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Our Top Stories
The true climate cost of food: The Guardian reports on a revolutionary new trial in Germany, where the discount supermarket chain Penny has altered the price of a range of nine products - mainly dairy and meat - to what experts have deemed to be their true cost. Rather than purely monetary, the price will be in relation to their effect on soil, climate, water use and health. The “real costs'' campaign has seen the price of wiener sausages rise 88% from €3.19 to €6.01, maasdam cheese increase by 94% to €4.84, and mozzarella go up by 74% to €1.55. Penny hopes to simply create awareness around the hidden environmental costs of groceries, and to focus attention on the link between climate breakdown and the food industry. [The Guardian]
The new Sustainability Reporting Standards: The European Commission has adopted new measures to mandate enhanced environmental reporting, in a move that will affect tens of thousands of larger businesses, according to Edie. Under the new European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), large businesses will need to enhance their environmental disclosures by embedding them in annual reports from 2024. The Standards will then be mandated for medium-sized businesses in phases through to 2026. For the first time, companies will be obliged not only to assess both their own impact, but also their exposure to climate change risk. [Edie]
Profit-less restaurants for the planet: Mark Bittman, a former New York Times recipe columnist, has plans to create a restaurant that isn’t built for profit, but rather to fix a broken business model. The new restaurant will source ingredients from regenerative farms, will pay workers fairly, and make meals affordable to all, via sliding-scale prices. The idea is to show that there's a better way to conduct business, and to address everything that’s wrong with the current food system, including the health of the planet. [The Guardian]
Business Spotlight - Kraft Heinz
Kraft Heinz has announced a new target to reduce the use of virgin plastic in its global packaging by 20% by 2030, in a bid to decrease its reliance on fossil fuels - the main source of single-use plastic. This builds on the company’s previous targets of 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging by 2025 and net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, with a target to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. It’s promising to see the food giant taking the first step to eliminating virgin plastics from their supply chain, with Kraft Heinz’s chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer Rashida La Lande saying: “we simply cannot continue to do things as we have in the past”. [Edie]
Social distancing trees: Tropical forests often contain hundreds of species of trees per square mile, but scientists often struggle to understand how such high levels of biodiversity can exist. To that end, Michael Kalyuzhny and his team discovered that the average distance between trees of the same species is much greater than the distance seeds typically travel, with only the furthest seeds from the parent tree becoming adults. They realised that each tree species is much more negatively affected by its own kind than by other species, mostly because species suffer from species-specific pathogens. In a time of ongoing mass extinction, the study provides critical insights to help us predict how forest diversity will change over time. [Science]
“There would usually be about 16.4 million square kilometres of sea ice in the Antarctic by now, but this week there was just 14.1 million square kilometres. An area bigger than Mexico has failed to freeze.”Source: The Guardian
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.