At Iceland we hate the idea of waste and, while less than 1% (0.63) of our food is currently unsold, we are working hard to reduce this amount even further.
We are proud signatories to the Courtauld Commitment 2030, which has brought together organisations across the food industry to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink, with the shared target of reducing the UK’s food and drink waste by 50% by 2030. Iceland is also a signatory to the WRAP/IGD Food Waste Roadmap, and we signed the Government’s ‘Step Up To The Plate’ pledge in May 2019.
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12.3, we have set ourselves a target to achieve a 50% reduction of food waste in our own operations by 2030, with 2017/18 as our baseline year.
Since 2017/18, we have reduced food waste in our own operations by 19.3%. Read our 2020/21 food waste report here.
We do not send any unsold food to landfill. Instead we put it to good use in the community; offer it free of charge to our store colleagues, our online customers, convert it into animal feed, or as a last resort use it to produce electricity and compost through a process called anaerobic digestion.
Our focus on frozen food helps to cut waste throughout the supply chain, in stores, and in customers’ homes. We have ambitious plans to redistribute surplus food in new ways and our aim for 2021/22 is to redistribute one million meals, through existing and new food waste partnerships.
Key initiatives that form part of this include our partnership with social enterprise Community Shop, part of the Company Shop Group, that is putting surplus food from our depots to good use in the community. Community Shop operates in some of the most deprived areas of the UK and brings together great value surplus food and personal development to build stronger individuals and more confident communities. In 2020/21, we donated 252 tonnes of surplus food to Community Shop, the equivalent of 598,674 meals. For the third year running, Iceland also sponsored Community Shop’s Christmas Lunch in December 2020.
We have also rolled out Hello Taste, Goodbye Waste, a scheme which allows store colleagues to take home, free of charge, surplus food (food reaching its best before or use by date) at store closing time each day. 105 tonnes of surplus food, equivalent to 233,333 meals was redirected through this scheme between October 2020 and March 2021.
In September 2021 we also launched a Free on Last Day of Life scheme across the country. This will reduce food waste by offering products free to online shoppers when the last day of shelf life has been reached and no other stock is available.
Additionally, we donated 40 surplus chest freezers to foodbanks and community groups providing emergency food supplies to people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.