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U.S. businesses pledge to reduce food loss and waste in their operations by 50% by 2030.

November 17, 2016

3 Min Read

The inaugural class of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions - U.S. businesses and organizations pledging concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50% by 2030 – were announced today. Champions include Ahold USA, Blue Apron, Bon Appétit Management Company, Campbell Soup Company, Conagra Brands, Delhaize America, General Mills, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Unilever, Walmart, Wegman’s Food Markets, Weis Markets and YUM! Brands.

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“The founding 2030 Champions have shown exceptional leadership in the fight to reduce, recover and recycle food loss and waste,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change."

“Reducing food waste is good for business, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for our communities,” said Environmental Protection Agency Administration Gina McCarthy. “We need leaders in every field and every sector to help us reach our food loss goal.  That’s why we’re excited to work with the 2030 Champions and others across the food retail industry as we work together to ensure that we feed families instead of landfills.”

In the United States, EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, about 21% of the waste stream. Keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of landfills helps communities and the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households. Reducing food waste also impacts climate change as 20% of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills.

Each 2030 Champion establishes a baseline marking where they are today and will measure and report on their progress toward the goal in a way that makes sense for their organization. There are many ways to look at food loss and waste and definitions vary. 2030 Champions are encouraged to consult the Food Loss and Waste Protocol for information on defining and transparently measuring food loss and waste.

For food waste in the U.S., EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures provides an estimate of the amount of food going to landfills from residences; commercial establishments like grocery stores and restaurants; institutional sources like school cafeterias; and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms. USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that the amount of food that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels in the baseline year of 2010 represented 31% of the available food supply, about 133 billion pounds of food worth an estimated $161.6 billion.

USDA research estimates that about 90 billion pounds comes from consumers, costing $370 per person every year.

Details on becoming a U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion can be found at http://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste and http://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food. Businesses not yet in a position to make the 50% reduction commitment can participate in the Food Recovery Challenge or the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

Source: EPA

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