Baking a more sustainable future

Miriam van der Waal
Published on
December 10, 2023

The bakery industry needs to do better.

As cliché as it may sound, sustainability cannot wait any longer. While societies and governments are pushing corporations for tangible greener shifts, with sustainability reporting becoming mandatory in many parts of the world, our latest report reveals a stark reality: 2 out of 3 foodcompanies haven’t even begun to report on their sustainability efforts, underscoring a concerning delay and lack of commitment.

The bakery industry is lagging behind. It needs to do better.

Highlighting the energy-intensive nature of baking goods seems like stating the obvious. Given this, one might assume that the bakery industry is putting in extra effort to report on its sustainability practices compared to other food industries. However, the reality is a bit surprising. The leading bakery companies are lagging, with only 50% of the top 50 reporting on sustainability in 2022, as opposed to 66% in the dairy industry. For a cross-industry comparison, we invite you to check out our report, “3 Sustainability Best Practices From Dairy Trailblazers”.

The good news? Some bakery giants are leading the way in sustainability. This report focuses on these trailblazers and the actions they’re taking to build a more sustainable bakery industry.

Who is this report for?

As sustainability is taking center stage in every department and role, this report is designed to benefit every professional in the bakery industry. Packed with actionable insights and best practices, it’s your shortcut to accelerate initiatives, spot the trailblazers, save time and resources, and seamlessly implement these practices within your own company.


The best time to start was two years ago. The next best time is today.

Bakery companies need a wake-up call: only half of the top-50 companies file a sustainability report, and a mere 25% seeks external audit. This performance is lagging behind other industries within the food sector, and the pace is slowing down–dive into our report From Slow Adopters to Trailblazers to see how bakery stacks up.

Have you yet to start with sustainability reporting? We have compiled all the necessary steps that bakery companies need to take to catch up with other industries–use and share our cheat sheet to get a head start.

So, what sets the trailblazers apart?

Trailblazers have already internalized these practices, and they go the extra mile by:

  • Setting intermediate goals. Grupo Bimbo aims to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 12.5% by 2025, 17.5% by 2027, and 28% by 2030.
  • Providing a seat at the (executive) table. While many bakery companies have appointed a VP or Director to lead sustainability efforts, trailblazer Grupo Bimbo is taking a step further as it granted their Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) an actual seat on the executive board. Grupo Bimbo’s CSO oversees a department that spans from Local Champions to a Global Sustainability Team.

The bakery industry is trailing behind: CSR-reporting and external validation rates lag compared to other food industries.

Sustainability reporting rates (2018-2022)
Validation rates per industry (2022)

Do you want to read the complete report? Download now for free!

In this report, you will learn:

  • Who are the leaders in bakery sustainability and associate specific actions with their names
  • How you can learn the best practices applicable to your business now for achieving your sustainability goals
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