Removing enough water to fill 56 Olympic swimming pools from the food chain every day and taking the equivalent of 350,000 cars off the road every year.

These are just two of the ambitious targets scores of suppliers have pledged to meet in a bid to reduce their environmental impact.

On Thursday, the Food and Drink Federation unveiled an initiative under which all 211 members, including Walkers, United Biscuits and Nestlé, are joining forces to slash CO2 emissions, packaging,

water usage, food miles and waste.

As part of a five-point environmental plan drawn up by the FDF, manufacturers have pledged to meet the government's target of a 20% absolute reduction in CO2 emissions by 2010, and gone one step further by promising to surpass it by 2020 with a 30% cut.

Suppliers also agreed to reduce to zero the amount of food and packaging waste sent to landfill by 2015 and make a significant contribution to the Wrap-led Courtauld Commitment to cut the 6.3 million tonnes of packaging reaching UK homes each year by at least 340,000 tonnes by 2010.

Twelve of the UK's biggest manufacturers, including Heinz, Unilever and Northern Foods, have already signed up to the Courtauld Commitment.

But the FDF said it would encourage all members to get behind the scheme to help Wrap achieve its goal. It said it would also advise consumers on how best to recycle or recover packaging.

And it would back water and transport reduction targets set out in Defra's Food Industry Sustainability Strategy, which aims for a 20% reduction in water use by 2020 and a 20% reduction in food miles by 2012.

The move represented the first time a trade association had laid down a collective approach to tackling environmental issues, said Callton Young, FDF director of sustainability and competitiveness.

"We want to be bold and go further than the government's targets in terms of CO2 emissions, zero waste to landfill and packaging," he said. "We are focusing on areas where we can make a significant difference, and a collective approach gives structure to our commitments and allows us to work closely with government best practice bodies."

Young denied the move was a reaction from suppliers to keep pace with the high-profile environmental plans already laid down by the likes of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer.

"This is not a response to the supermarkets' agenda," he insisted, adding that many manufacturers were already working harder to be greener.

United Biscuits, for example, reduced the weight of its packaging reaching households by 6,800 tonnes in 2006 compared with 2003. More than 80% of its packaging was now recyclable and more than 90% of its card was recycled board.

By 2008, 83% of Danone Waters' mileage between factory and warehouse and 52% of mileage between warehouse and customer would be by rail.

The targets would continue to be built upon, said Young. Progress on each target would be reported every year, while the FDF would also launch its own best-practice commitment for cutting water usage in the new year.