In December of 2015, the U.S. joined nearly every other nation on Earth in approving the language underpinning the Paris Climate Accord – a landmark moment of global collaboration toward addressing the very real threats of climate change stemming from the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Yet earlier in June, President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Accord, thereby joining Nicaragua and Syria as the world’s only non-supportive countries.
At LeanPath, we respectfully disagree with the President’s decision to exit the Accord. Here’s why:
We believe that climate change is real, and that it threatens our world.
In our view, global warming is more than a threat to food, water, and environmental security, it is a threat to global security, period. As such, we oppose changes in U.S. federal policy that diminish commitment to this issue.
We have long been “in” the battle against global warming.
LeanPath invented a food waste prevention system more than 13 years ago that enables commercial kitchens around the world to continually monitor their levels of food waste, and drive food waste prevention. Our work is centered on the premise that “what you measure, you manage.” From a climate standpoint, our work matters--a lot. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food waste accounts for about 8% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Put into perspective, if we ranked food waste as a country, it would be the third largest emitter of total greenhouse gas emissions behind the U.S. and China. By exiting the Paris Accord, we feel that the U.S. loses its ability to adopt a measured approach to minimizing its greenhouse gas emissions.
Innovation is central to our mission; we know that we cannot survive without a continuous focus on improvement. Similarly, we believe that our country cannot cling to the unsustainable status quo in terms of reliance on fossil fuel-based energy sources, but must embrace innovative energy sources that are more efficient and less environmentally harmful – sources that would align with a national commitment to mitigate our country’s contribution to global warming.
We believe in systemic solutions to the food waste problem.
We work in the top tier of the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy (source reduction) to prevent wasted food from occurring in the first place. As such, we strongly support the USDA/USEPA-announced goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. We believe that exiting the Paris Accord derails our nation’s ability to unite around achieving this important goal.
We believe in the power of collaboration to create shared value.
The Paris Accord symbolizes global collaboration to address climate change, and it naturally supports UN Sustainability Goal 12.3, which calls for sustainable consumption patterns and a halving of per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030. We feel that the U.S. should be collaborating and leading in these spaces to help create positive global impact on food waste reduction, not withdrawing from them.
We remain optimistic, however, that a combination of industry, NGO’s, and passionate, innovative individuals will make a significant dent in the climate change problem despite the recent lack of federal leadership. The recent ReFEd report is a prime example – a data-driven “roadmap” of 27 solutions to reduce food waste in the U.S. by 20% within a decade. The report was compiled by a multi-stakeholder network of experts and leaders across several sectors, and we are pleased to be a part of this ongoing effort.
We are also excited by innovative initiatives such as “Climate Take Back” at Interface Carpet and “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken – initiatives which go beyond limiting the damage of climate change to being restorative (climate positive) by avoiding greenhouse gas emissions or sequestering carbon that is already in the atmosphere. Such is the innovation that the climate change challenge (i.e. opportunity) breeds.
So we at LeanPath are pleased to sign on to the Business Backs Low-Carbon USA effort, and we remain committed to expanding our own “drawdown” impact on climate change by enabling organizations across the globe to prevent food waste.