CFA Net Zero Ambition Statement

According to the United Nations, the global food and drink system is responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The main contributors are farming, land use changes and deforestation.  A ‘business as usual’ approach will increase emissions by 30-50% by 2050. This will make it extremely difficult, or impossible, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C as agreed in the Paris Agreement.

The UK food system accounts for around 35% of UK GHG The manufacturing sector’s share is between 5 and 10% of the total food sector emissions.

CFA first set overarching sustainability aims in 2009 and has been working towards achieving these with success. We believe that as a responsible food manufacturing sector, we have a role to play in reducing the impacts of climate change by reducing our emissions.

Our members have set an ambition to become net zero by 2040, 10 years before the target set by the government.

Over 90% of the food sector’s emissions are from the importation of raw materials, goods and services (‘Scope 3’), the remaining are from the sector’s own sites (‘Scope 1’). Agricultural emissions currently pose the biggest challenge as we source produce globally, dependent upon the season. The majority of process emissions are from heat, with gas-powered boilers producing steam, and refrigeration using electricity (‘Scope 2’). The scale of decarbonisation will run parallel with national efforts to decarbonise gas and electricity grids which are outside our control.

We will achieve our challenging ambition by taking the following measures:


  • Continue to improve energy efficiency in our manufacturing processes.
  • Eliminate the use of fluorinated gases (F-gases) in our refrigeration systems and replace with more sustainable refrigerants.
  • Decarbonise heat wherever possible.
  • Replace hydrocarbon powered transport with electric, hydrogen etc.
  • Share best practice with our members.
  • Work with technology providers and research bodies to develop zero/ low carbon processing technologies.
  • Educate employees to adopt low carbon lifestyles both at work and at home.


  • Work with our suppliers to identify main sources of emissions with a view to minimise or eliminate these.
  • Develop collaborative projects within our supply chain to minimise emissions.
  • Keep abreast of emerging science and share best practice.
  • Work with technology providers, research bodies, government departments, WRAP etc to minimise or eliminate emissions.
  • We will employ a standardised methodology to account for Scope 3 emissions and reporting these.
  • We will periodically review our progress as new science and technologies emerge,


  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, such as emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company.
  • Scope 3: All other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

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3 July 2024