Anna Helena Chaim
9 min Read Time | March 21st 2023
When rating the value, consider the absolute impact described - that is, the direct impact caused by wasting edible food, rather than other conjunctures linked to it or the company.
When rating the scale of a company’s impact, take into consideration aspects such as the amount of food waste produced, the destiny of this waste, and how much time will it take to decompose.
For the industries covered, food waste is generated while using the company’s products/services (e.g., Cruise Lines and Restaurants).
In addition, wasting food results in the depletion of valuable resources such as water and energy. Food that is lost and wasted accounts for 38% of the total energy usage in the global food system. This means that a significant amount of energy, which could have been utilized more efficiently, is expended on producing food that ultimately goes to waste. In terms of water usage, approximately 70% of all freshwater usage worldwide is dedicated to agriculture, encompassing irrigation and livestock water supply. Within this context, it is alarming to note that the total volume of water used each year to produce food that is ultimately lost or wasted amounts to a staggering 250 million m3.
👉Note: Impact topics are a set of social and environmental impacts identified by the Impaakt Team to provide an additional layer of complex insight into measuring current impact. They range from general themes like Greenhouse Gas emissions and Job Creation to industry-specific topics such as Gentrification and Water Pollution. Check our Frameworks section for more information.
How do we incorporate the topic of food waste into multiple categories within our frameworks?
Get familiar with the 5 steps to get started as an Impaakt rater
Before building skills for a specific topic, make sure to read our Knowledge Center: Rating for Impaakt. This resource outlines the 5 steps necessary to get started as a rater and provides key information about our metrics. By going through this guide, you will ensure that you are well-informed to provide accurate ratings on any given topic.
How to rate the topic
Value is the absolute impact the topic has on the planet or society. To assess the value you need to think about how positive or negative you consider the topic and the impact described.
The value is linked to the topic treated and not to the company’s specific impact. Thus, the value should hold some consistency across industries.
When deciding your rating on the value, ask yourself:
How negative do you consider impacts related to food waste, like the perpetuation of food inequality, GHG emissions from landfilled waste, and the perpetuation of overconsumption?
Note: Due to the nature of this topic, it should be rated negative or strongly negative.
The scale is related to the company’s impact. It consists of three dimensions: Breadth, Depth, and Persistence.
The breadth captures the range or extent of the company’s impact and it is related to the quantitative part of the analysis. For this topic, the breadth is multi-dimensional and can be addressed from different angles considering what is disclosed in the analysis.
When deciding the breadth, answer the following questions:
What is the amount of food waste produced by the company?
How many people would the wasted food be able to feed yearly?
What percentage does reported food waste represent in relation to industry and global amounts?
Depth is related to the complexity and profundity of the impact described (i.e., it's related to the extent of the impact).
When deciding the depth, answer the following questions:
What is the destiny of the food waste generated? What portion of the food waste was sent to landfills?
What is the amount of GHG gases released into the environment caused by landfilling the food waste?
Do the treating methods chosen by the company lead to very disruptive consequences in the environment (i.e., the impact caused long-term damage to the soil where the waste was landfilled or has contributed to creating "dead zones")?
Persistence evaluates the impact of the company over time (i.e., is linked to the duration of the impact described)
When deciding the persistence, answer the following questions:
How long will the landfilled food take to decompose?
How long will it take for the altered ecosystem to recover?
Are the company's food waste amounts increasing over the years?
Examples: exercise your knowledge
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