Understanding the retail business case for promoting sustainable diets

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Start date:
September 2011
March 2012

WWF’s One planet Food Programme aims to reduce the global environmental and social impacts of UK food production and consumption. Previous work undertaken by WWF demonstrates that current UK diets are unsustainable and that multiple retailers in the UK potentially play an important role in shaping consumption patterns.

We were delighted to have been commissioned by WWF to undertake a programme of research to demonstrate the business case for retailers to promote sustainable diets.

A combination of desk-based reviews and interviews were used to consider the rationale for retailers to support and promote sustainable food consumption. In particular, the research explored what mechanisms retailers could adopt to promote sustainable diets and the financial and reputational impacts associated with doing so.

This work forms part of a larger programme of research funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Aside from exploring the business case for promoting sustainable diets, this work seeks to engage campaigners, producers and government in an informed and constructive dialogue in order to overcome policy obstacles to promoting sustainable food consumption.

The report is available for download using the link on the right.

  • London Food Strategy

    Brook Lyndhurst was responsible for researching and drafting the London Mayor's food strategy and for introducing amendments resulting from the public consultation on the document
  • London's food sector greenhouse gases

    This report builds on the Mayor's 2007 Climate Change Action Plan and the London Food Strategy (2006) by quantifying the contribution of London's food sector to the capital's greenhouse gas emissions
  • Oxfam report: The Food Transformation

    Food Transformation Brook Lyndhurst were commissioned to write this report, which looks at the social and environmental injustices in the global food system, and at the potential of consumer action to help address these injustices. It focuses on the five principles which make up Oxfam’s GROW Method: wasting less food, supporting small-scale food producers in developing countries, eating seasonal food, smart cooking, and reducing meat and dairy consumption.
  • Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs): diversifying fish consumption and decreasing discards by thinking inside the box

    Brook Lyndhurst has been contracted, alongside SeaWeb - an international NGO dedicated to communicating ocean sustainability issues - to undertake a piece of action-based research (ABR) on the issue of ‘under-utilised’ species.

Brook Lyndhurst Blog

  • Energy efficiency: behaviour, rationality, economics and politics

    I had the pleasure of joining some 300 researchers and academics from around the world a couple of weeks ago to discuss the latest thinking on persuading consumers to use less energy.  The BEHAVE2014 conference took place in Oxford at a time when it is increasingly appreciated, by businesses, governments and civic society, that any [...] 

  • Herd behaviour amongst sports fans

    We had a conversation in the office the other day about herd behaviour and the difference between football and cricket crowds. Why is it that spectators at a football match can occasionally get aggressive and abusive, but spectators at a cricket match tend to act more like naughty schoolboys: boisterous but essentially good-natured? It’s a [...]