World Food Day is celebrated every year on the 16th of October (the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945). The theme for this year is Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World. As overweight and obesity rates soar worldwide, the day is a call for action to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone. In honour of this day, here are 30 different ways that Signatories are exploring the topic of food and Sustainable Development Goal 2 in terms of method and dialogue (part 1), research and partnerships (part 2) and operations (part 3).
21. Diverting extra food: Seattle Pacific University in the US has an on-campus food recovery program that was initiated by a group of students in 2016 and continues to recover thousands of pounds of food for donation to local homeless shelters.
22. Conducting food waste audits: Haskayne School of Business in Canada conducts waste audits regularly during events on campus as part of efforts to minimize the total amount of waste produced during events, to divert waste away from landfills, and to create tools, processes and protocols for the campus community to use to reduce event waste, control costs and support food rescue. So far, these audits have sparked ideas for future implementation, such as a food-cam to help advertise leftover food available for consumption to the campus community, as well as partnerships with the Students’ Union Food Bank or local food rescue organizations.
23. Rethinking other food related products: Lee Kong Chian School of Business in Singapore organised a successful “Say no to plastic straws” campaign following a report in the local media that noted that straws made up about 12% of litter at coastal clean-ups in Singapore. The school’s food court became the first in Singapore to stop routinely using plastic straws. Almost two hundred people participated in the launch of the campaign, establishing a record for the most number of people drinking with bamboo straws.
24. Focusing on sustainable sourcing of food: The catering department at Winchester Business School in the UK have worked hard to provide the most ethical and sustainable catering possible and each year they make improvements in their supply chain to introduce local sustainable products. The University, as signatory of the Humane Society’s Creature Kind Commitment, endorses the use of non-meat and dairy alternatives, such as organic soya milk, which now play an important part of the menu development.
25. And of drinks: UniSA Business School in Australia was accredited as a Fairtrade workplace in 2016. The Fairtrade movement is a socially innovative response to address wage injustice, maintain environmental standards in developing countries and provide fair access to markets for smaller communities. The Fairtrade minimum price ensures farmers, workers and their communities can organise into cooperatives and improve their positions in the supply chain, while Fairtrade helps give farmers access to organic training and premium markets.
26. Offering healthy and nutritious food in the cafeteria: At the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, nutrition is seen as an important factor for a sustainable and healthy university campus. A ‘Lifestyle menu’ was introduced at the university cafeteria with the goal to reduce the environmental impact by offering a seasonal and mostly vegetarian menu. The cafeteria only sells Swiss beef, veal, pork and chicken. It also only offers UTZ certified coffee which guarantees cultivation based on sustainability standards. The cafeteria employees are continuously trained to operate the cooking and presentation devices as energy efficiently as possible.
27.And across campus: The University of San Diego School of Business Administration in the US offers students a ‘Clean Earth Kitchen’, a plant-based meal option that is 100% animal product free. All dining locations feature alumni-owned, locally operated, organic, certified Fair Trade coffees and teas. The school has also been working towards eliminating the concern of food insecurity from its university. Their first food pantry opened in 2017 and has now grown to three locations on campus. These pantries are accessible to any community member experiencing food insecurity. Goods are replenished by student donations. USD also has a community garden, a space for anyone to enjoy the outdoors and partake in some therapeutic gardening. One of the reasons this garden was created was also to help combat food insecurity.
28. Putting in place guidelines: Lund University School of Economics and Management in Sweden has several efforts in place to become a more sustainable campus. This includes developing guidelines on how to promote ecological and green food alternatives, as well as how to reduce food waste in relation to seminars and conferences.
29. Supporting innovative solutions: Winchester Business School in the UK has put in place a series of special pink recycling pinks for students and staff to deposit used chewing gum. The gum is collected and turned into reusable coffee cups which are distributed on campus and used instead of single use cups.
30. Students growing their own: Brennan School of Business in the US has a greenhouse that grows tomatoes, lettuce, and native plants. In order to launch the project, students partnered with local urban farmers who mentored the students and provide them with supply resources. The greenhouse provides local, sustainable lettuce to the school’s main dining hall. Students have been involved in branding the produce and selling it at local organic farmer’s markets. Computer science students helped monitor the temperature and moisture systems in the hydroponics lab.