 3.9%.

Read the full press release.  

A word from some of our Courtauld 3 signatories:

“Sainsbury’s has undertaken a range of activity through Courtauld 3, from engaging with our colleagues in Cardiff on implementing lean practices, collaborating with our suppliers &  farmers on waste prevention opportunities, to listening to our customers and developing ‘Waste Less, Save More’  helping them reduce food waste at home. WRAP has always provided a strong sounding board and been a partner, helping us shape and deliver best practice.” Judith Batchelar, Director, Sainsbury's Brand.

“As an ethical and responsible retailer and Courtauld 3 signatory, we felt it was important that our customers were provided with clear guidance on how to get the best from their shopping and reduce food waste. Following the success of the “keep me” label on produce, we looked to adopt it on other key high waste categories.” Aaron Fawcett, Labelling Technologist - Food Policy, The co-operative food.

“WRAP’s ‘waste event’ [facilitated under Courtauld 3] really brought home the value in giving our  colleagues the time, away from standard operations, to focus on waste reduction. We’re reviewing recommendations made by the team and look forward to sharing the approach with our wider business.” Joseph Prosho, Corporate Responsibility & Policy Adviser, Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

“Throughout Courtauld 3, Coca-Cola Enterprises has engaged with WRAP in order to support the work of our customers, who are making a difference by recycling as much as possible, wherever and whenever.” Giustina Diana, Recycling Manager, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

“Asda is an active Courtauld 3 signatory. One example of Asda activity during the commitment is increasing product shelf-life to prevent food waste; we have successfully rolled out skin packaging across beef, steak and lamb. This has also reduced packaging waste and improved presentation which our customers value." Karen Todd, Head of Zero Waste, Asda.

“This report demonstrates the real cumulative progress that can be made when businesses work together.  As a signatory of Courtauld Commitment 3, Central England Co-operative is committed to improving its efficiency by reducing waste where ever possible. We are proud to be part of an initiative which is having such a positive effect both in terms of the impact on the environment and our business performance." Martyn Cheatle, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative.

“As signatories to the Courtauld Commitment 3, HEINEKEN UK has been working hard to reduce packaging waste across the business. Achieving a 3.2% reduction in grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste, at this stage of CC3 , shows solid progress is being made. We remain committed to WRAP’s waste agenda and look forward to continuing our partnership in 2016.” Shane Gardner, HEINEKEN UK Safety and Environment Manager.

"We're pleased to play our part in these important commitments. In the case of food waste, our aim is for all the food we produce to be eaten - by our customers, Partners, or those in need. In the last six months we have donated £434,000 worth of food to more than 80 charities and social enterprises in the communities around our shops. We are working to build this further where we can, diverting as much as possible from anaerobic digestion (we send no food waste to landfill)." Quentin Clark, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Waitrose. 

“At Tesco we are committed to working across the supply chain to improve resource efficiency. A big focus for us has been around tackling food waste, not only in our own operations but also through effective partnerships with our suppliers and by helping our customers. We have worked closely with WRAP to deliver this ambition including supporting Love Food Hate Waste and the 10 cities campaign and we continue to be signatories to the Courtauld Commitment.” Matt Simister, Commercial Director, Tesco.


Courtauld Commitment 3 runs for three years from 2013 to 2015 and the three targets  are measured against a 2012 baseline.

Progress against the household food waste target is not collected yearly but will be available for final year reporting.

Duty of Care

UK companies have a Duty of Care to operate according to the principles of waste minimisation. The WRAP food and drink material hierarchy sets out steps for dealing with waste and minimising the impact on the environment.

Signatory case studies

Case studies from Courtauld signatories demonstrate some of the tangible results they have achieved through their commitment to the voluntary agreement. Find out more about these exciting results by reading the full case studies:

  • Aldi – reusable plastic trays for whole chicken lines 
  • Asda Stores Ltd – simply roast in a bag
  • Britvic Soft Drinks – squash’d packaging
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd - dedication drives ambitious packaging reduction
  • Greencore and Sainsburys – collaborative sandwich supply chain
  • Heinz – improved filling capacity of garnish and sauce packs
  • Innocent drinks – sustainable packaging continuous improvement
  • Marks and Spencer – managing food surplus across supply chain
  • Musgrave Group – fresh produce whole supply chain review 
  • Sainsburys – Food rescue digital inspiration 
  • Tesco – Fresh thinking: LFHW information labels
  • Tesco – rPET plastic egg box trial 
  • The co-operative food – ‘keep me’ labelling initiative
  • The Co-operative Food - Porthcawl – keeping food ‘fresher for longer’
  • Unilever – compressed deodorants
  • Wm Morrision Supermarkets PLC – trialling new wine bottle screw cap 
  • National Household food waste campaigns through partnerships
      • LFHW 10 Cities: Do one thing differently
      • pledge4plastics: Recycle just one more bottle …

Further signatory projects

A handful of CC3 projects were also commissioned from a call for proposals to trial new approaches to enable the delivery of the CC3 packaging target. For further information review the case studies and reports here.