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[ The Wilderness Society Commends the Conservation Achievements of President Obama and Secretary Jewell ]

Michael Reinemer

“It’s a lasting and fitting tribute to Secretary Jewell and President Obama that they have conserved so many treasured places valued by Americans across the nation. 

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[ Progress: Crucial land conservation program reauthorized in Senate bill ]

[ A Big Plan to Fight Food Waste ]

A Big Plan to Fight Food Waste

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Photo: USDA

 

Every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfills annually, and 10 million tons that go unharvested or discarded on farms.

Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

A new report released from Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED) – a collaboration of over 30 business, government, investor, foundation, and nonprofit leaders committed to reducing US food waste – analyzes 27 food waste solutions that can cut food waste in the United States by 20% — or 13 million tons annually.

The Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste is the first national economic study of food waste with a true plan for action. Its implementation would help spur economic growth, create jobs, increase food security and reduce environmental damage caused by food waste.

The Roadmap will require $18 billion of investment over the next decade, but will yield a net economic value of approximately $100 billion through lower food bills, new businesses, additional meals donated to the hungry, and a lower government tax burden.

The ReFED plan would also catalyze more than 15,000 new jobs, annually recover over 1.8 billion meals for the hungryreduce national water use by over one trillion gallons, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 18 million tons.

“When we waste food, we waste all of the resources it takes to bring it to our plates—from money to farmland, energy and water,” said Dana Gunders, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (an EarthShare member organization and collaborator on the report). “The Obama administration and the food industry should use this roadmap to prioritize actions that keep more food on our plates, and out of the trash.”

To ensure the Roadmap accurately represented the current landscape and included actionable insights, ReFED built an Advisory Board of leading organizations across sectors including Ahold, Bon Appetit Management Company, Sodexo, Walmart, Waste Management, Feeding America, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Harvard University, World Resources Institute (WRI), California State Board of Food and Agriculture, the EPA, and the cities of New York, Phoenix, and Seattle.

“Food businesses are leaving almost $2 billion of potential profit on the table annually,” said Kyle Tanger, a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of its sustainability practice. “It’s crucial for food businesses to take steps to understand where food waste is occurring in their value chains — and invest in solutions to reduce it and recover profits.”

The benefits of fighting food waste are achievable, feasible, and realistic today, but they will not be realized without a concerted effort. Stakeholders must commit to four levers of action:

  • New financing to scale proven solutions
  • Commonsense policy change
  • Adoption of emerging innovations, and
  • Consumer and employee education


The Roadmap is just the beginning. In the year ahead, ReFED will build on the efforts of other pioneers in this space and will work to implement these solutions.

Want to help fight food waste in your community and workplace? Visit the ReFED website for helpful tools and resources. Together, we can meet or exceed our country’s goal of 50% food waste reduction by 2030.

 

Resources:

The Future of Garbage: Curbside Compost, EarthShare

Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill, NRDC

What’s Food Loss and Waste Got to Do with Sustainable Development? A Lot, Actually, WRI

[ Colorado oil and gas operators say new regs help reduce methane pollution ]

Most oil and gas operators polled for the report say that new Colorado regulationsincluding mandated inspections of oil and gas o

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[ Congress must reinvest in conservation and resist bad riders ]

It’s only April, but Congress already has less than 80 legislative days left in which to pass a budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts on October 1st.

[ 12 kid-friendly national parks ]

This year marks the centennial year of the National Park Service, so there is no better time to teach our children how precious our national parks are, and that they belong to all of us as Americans.

[ DOI’s offshore drilling well-control rule contains overdue improvements ]

Tim Woody

Today the U.S. Department of the Interior announced final regulations to improve the safety of offshore drilling nearly six years after the BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico.

[ BSEE Blowout Incident Rate (Chart) ]

Apr 14, 2016

Chart of offshore oil well blowout incident rates illustrates the need for stronger federal regulations to improve human safety and decrease environmental risk.

[ Conservation groups support decision against road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge ]

Michael Reinemer

In response to today’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, the following statements are issued by organizations that support the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to protect wilderness in Izembek:

[ Oregon BLM plan could thwart healthy future of Northwest forests ]

Anastasia Greene

Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released proposed plans that will guide water quality, habitat protection, and logging on 2.5 million acres of federal forests and will significantly impact recreation in western Oregon for decades to come. The plans are the first to be released in