Tesco has undertaken to linking its executive bonuses to reducing food waste, bringing forward its goal of halving its food waste to 2025. This puts the UK retailer five years ahead of the deadline set by the United Nations as part of its Sustainable Development Goals. Tesco’s executive directors must now meet these new food targets or miss out on performance-related bonuses. Some 25% of the Performance Share Plan awards will depend on Tesco’s progress across key sustainability measures including food waste reduction, carbon reduction and gender and ethnicity representation. Hitting these targets will see top executives being awarded tens of thousands of pounds in Tesco shares.
Tesco first agreed to cut its food waste in half by 2030 back in 2016. It has already reduced it by 45%, meaning that just 0.35% of the food which passes through Tesco supermarkets goes into the bin. The retailer said that in a year of “unprecedented challenges for retailers, suppliers and customers, tackling food waste has never been more urgent”, adding that it not only contributes to climate change, but “also has an impact on our pockets”.
According to climate action NGO WRAP, the UK throws away around 9.5 million tons of food each year, worth around £19 billion. Of this, 4.5m tons is perfectly edible – meaning that the average family is wasting approximately £800 per year.