Nearly a third of all food produced in the world goes uneaten each year, costing the global economy $940 billion and emitting 8% of planet-warming greenhouse gases. We can't afford for that to go on.
Sustainable Development Goal 12
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Human consumption of material goods is expanding at a breakneck pace, draining Earth’s resources and degrading our environment. The world cannot improve resource efficiency, reduce waste or mainstream sustainability practices without a fundamental shift in consumption and production patterns.
Promoting sustainable production and consumption is a core mission of WRI. We support a transition from a traditional, linear economy (production>consumption>disposal) to a circular economy (production>consumption>reuse), as well as enhanced energy efficiency in production systems (SDG 12.2). In addition, WRI’s Energy Program and WRI Ross Center for Cities provide research to accelerate the adoption of more efficient energy systems and buildings (SDG 12.2). Through our Better Buying Lab, Champions 12.3 and other food-related initiatives WRI and its partners are identifying solutions to reduce food loss and waste (SDG 12.3) and shift consumer preferences to more healthful, sustainable food choices. Our Water, Forests and Cities programs provide advanced data tools and analysis for the sustainable management of water and forest resources (SDG 12.2). WRI’s Business Center and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) help companies integrate environmental sustainability in their supply chains (SDG 12.6).
The circular economy holds tons of promise, but it's not a silver bullet for employment, sustainability and prosperity. Companies and governments must carefully measure the anticipated and actual impact of these actions and ensure they take us in the right direction—not into a circular but even less sustainable future.
More and more fast food restaurants are adding plant-based meals to menus. Behavioral science research reveals five quick, low-cost tips to boost sales.
The latest IPCC report finds that while land sequesters almost a third of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, it will be impossible to limit temperature rise to safe levels without fundamentally changing the way the world produces food and manages land.
How can the world feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050 while also advancing economic development, protecting forests and stabilizing the climate? Technological innovations like plant-based "beef" and low-emissions rice can help.
Daniel Vennard, director of the Better Buying Lab in WRI's Food Program, discusses the link between his work and social marketing, how your brain models taste while you're ordering and why "vegetarian" and "vegan" might not be the language that shifts the majority of the population to more sustainable diets.
Here's some food for thought: We actually can feed almost ten billion people by 2050, but only if we start changing the way we grow and eat our food.
For two years, World Resources Institute’s Better Buying Lab has taken an in-depth look at what works and what doesn’t when it comes to describing plant-rich foods in a way that appeals to broad swaths of the United States and British populations. Our early findings identify four kinds of language to avoid and three to embrace to help restaurants and the food industry boost sales of plant-rich menu items.