10x20x30 Initiative to Reduce Food Waste: METRO and More Than 30 Suppliers Complete First Phase

29 September 2021

10+ of the world's biggest food retailers and providers committed in 2019 to engage with at least 20 of their suppliers in a "whole supply chain" approach to halve food loss and waste by 2030. METRO and its participating suppliers are now starting into phase 2.

METRO fights food loss and waste

METRO fights food loss and waste

Today METRO AG announced that the company and more than 30 of its major suppliers have completed or have committed to baseline measurements of their operations’ food loss and waste, as part of phase 1 in the groundbreaking 10x20x30 Initiative to root out food loss and waste in business value chains. 10x20x30 involves METRO AG and 11 more of the world’s biggest food retailers and providers, with each engaging at least 20 suppliers in a “whole supply chain” approach to halving food loss and waste by 2030.

“Food Waste reduction is one of the main sustainability focus areas at METRO. Alongside our ambitious target of halving food waste in own operations by 2025, we are committed to working with our value chain partners to share our ambition and support their efforts of achieving their food waste reduction objectives through the 10x20x30 Initiative. To see our suppliers joining forces with us and witnessing the progress we jointly make, motivates us even more to strengthen our efforts and contributions towards achieving SDG 12.3 in our business and wider industry”, said Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG.

Collaboration is key: Working with more than 30 Suppliers

METRO’s participating suppliers include among others Unilever, FarmFrites, Kellogg, Kluth, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, Reis, and Barilla Gida. Starting in September 2020, each of the more than 30 suppliers METRO is working with committed to:

  • reduce food waste in their own operations by 50% by 2030
  • to measure and publish their food waste inventories, and
  • to create actionable food waste reduction strategies

METRO Turkey, the Turkish subsidiary of the wholesale specialist, also contributes to the 10x20x30 Initiative. CEO Sinem Türüng said: “As food loss and waste negatively impacts environment and economy, taking action with all of the stakeholders in this regard is critical. At Metro Turkey, we take a holistic approach involving the entire food value chain. To tackle food loss and waste, we work in 3 pillars: Reducing food waste in our own operations, implementing projects to raise awareness within our customers and involving the whole value chain with the 10x20x30 Initiative.”

“We think that the wider the scope of every effort to tackle food waste, which has become a global problem, the broader the impact will be. At Reis, we are proud to be a part of this valuable effort to pass on a livable world to future generations,” said Mehmet Reis, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Reis Gida which is one of the committed suppliers working with METRO Turkey and METRO AG.

With the start of phase 2, METRO and its participating suppliers will implement proactive steps to reduce their respective food waste hotspots. Actions could include operational efficiencies, surplus food donations and the use of cutting-edge technology solutions. METRO for example fights food loss and waste in its own operations by:

  • improving operation processes to avoid food waste at source with special regards to end dates, handling, transportation, and storage
  • donating via food banks; in 22 of its 24 countries with store operations the wholesale specialist engages in long-term-partnerships with local food banks
  • reselling of food close to the best-before date via innovative solution partners like Too Good To Go and marketplaces like Sir Plus or Motatos
  • using and promoting technology solutions like Whole Surplus in Turkey, Wasteless in Poland, and KITRO in Germany

About the 10x20x30 Initiative

The food retailers and providers involved in the 10x20x30 Initiative include AEON, Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, IKEA Food, Kroger, METRO AG, Migros (Turkey), Pick n Pay, The Savola Group, Sodexo, Tesco, and Walmart. Among them are 6 of the largest food retailers in the world, the world’s 2nd largest food service provider, and leading food retailers in regions such as southern Africa, the Middle East, and Japan. Combined, participants operate in more than 80 countries.

10x20x30 was publicly launched at the 2019 Annual Food Loss and Waste Summit hosted by Champions 12.3, a voluntary coalition of executives from business, government and civil society committed to raising ambition and motivating action to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3. This target calls for a 50% reduction in food loss and waste worldwide by 2030. The coalition inspired and helped develop 10x20x30, with the World Resources Institute (WRI) as co-secretariat and lead provider of technical assistance to the retailers and suppliers. A Walmart Foundation grant to WRI is supporting training and technical assistance for food suppliers on the reduction of food loss and waste.

“Reducing food loss and waste offers a triple win in terms of food security, economic savings and environmental protection,” said Craig Hanson, a Vice President at World Resources Institute. “Since so much of the world’s food goes through business value chains, the collaborative actions of these companies are vital to halving the planet’s food waste.”

The Food Waste Paradox

Each year, more than a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. This amount of food loss and waste equals $1 trillion in economic losses annually and is responsible for 8-10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate crisis. A recent study from WWF indicates that the annual amount of food loss and waste could be even double as high as estimated until now, with 1.2 billion tons of food waste that occur already on farm and field level. While vast amounts of food are lost or wasted annually, globally 1 in 10 people is undernourished and more than 800 million people suffer from hunger.

METRO: Working towards its Sustainability Targets

The 10x20x30 Initiative is one among several initiatives METRO AG is engaged in to drive its sustainability agenda that spans pressing issues such as the protection of climate, resources and biodiversity. For example, to tackle food waste and hunger, the international wholesale specialist works in a longtime partnership with the World Food Programme to help improve food availability and safety across the globe by setting up diverse donation schemes including working hours to support the development of retail structures that WFP uses for example in refugee camps across crisis regions worldwide. METRO furthermore holds partnerships with food banks in 22 of its 24 countries with store operations, having been involved in setting up food bank systems in many of these countries.

To support its professional customers in gastronomy and independent trade in meeting changing consumer demands, the wholesale specialist steadily increases its range of organic, regional and responsible products, as well as its offer of conscious proteins and meat alternatives. Additionally, METRO aims at becoming climate-neutral in own operations by 2040, planning to invest around €1,5 billion in technology and innovation.

METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises in serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 16 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and independent businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 7 consecutive years. The company operates in 34 countries and employs more than 97,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2019/20, METRO generated sales of €25.6 billion.

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About Champios 12.3
Champions 12.3 is a coalition of leaders across government, business and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving Target 12.3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Target 12.3 calls on the world to “halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses” by 2030. The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and World Resources Institute serve as co-secretariats of Champions 12.3. For more information, visit www.Champions123.org.