Our goal: to halve the environmental impact of UK shopping baskets by 2030.
In November 2021 we launched the WWF Basket - a set of outcomes and measures to support the goal of halving the environmental impact of UK baskets by 2030.
Two years on, WWF is pleased to share the second report associated to the WWF Basket: What's in Store for the Planet: the Impact of the UK Shopping Basket on Climate and Nature - 2023.
This is an in-depth review of the UK grocery market’s impact across seven key areas, showing the distance we must go to meet the target of halving the environmental impact of UK Baskets by 2030 and providing recommendations to help drive progress in the years ahead.
What is the WWF Basket?
The WWF Basket sets out a series of Outcomes and Measures to support the goal of halving the environmental impacts of UK baskets by 2030, and a Blueprint for Action, which outlines priority actions that WWF for retailers to address climate and nature impacts.
WWF is working with a number of UK retailers to deliver on these outcomes and measures to meet the aim of halving the environmental impact of UK shopping baskets by 2030.
Retailers may choose to take other actions and approaches to achieve these targets, but every retailer that signs up to the overall ambition is expected to take meaningful action and provide data to track progress.
The WWF Basket was initially developed through the WWF Tesco partnership. For more information about our partnership with Tesco, which concluded in November 2023, please click here.
What's in Store for the Planet: The Impact of UK Shopping Baskets on Climate and Nature - 2023
Why it's important
We face a triple challenge: feeding a global growing population at the same time as tackling climate change and nature loss. Right now food production is part of the problem: the way we produce the food we need is wreaking havoc on the planet. Here in the UK, almost every part of our food supply chain has an outsized environmental footprint.
As well as driving a catastrophic decline in UK nature, the UK requires 21.3 million hectares of land overseas – an area ten times the size of Wales – to satisfy our demand for seven key commodities, including several that are essential in food production, like palm oil and soy.
We cannot hope to meet vital climate targets, or bring nature back from the brink, if we fail to put our food system on a sustainable footing.
Currently, global food production is fuelling the climate crisis and is one of the biggest threats to nature.
of human-made greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food production
of global biodiversity loss is caused by the food system
of all habitable land on the planet is used for agriculture
of the planet’s accessible water is used in agriculture
Time to act
Given the scale of the threat, we cannot afford to continue with business as usual. We need to fix our broken food system. But changing something of this size and scale is fraught with complexities.
That is why we need everyone – including food businesses – on board, taking action to put food production on a sustainable footing.
WWF's Retailers' Commitment for Nature
On 6 November 2021, at the same time as the WWF Basket launched, WWF announced that Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose pledged to slash their impact across climate, deforestation and nature by 2030, working with WWF, signing ‘WWF's Retailers' Commitment for Nature’.
On 6 March 2023, Lidl became the sixth UK supermarket to sign WWF's Retailers' Commitment for Nature. On 28 November 2023, Aldi became the seventh UK supermarket to sign the commitment.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and that is why – when it comes to transforming our food system - having the right data is vital.
WWF will be tracking progress in our annual ‘What’s in Store for the Planet’ report. Signatories to WWF’s Retailers’ Commitment for Nature have pledged to submit data for the WWF Basket, so we can understand the annual progress towards our 2030 target. We encourage wider retailers to also participate, sharing their data, so we can understand the impacts across the sector and advise on the vital actions required. Going forward, we need more consistent and detailed industry-wide data to help measure impact and drive change in the food system.
By being more transparent about environmental impacts, companies are not only helping to level the playing field, but also showing where greater support is needed - including from Government - driving greater cross-sector collaboration and helping to find solutions.