What happened to the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner? Did you prepare a lunch box for work? Probably not, because 30% of all food is either lost or wasted, accounting for 8% of human greenhouse gas emissions. Global attention is rising, and the UN wants to cut the waste by half by 2030. Nordic entrepreneurs are crucial for winning this fight.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
- At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries.
- The SDGs recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go together with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Source: United Nations Development Programme
The Nordics – Finding new ways of fighting food waste
The efforts of some of our region’s most vibrant startups and new legislation have created a hotbed for change. Several initiatives have sprung to life in the past few years, tackling waste and loss up and down the supply chain – all the way from the production or agricultural source, to handling surplus more effectively closer to the consumer.
“The number of entrepreneurs focusing of solving a social problem is growing as well as investor interest, this is manifested in our partnership with Norrsken, Europe´s largest hub for Impact and Tech. Impact entrepreneurs experience the same challenges when it comes to funding and scaling as other entrepreneurs. Many also find it hard to penetrate a market characterized by large and dominant actors, such as in Food Tech with several big giants. Our unit has the possibility to support, not only with our investor network but also by acting as matchmakers between big companies and entrepreneurs, – Axel Bruzelius, Head of Start-up & Growth Sweden.
The Nordics are a hot- spot when it comes to fighting food waste and inspiring cases are not hard to find. Total Ctrl, a Norwegian based company, fights surplus by giving retailers better control of their inventory. Rub & Stub, a Danish restaurant, turns food waste into new dishes. Fiksu Ruoka, a Finnish based company, effectively connects and distributes food surplus to consumers at huge discounts. Rescued, a swedish based company, focusing on turning fruit waste into tasty juice.
The founders and employees at Rescued title themselves as “fruit savers” and are determined to limit fruit waste. They are constantly pushing the boundaries, always looking for new opportunities and solutions to turn food intro new products. Hear their inspirational story in the video below!
30% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted
Around 30% of all food produced globally is never eaten, according to the Food and Agricultural organization of the United Nations, it is either lost before reaching consumers or wasted in stores or at homes. It is a stunning fact, considering that the food wasted would feed 3 billion people, more than 3 times the number of people that is under malnourished in the world.
Wasting food does not come without consequences. It is not just about being unjust or acting ethically wrong, it also has strong impact on the climate. Beyond wasting valuable and scarce resources such as water, soil and energy, it also represents 8% of all global green house gas emissions caused by humans (Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO).
“With fast growing population and natural resources that are increasingly overburdened we simply need to do more with less, that is why tackling food waste is crucial. To drive towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) the public and private sector must look at the economic, social and environmental dimensions of food systems. At Nordea, as investors and business partners we aim to align our business strategy to contribute to individuals’ needs and society’s goals, as expressed in the SDG’s” – Anders Langworth Co-Head Group Sustainable Finance, Nordea
United Nations ambition by 2030 – halve the global food loss and waste
Food waste has brought international attention and the ambition is high. In 2015 the UN general assembly and its member states aligned on the ambition to by 2030 halve per capita global food loss and waste. The ambition is part of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and relates to one of the 17 Sustainability development Goals (SDGs), goal #12 which refers to responsible consumption and production.
Food loss and food waste
- Food loss refers to any food that is lost in the supply chain between the producer and the market. May be caused by harvest, storage and/or transportation problems.
- Food waste refers to the discarding of already produced food. May be caused by factors such as food close to “best-before” date, food that is considered non optimal when it comes to shape or color or food that is not eaten up.
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