Tesco links executive director bonuses to halving food waste by 2025

Tesco is linking executive bonuses to slashing food waste as it accelerates its target of cutting food waste in half, bringing it forward by five years, to 2025.

The grocer’s new target to halve its food waste by 2025 puts it five years ahead of a deadline originally set by the United Nations as part of its Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK’s largest supermarket is also the first to say that its 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”.

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Tesco boss Ken Murphy – who has described food waste as “an urgent humanitarian concern” – said he was proud of Tesco’s progress so far but knows “there’s still more work to do”.

“By accelerating our target to halve food waste in our operations by 2025 and aligning executive pay performance targets to this goal, we hope to drive further transformative change,” he added.

“However, the work we and our suppliers do won’t tackle the issue alone. We have long called for government to introduce mandatory food waste reporting to help measure and judge if real action is happening. Action must be taken across the whole industry.”

Tesco’s move comes at a time when, according to climate action NGO WRAP, the UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, worth roughly £19 billion. Of this, 4.5m tonnes is perfectly edible – meaning that the average family is wasting approximately £800 per year.

The supermarket’s new plan to accelerate food waste reduction will see it continuing to invest in its existing food surplus redistribution programmes such as partnerships with FareShare and OLIO, expand its efforts to help suppliers to reduce food waste, divert more surplus food for use as animal feed and continue to develop innovative new food waste solutions.



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