Top reads food waste for cities – global

Yifan Li

16 September 2018

There is a lot of action being taken across the globe to address the food waste issue. How do you find out, as a city, what to read about food waste? In this article, we have compiled your top reads to help cities manage food waste. We have provided a short summary of each report. Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing region-specific resources for the EU and the US. Sign up to our mailing list to keep posted.

Food wastage footprint 

To tackle food waste, it is essential to first recognise the challenges, diagnose the situation and understand the extent and severity of the issue. Food wastage footprint – Impacts on natural resources helps us do so by “providing a global account of the environmental footprint of food wastage along the food supply chain, focusing on impacts on climate, water, land and biodiversity.” This study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has found that “food wastage reduction would not only avoid pressure on scarce natural resources but also decrease the need to raise food production by 60 percent in order to meet the 2050 population demand.” By highlighting the magnitude of the environmental footprint and sources of food wastage, the results of this study “allow prioritising actions and defining opportunities for various actors’ contributions to resolving this global challenge.”

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published a more recent estimate that “by 2030 annual food loss and waste will hit 2.1 billion tons worth $1.5 trillion.” The research identified five drivers of the issue: awareness, supply chain infrastructure, supply chain efficiency, collaboration and policy environment. According to BCG, “global, coordinated action to address all five drivers can slash the value of food lost and wasted every year by nearly $700 billion—just about delivering on the SDG target.”

Implementation guide for cities 

Global Food Waste Management – An Implementation Guide for Cities, a collaborative effort led by the C40 Cities Food, Water & Waste Programme and the World Biogas Association, shares the experience of cities of different sizes, populations and geographical locations that have taken a lead dealing with food waste. It provides a background to the key issues surrounding food waste including impacts, prevention and reduction, source segregated collection, treatment options and their products, and policies required by municipal authorities to overcome economic and social barriers to implementing food waste treatment. The report aims to help policy and decision makers in cities to improve the management of food waste in towns and cities across the world.

20 Solid Waste Management cases of cities 

Another comprehensive report to read on how cities can deal with food waste is the UN-Habitat publication, Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities, which presents the good work that is being done, and that we could learn from, on solid waste by 20 cities across six continents using the framework of Integrated Sustainable Waste Management. Through looking at “what drives change in solid waste management, how cities find local solutions and what seems to work best under different circumstances,” the publication aims to inspire decision makers, practitioners and ordinary citizens to design their own models and strategies that are appropriate to the particular situations and needs of their cities, towns and villages.

Recent professionals’ views

Looking for more professionals’ view on food waste? Take a look at our recent interview with Sandra Mazo-Nix from Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and Andrea Celeste Paiz from Buenos Aires to learn the story of food waste reduction in Buenos Aires, and our interview with the Solid Waste Team at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to find out more about how C40 is helping cities tackle climate change with food waste management.

If you have any additional reads you’d like to share, please send us an email at Enjoy your reading!

Enjoy this article?

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Share This