29 July 2021 – Today marks this year’s Earth Overshoot Day, when humanity’s demand for natural resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate within the year. This means that our way of living generates as much global demand on nature as if we lived on 1.7 planets. Yet we only have this one. We all need to make a change to secure our future on the planet.
The way we produce, distribute and consume food is a significant part of our ecological footprint. Food is becoming the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Forty percent of all food produced is wasted2. The food which never gets eaten is responsible for 10% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases, and food production is one of the biggest contributors to the loss of biodiversity and habitats2. An estimated 61.5% of natural habitats in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are affected by agricultural production3
Therefore, Tesco and WWF are joining forces to raise awareness of sustainable eating habits to improve health and mitigate the environmental impact of our food.
‘Our food system relies on nature, but nature is in trouble. Today, Earth Overshoot Day, underlines the fact that we are literally consuming our future -- and the food we produce and eat is a big part of the problem. Therefore, I welcome WWF’s partnership with Tesco, one of the leading retailers in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, to support a shift to sustainable as well as affordable everyday shopping choices in these countries’. - Andreas Beckmann, Chief Executive of WWF Central and Eastern Europe
Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Tesco Central Europe Matt Simister said: ‘I’m delighted to be working with the expertise and passion that WWF bring. We share a desire to reduce the impact of food on the planet and support a shift towards more sustainable consumption and production. Food is central to our health and the health of the planet and our customers are looking to us for help. Our partnership with WWF will help drive demand for sustainable choices all the way from farm to fork by raising awareness and encouraging change’.
The Tesco-WWF Partnership in the Central European region will focus on three key areas:
- Raising awareness amongst Tesco colleagues of the role they can play to reduce the impact of corporate operations on the environment and nature;
- Stimulating customer interest in, and awareness of sustainable food choices that they can make every day; and
- Working together with suppliers and partners to raise awareness of best practice sustainable production and ensure affordable choices for shoppers.
More details on the partnership can be found at:
Communication lead, Tesco Partnership,
WWF Central and Eastern Europe
Notes to editors:
Tesco operates 538 shops in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, serving up to 6 million customers every week.
The Little Helps Plan, launched in 2017, sets out the actions Tesco is taking to make a difference to the key environmental and social challenges facing its customers, colleagues and communities.
Key Little Helps Plan progress to date includes:
- Reducing food waste at Tesco by 69% across Central Europe since 2016/17;
- Removing all hard to recycle materials from Tesco own brand products in Central Europe;
- Sourcing 100% of the electricity used in our stores from renewable sources;
- 100% of the palm oil used in Tesco products in the region is certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard; and
- 98% of Tesco paper/wood products sold in Central Europe are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) / Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified or from a recycled source.
Key Little Helps Plan commitments include:
- Working towards zero food waste in our own operations;
- Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050;
- Increasing the sale of plant-based meat alternative products by 300% by 2025; and
- All Tesco packaging will be 100% recyclable by 2025 .
Further information about the Tesco Little Helps Plan can be found at