Why food saving is hugely important for the climate

The other week, in my role as a member of the SIRPLUS advisory board, I was invited to the opening of their 2nd food saving store in Berlin. My expectations for the day were inspiring speeches, some drinks and snacks. Not quite though! The event became a true eye-opening experience for me. Here is why.

I’m addicted to coffee – I love the smell of a freshly brewed cup of espresso, the taste of a perfect latte macchiato. So, when entering the newly opened SIRPLUS food saving store here in Berlin’s Schloßstrasse, I was wondering, if I could spot my beloved coffee beans here too.

I found my coffee. However, just above the storage rack I also found a handwritten board explaining to me that the production of the amount of coffee necessary to make one cup of coffee (12g) consumed 200l of fresh water and emitted 60g CO2 – or to say it in other words: The impact of producing 1 cup of coffee equals driving a car for 3,3km and filling 1.5 bathtubs.

Wow! I immediately felt bad. So, should I stop drinking coffee at all? Thankfully not. Purchasing coffee beans that passed the recommended expiry date but are otherwise perfectly ok for consumption means that our climate was not burdened in vain. But the issue is way bigger than coffee.

According to Raphael Felmer, the founder and CEO of SIRPLUS, a recent WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) study revealed that 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted globally every year. In Germany alone, this equals to 18 million tons of food – or roughly one truckload per minute. Shocking!

With population growth accelerating and food demand growing continuously this problem will become even bigger in the future. But not just this – every ton of food that is lost in the supply chain (and on average this amounts to 50% of the total food produced) hugely contributes to climate change because its production, transport, cooling & storage consumes enormous amounts of water and land and releases huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

If food waste would be a nation, this nation would be the third biggest CO2 emitter in the world – closely following China and the US!

But we all can do our part. That’s why I personally support SIRPLUS’s mission: saving food in the supply chain at scale and helping all of us to change our customer behavior. A true win-win for everybody – climate & consumer!

For more information check out: https://sirplus.de/

Rainer Hönig
October 2018
Rainer Hönig