The food and beverage industry uses fossil fuel energy through production and modification of raw ingredients, manufacture of products and packaging, service supplies, refrigeration, and more. Renewable energy offsets, such as wind and solar farming, mitigate that consumption of fossil fuels.
“The promise and appeal of renewable energy has long been clear: clean, inexhaustible, domestically sourced electricity could lead to enormous environmental, economic, and resiliency benefits.” – The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Forestry management and other conservation practices protect the ecosystems that consume carbon dioxide – like emissions from supplier, distributor, and delivery vehicles – from the atmosphere. Offsets can also address soil health to sequester carbon, which creates an opportunity for growers supplying raw ingredients to practice more climate-friendly farming.
“Older forests store a lot more carbon than young forests and much of it is returned to the atmosphere quickly when harvested and planted with young trees.” – Beverly Law, professor emeritus of global change biology at Oregon State University
About a third of the world’s population currently burns solid fuels like wood, charcoal, or animal dung for cooking, and that affects both global emissions and the health of communities, mostly in developing nations. Clean cookstoves use solar power, thermal efficiency, and other strategies to reduce greenhouse gas production and save lives.
“Imagine cooking indoors, on the ground, on a smoky, open fire…This is the reality for families all around the world and it is so dangerous and unhealthy, that globally, more than 4 million people die from health issues caused by unclean cookstoves each year… [and] burning of wood fuels is responsible for around 2% of climate warming CO2 emissions.” – World Central Kitchen
Packaging and food waste in landfills releases methane, a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Using anaerobic digesters to break down the gas also releases electric power and heat to harness in place of fossil fuels for even greater downstream impact. Another exciting technology, direct air carbon capture and storage, scrubs carbon dioxide right off the air, just like plants and trees.
“If you pump a ton of carbon out of the ground, you will need to take a ton out of the air…I’m saying this is a war, and we need to use all the weapons at our disposal.” – Klaus Lackner, director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University
ClimateHound grants to leading environmental engineering and industrial design programs at major universities will focus young minds on climate action and lay the groundwork for discovering a better bottle, to-go container, production process, etc.
“Science will continue to develop technological breakthroughs that advance the transition to renewable energy and universities can provide the right environment for nurturing and bringing such expertise to fruition.” – Rolf Tarrach, former president of the European University Association