By the Numbers: The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste-A report on behalf of Champions 12.3

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We are all interested in seeing value for money – whether we are individuals, businesses or government. Now, a new report The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste-A report on behalf of Champions 12.3 makes plain the very sound business case for reducing food loss and waste. The figures will turn the head of even the hardest-nosed budget director.

Businesses Save Money by Reducing Food Loss and Waste

After evaluating cost and benefit data for 1,200 business sites across 700 companies in 17 countries, researchers from WRI and WRAP found that nearly every company had a positive return on their investments to curb food loss and waste in operations. Half realized a 14-fold or greater return. Simply put, for every $1 invested in things like training staff to lose less food in production, $14 or more were saved.

An estimated one-third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted each year. That figure alone can seem daunting, but the non-financial benefits for action are clear, too.

Curbing food loss and waste can also curb climate change.

  • An estimated 8 percent of greenhouse gases are attributed to food that’s produced and never eaten.
  • If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter, right after China and the United States.
  • Reducing food loss and waste also saves natural resources.
  • It takes more land than the size of China to grow all the food that’s never consumed.

There’s no value at all from using enormous land and water resources and warming the planet in order to produce a billion tons of food that ultimately don’t get eaten – particularly when one in nine people is malnourished in the world.