FWD: Wholesale sector on the road to Net Zero

FWD: Wholesale sector on the road to Net Zero

FWD has unveiled its plans for the wholesale sector to reach net zero by 2040 at its annual conference

The project, which has been nine months in the making, consists of three key elements:

  • A calculation of the carbon footprint of the UK wholesale sector
  • A calculator which will be free for all FWD and SWA members to keep a track of their own emissions
  • A comprehensive step-by-step climate action guide to help wholesalers reduce emissions and ultimately reach net zero targets.

FWD commissioned sustainability consultant 3Keel to partner on this project and worked in collaboration with the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA).

The report reveals the UK wholesale sector’s total carbon footprint, including impacts from across its value chain, was 18 million tonnes of emissions in 2021. However, wholesalers are only directly responsible for approximately 4% of these in the operation of their businesses, with the majority of value chain emissions upstream in ingredient production and manufacturing processes.

The roadmap element of the project sets out the case for acting on climate change, highlighting the key issues facing the sector, and how wholesalers can play their part in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The report also outlines the actions wholesalers need to take in order to decarbonise their operations and value chains.

Many of FWD’s members are in the early stages of their climate action journey. To help wholesalers get started, the roadmap includes a four-step guide.

“It is clear wholesalers are acting across all areas of their business, but more help and encouragement is needed to enable to the sector to fully measure progress towards Net Zero,” says James Bielby, FWD CEO. “This is no longer an added extra, it’s a business essential for a wholesale channel which is sustainable – in both senses of the word.”

“This groundbreaking report provides a greater understanding of the direct emissions of our sector and offers help to members in understanding their emissions, and the roadmap for members contains interim pledges as well steps to take.”

FWD has been invited to present this report to Department for Environment, Food & Rural affairs and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.