Updates to the FLW Standard (v1.1 published April 2021):

The FLW Protocol Steering Committee has announced a set of minor changes to the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard:

What has changed?

The guidance for how food and/or inedible parts converted into biodiesel and other biofuel products should be reported has been updated. These products are no longer included as examples under the definition of the “bio-based materials / biochemical processing” destination in the FLW Standard. Where the output is biodiesel or other products to be used as a biofuel (for example spent coffee grounds converted into pellets for subsequent combustion), the FLW should be reported, under the ‘other’ destination.

The new definition is as follows:

Bio-based materials / biochemical processing: Converting material into industrial products. Examples include creating fibers for packaging material, creating bioplastics (e.g., polylactic acid), making “traditional” materials such as leather or feathers (e.g., for pillows), and rendering fat, oil, or grease into a raw material to make products such as soaps or cosmetics. If the outputs from this destination are biofuel products (e.g., biodiesel, fuel pellets), or unknown, the material shall be included in the “Other” destination. “Biochemical processing” does not refer to anaerobic digestion or production of bioethanol through fermentation. “Biochemical processing” does not refer to anaerobic digestion or production of bioethanol through fermentation.”

Why has this change been made?

Upon publication in 2016, the FLW Standard included “biodiesel” in the “bio-based materials / biochemical processing” destination because this destination is focused on material converted to industrial products. However, in 2021, following consultation with the FLW Protocol Steering Committee, and based on discussions with a range of food businesses and food experts, it was agreed that all material which leaves the human food supply chain and is in the end burned for energy should be treated equally. This means that for entities reporting in support of SDG 12.3, all food and/or inedible parts sent directly for incineration, or after processing is used as a fuel, should be reported as food waste. In recognition that material converted into a biofuel product (such as biodiesel or solid-fuel pellets/bricks) has added value, the guidance is to report such materials under the ‘other’ destination.