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Why It Matters

Food waste leads to greenhouse gas emissions.

Somewhere between 30-40% of the food raised or prepared never makes it to people's mouths. Wasted food means wasted resources that went into making that food - seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital. It also generates greenhouse gases at every stage, including methane when that food is dumped in landfills around the world. 

Food waste is responsible for 4.4 gigatons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, or roughly 8% of total human-caused emissions. In low-income countries, food waste happens because of weak infrastructure, lack of refrigeration, poor equipment or packaging, and combination of heat and humidity. In higher-income countries, most of the food waste is intentional and happens further down in the supply chain: retailers reject food based on their appearance or consumers overestimate how much food they'll cook in a week.

Reducing food waste has big environmental payoffs.

There's a long list of possible solutions to food waste. In low-income countries, improving infrastructure for storage, processing, and transportation is essential. Things as simple as using better storage bags, silos or crates during transit can make a difference early in the supply chain.

In advanced industrialized countries, solutions need to be targeted at the retail and consumer levels. These range from setting food waste targets, generating public awareness about the issue, to changing consumer behavior toward food. 

Project Drawdown estimates that if these solutions are aggressively pursued, we can reduce 101.7 gigatons of greenhouse gases between now and 2050.

These companies are making it happen.

Here are the companies that are helping to extend the shelf life of food. We only companies that derive more revenue from offering products and services that conform to Project Drawdown's definition of food waste solutions than they do from fossil fuel-dependent products and services. We also exclude penny stocks whose share prices were less than $0.50 in our last update.

If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.

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