Ragn-Sells assisting in a regional project within EU towards sustainable consumption and less food waste
Within the framework of the i-REXPO project “Increase in the Reduction and Recovery of Expired Food”, Ragn-Sells in cooperation with EC-life are organized a conference on”Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption (Food waste, Energy and Biomass)” in Maj 2021. The meeting was held virtual in Bella Center in Denmark taken into consideration the recent restrictions as of COVID.
The conference did bring together more than 50 participants as representatives of the four main groups in the science-policy interface: scientists, policy-makers, civil society, Business Developers. Meeting participants will thus include representatives from relevant ministries, academia, research institutions, industry, NGOs and partner UN Agencies. In addition, the meeting included inputs from international experts on the main topics of the meeting, and concluded the following:
Unsustainable patterns of consumption are a primary cause of climate change, land degradation, resource depletion, and air and water pollution. Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption comes as one of the main responses to those challenges and contributes to environmental protection, enhancing human wellbeing, and achieving sustainable development. The Agenda 2030 and recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have created renewed impetus for governments and businesses alike to engage in sustainability in the most cross-cutting and ambitious way to date. Resource efficiency and sustainable consumption greatly facilitate catching up with the technological change through the implementation of crosscutting and widespread sustainability practices by focusing on value chains and life-cycle-thinking to become more environmentally friendly and ethical. Through food waste reduction, higher efficiency in energy consumption, biomass remarkable positive effects and main challenges can be faced and pay the way forward to achieve the SDGs.
Challenges include unsustainable consumption of food, water, energy and other natural resources as well as increasing inequality, unemployment and poverty. Many of these complex challenges can be efficiently addressed if approached holistically; using science and technology based innovative solutions.
The UN highlighted that in order to reorient current unsustainable development trajectories over the period 2015 to 2030, affordable and practical technological solutions have to be developed, transferred and applied widely in the next fifteen years. Despite investments in education and scientific research infrastructure and human resources, many countries continue to purchase turnkey technological products rather than adequately rooting technology locally. This situation represents a lost opportunity for the local economy. Modern green technologies offer a chance to leapfrog and deploy local scientific and technological capacity in economic development while reducing adverse effects on the environment. Transitioning towards green technologies allows efficient natural resources consumption and improved productivity in agriculture, business and industrial processes. This ultimately supports creating decent jobs for the educated youth and push EU forward.
OBJECTIVES AND FOCUS OF THE MEETING
The main objective of the meeting was to discuss achieving Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption by introducing green technology practices to minimize food waste and energy consumption. The meeting will inform policy makers, business oriented companies and civil society on areas to enhance resource efficiency and explore ways to monitor progress of SDGs.
The meeting focused on the below three thematic areas, where each area will be focusing on one specific subject, namely Energy, biomass and Food waste.
The conference discussed the issues of advancing green technologies and science-policy interface throughout four sessions with special emphasis on food waste, energy and biomass in the form of presentations and expert panel discussions. The discussions will revolve around the following themes:
- Session 1: Green Technology Opportunities for Sustainable Development
- Session 2: Policies for Sustainable Technology Development
- Session 3: Productive Technology Development/Transfer Systems (Resource Efficiency “Energy & Biomass” and Sustainable Consumption “Food Waste & Lifestyle”)
- Session 4: Means of implementation: Investment, financing and capacity building