Champions 12.3, UNEP and FAO, along with WWF, WRAP and Rabobank, have come together to unveil the '123 Pledge' at COP27, which challenges governments, businesses and other food industry representatives to commit to concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste.
Food loss and waste is responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than four times the emissions of all annual aviation combined – and costs the global economy more than $1 trillion annually.
According to the groups, an estimated 14% of food is lost in the food supply chain from post-harvest up to wholesale, while 17% is wasted at retail and consumer level.
According to Liz Goodwin, director of food Loss and waste at the World Resources Institute, which serves as secretariat of Champions 12.3, “Food loss and waste drives up to 10% of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, yet just a handful of countries mention it in their national climate plans. None of the world’s biggest emitters are on that list.
“Despite some real bright spots, the world is woefully behind where it needs to be. Without real action to halve food loss and waste, it will be very difficult to solve the climate crisis.”
Groups taking the 123 Pledge are required to meet a number of requirements designed to ensure impact, progress and transparency toward a worldwide goal of halving food loss and waste by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. All commitments must include a climate angle, be time-bound, and measurable.
Among those that have already committed are Unilever, which will continue its focus on halving food waste in its direct operations by 2025; Rabobank, which has committed to execute a new series of Food Waste Challenges next year; and groups including Too Good To Go and WRAP.
Action Across The Supply Chain
"To deliver this we need action across the supply chain, from farm to fork,” said Richard Swannell, interim CEO WRAP. “Helping citizens and companies reduce food loss and waste has never been more salient given the global food crises we are all facing. WRAP will work with governments, businesses and people to reduce costly food waste at home and across the supply chain as part of our shared global ambition to reduce the enormous contribution food waste makes to climate change, and keeping 1.5 alive.”
Those taking the Pledge must also commit to providing annual progress reports to the Food Is Never Waste Coalition or to Champions 12.3. More information can be found at www.Champions123.org.