Our Top Stories
New EU greenwashing penalties: Euractiv reports on the new ‘Green Claims Directive’, a piece of European Commission legislation to tackle greenwashing. The directive will clamp down on unsubstantiated claims, whilst tightening rules around the proliferation of ecolabels. Although most of the legislation has been met with praise, the decision to allow different methodologies for calculating a product’s carbon footprint has been challenged by environmental groups. However, with 53.3% of companies making environmental claims that are “vague, misleading or unfounded”, the Green Claims Directive is still urgently required to build consumer trust. [Euracitv]
Changing food production in the face of climate change: Last Monday (the 20th March), the IPCC released the final part of its Sixth Assessment Report. Food Navigator highlights the report’s urgency to overhaul our current food system, with between 3.3 and 3.6 billion people living in areas that are vulnerable to climate change. The report notes the widespread public support for sustainable agricultural practices, and highlights nature restoration as vital for tenable crop production in the face of severe droughts. [Food Navigator]
TfL to adapt to climate change: Transport for London (TfL) have realised the potential of Nature-based Solutions to help London adapt to climate change. According to Edie, TfL have now announced their first climate adaptation plan. This includes proposals to plant trees across the city, to not only absorb carbon dioxide, but to protect infrastructure in the face of extreme heat and floods. The plan, although comprehensive, does not include any implementation timelines. [Edie]
Brand Spotlight - Lidl
Lidl has become the first UK discount supermarket to join the WWF initiative to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket. They join Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, meaning 60% of the UK retail grocery market is now committed to working with WWF towards this target. Lidl’s commitment adds to their impressive list of ambitions, including carbon neutrality and an 80% reduction in operational emissions by 2030 (compared to 2019 baseline). The supermarket is hoping to show that affordability and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive. [Edie]
Daylight savings and its effect on climate change: There has been a long-standing debate about the importance of daylight savings in the modern world. From a climate change perspective, Sven Eggimann and his team have found that the time change can actually contribute to climate change protection, based on the reduced use of energy in buildings. The study showed that buildings in the U.S require less energy when times are changed, thanks to a shift in energy balance between cooling and heating, and the decreased use of artificial lighting in the summer months. However, the authors were quick to point out that the findings are insignificant when compared to technical improvements of the buildings, behavioural changes, and a general adjustment of our working hours, which all have much greater emissions reduction power. [IOP Science]
“The IPCC has stated, once again, that the current pipeline of fossil fuel infrastructure alone would result in a likely temperature pathway of 2.8C – 4C.”Source: Edie / IPCC
The Big Picture
The food and agriculture industry is at the heart of the climate crisis, generating around a third of man-made greenhouse emissions. And while the challenge of reducing its impact may seem beyond our grasp, it is one that we all have the power to tackle.
We believe that the solution lies in climate transparency. That’s why we’re equipping businesses with the means to evaluate and communicate the emissions of their products. This, in turn, means consumers are armed with credible, independent information, which can be used to make more sustainable choices.
We know that many people want to take climate action but lack the necessary tools and information to do so. We're confident that, armed with the right knowledge, everyone can and will do their bit to build a greener, more sustainable food system.