The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) released their 2016 Water and Energy Use Benchmarking Study, celebrating their ninth benchmarking report on key performance data within the industry. Findings of the study substantiate the beverage industry’s ongoing efforts to better understand and reduce resource use on a global scale. Nineteen companies participated in this study, providing valuable quantitative insight for nearly 1,500 facilities across six continents.
The 2016 benchmarking study includes water and energy data from 2011, 2013, and 2015, representing a diverse variety of facility types, production sizes, and geographic locations from around the globe. Of the facilities that provided all three years of data, 71% achieved an improvement in water use ratio and 64% achieved an improvement in energy use ratio. The study presents several key takeaways; for example, results show an increase in the use of renewable energy sources. This helps illustrate the proactive approach the beverage industry is taking to improve business practices, understand industry challenges, and lessen environmental impacts.
“The BIER benchmarking study continues to be a valuable resource for beverage industry leaders evaluating energy and water use within their companies,” says Laura Nelson, Consultant for Antea Group and BIER Benchmarking Project Manager. “The report shows continued dedication to transparency in the industry, making this comprehensive study an invaluable resource.”
Moving forward, BIER plans to work with member companies on carbon emissions data to improve the quality and depth of data collected for future benchmarking purposes.
The complete 2016 benchmarking results report can be downloaded at http://www.bieroundtable.com/benchmarking-coeu.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.
The majority of Americans have no clear idea what “sell by” labels are trying to tell them. But after 40 years of letting us guess, the grocery industry has made moves to clear up the confusion.
On Wednesday, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the two largest trade groups for the grocery industry, announced that they’ve adopted standardized, voluntary regulations to clear up what product date labels mean. Where manufacturers now use any of 10 separate label phrases, ranging from “expires on” to “better if used by,” they’ll now be encouraged to use only two: “Use By” and “Best if Used By.”
The former is a safety designation, meant to indicate when perishable foods are no longer good. “Best if Used By” is a quality descriptor — a subjective guess of when the manufacturer thinks the product should be consumed for peak flavor.
Read the press release from BIER.
In an effort to provide informed future planning guidance, the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) has launched the Future Scenarios Toolkit. With this toolkit, companies have a clear and robust framework to analyze potential future scenarios regarding impacts (social, environmental, governmental, etc.) to their business, their supply chain, and their production, as well as successfully prepare to tackle those scenarios.
Further With Food is a website to find and share information and tools dedicated to reducing food loss and waste in the United States. This site provides a broad spectrum of users — from experts to novices — with high-quality information and proven solutions to reduce food loss and waste as well as a platform to share research, experiences, innovative approaches, and tools.
Read the full story in Food Technology.
Since the adoption in September 2015 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, food businesses are increasingly engaged in food loss and waste reduction, with impressive achievements.
On the international level, Lipinski et al. (2016) reported on the progress of Champions 12.3—a cross-sectoral coalition of nearly 40 leaders around the world dedicated to achieving SDG Target 12.3, which calls for halving per capita global food waste and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030. They provided examples of waste reduction accomplishments and detailed what more is needed. They highlighted approaches to reducing food loss and waste across the production-to-consumption food system and identified the following for processing and packaging: reengineering manufacturing processes; improving supply chain management; improving packaging to keep food fresher longer, optimize portion size, and gauge safety; and reprocessing or repackaging food that does not meet specifications.
Read the full story in Food Technology Magazine.
To solve the problem of food waste, start thinking differently about the challenges it presents.
Read the full story from Sustainable Brands.
Today, approximately 40% of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste and 97% ends up in landfills. There it decomposes and produces methane gas — 25 times more harmful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and a major contributor to global warming and the destruction of the ozone layer. A similar story can be told across the globe.
Food waste poses a significant risk to both food security and the planet, but new technologies and creative reuses of waste streams are pushing the food industry towards more sustainable, circular models.