August 16, 2022

The food industry needs to step up to protect forests.

In July, Ben and Jerry’s, one of the world’s largest ice cream brands, announced it was the “best ice cream brand in the world.” strive to ensure that all packaging including 1 million pint containers of ice cream produced daily. Not from wood fibers from the world’s most important forest ecosystems. This policy, properly announced on World Rainforest Day, adds to previous commitments to produce petroleum-based plastic-free packaging.

Although Ben and Jerry lead and 17 years after Walmart announced its initial sustainability goals The big food industry continues to lag considerably in climate action – more than accounted for. Third of global GHG emissions.

in fact according to World Benchmarking AllianceOnly 26 of the 350 largest food and agriculture companies are working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Paris Agreement, and 123 companies have yet to set a goal of reducing GHG.

A lack of awareness isn’t a problem — the industry knows there’s progress to be made. The food industry has embraced climate and sustainability action publicly with a series of major announcements. with ambitious benchmarks and strong commitment from household names, including Nestle, Danon, Kellogg and coca cola.

Although the switch from plastic may satisfy consumers in the short term, But the truth is that tree-sourced packaging increases significant forest logging.

There are also business cases for solutions. One global survey According to Cargill, 55 percent of participants said they “More likely to buy packaged food with sustainability claims,” ​​a four-point increase between 2019 and 2022. However, this talk does not translate into actions and outcomes that impact food companies. latest studyOf which 1,000 of the largest publicly traded companies were assessed for ESG performance, only four companies in the food sector made the top 100.

So what’s the challenge?

Statistical disparities are difficult to reconcile. Especially when news comes out every day about some of the biggest brands in the world launching eco-friendly products. environmentally friendly products How is it that we haven’t seen more progress in the supply chain? especially concerning the use of packaging and paper from the forest.

Although many in this sector are trying to reduce the emissions associated with staple food ingredients and products. But it failed to capitalize on the significant and timely profits that could be achieved by reducing the heavy footprint associated with packaging. The problem is that most companies do not implement sustainable business practices throughout their entire operations. or work with supply chain partners to implement existing solutions. This could reduce the pressure on the world’s most efficient carbon storage and storage system: forests.

For example, paper packaging Many companies are changing as consumers demand more plastic-free alternatives. As a result, more than 3 billion trees are cut every year. Although the switch from plastic may satisfy consumers in the short term, But the truth is that tree-sourced packaging increases significant forest logging. and increasing pressure on rainforest countries to issue logging concessions Just as they should work to slow deforestation under the Paris Agreement.

Increasing deforestation ultimately destroys the livelihoods of indigenous people and local communities. The ecosystems they depend on and thus reduce biodiversity and increase emissions. But turning back to plastic isn’t the answer.

[Interested in learning how we can transform food systems to equitably and efficiently feed a more populous planet while conserving and regenerating the natural world? Check out the VERGE 22 Food Program, taking place in San Jose, CA, Oct. 25-28.]

To drive the needle to end deforestation and slow climate emergencies The food industry needs to accelerate efforts to reduce carbon emissions in its supply chain. Identify and transition to sustainable sources and, most importantly, continue to innovate to bring us closer to a low-impact circular economy.

Investing in next-generation, scalable alternatives is the path to sustainability in every industry. especially food Using hemp or agricultural waste from plant stalks and fruit peels Able to create robust and versatile packaging that does not harm the ecosystem. waste recycling And it’s the only way to get the industry out of paper, wood and other natural resources.

The food industry is complex. and the discussion on sustainability especially slower deforestation. Not always at the forefront What if we could learn from the Corporate Responsibility Practices? That is, we can no longer rely on the results of hot fixes and new gimmicks to fix problems. Although these may fool some consumers. But there is no environmental deception. We need to invest in supply chain transformations and invest in scalable solutions that can address issues directly and quickly before it’s too late.

Take a look at Ben and Jerry’s latest commitment as a reminder that all food brands can do more than that. And sustainable packaging options are competitively priced and ready to scale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.