How does food waste impact New York and New Jersey? New York State generates 3.9 million tons of food waste every year; while New Jersey estimates that its residents throw out 1.3 million tons. Based on estimates from ReFED, the food wasted in New York and New Jersey has an economic value of more than $10 billion. New York and New Jersey also face significant food insecurity and climate change issues.
To put these numbers in context, can you envision 130 billion meals of food wasted annually in the USA? Or, can you visualize 400 pounds of food waste per person per year?
New Jersey’s and New York’s mandates follow a half dozen similar laws in other states, including several in the Northeastern United States. A mandate, however, is a governmental tool to build awareness and drive change, and is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. When you go beneath the surface of the iceberg, the issues raised by wasted food are broader and deeper than simply reducing food waste from being incinerated or going to landfill, and there are many more reasons than compliance with the mandate to address food waste.
Food is one of the most important, fundamental LIFE priorities. Food waste solutions will have the best value and significant impact when we work together to create an integrated strategy that incorporates all five P’s in these sustainability dimensions: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships.
Bring your curiosity, business sense, innovative mindset, collaborative thinking, change orientation and environmental and social conscience to explore the wide variety of solutions to build a more sustainable, circular, food ecosystem for your organization. Can you re-imagine the future of your organization by using a systemic review of your end-to-end processes to identify benefits in a multitude of ways? Will your organization desire to work toward an integrated strategy of the five P’s to maximize food value and minimize food waste?
Everyone will benefit from pursuing efficiencies in this more sustainable food ecosystem. A few of the likely benefits for your organization may include:
- Innovation, business process improvements, more effective infrastructure, operational cost efficiencies;
- Environmental, social, governance (ESG) visibility;
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, including public-private partnerships for food bank donations, sponsoring start-ups and entrepreneurs, non-profits, etc.;
- Corporate Sustainability Branding;
- Employee engagement and retention for “Doing Good” actions, driving behavior change, new job creation and employee training designed with a quality job strategy to manage your new approach to a food value system;
- Sustainability Reports with metrics dashboards to show key metrics such as GHG emission reduction, water usage, cropland and landfill reductions.
For more details, check out the full article co-authored by Matt Karmel, Attorney with Riker Danzig and Pam Sammarco, CEO, Green Training Associates LLC