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Green Mark's European Social Fund Technical Assistance Newsletter - August 2013

Green Mark's European Social Fund Technical Assistance Newsletter - August 2013

27 August 2013

GLE is currently providing free Green Mark certifications for ESF funded organisations, as part of the ESF Technical Assistance programme. This support is available for organisations who hold an ESF contract directly, and those who participate as a formal partner.

Reed in Partnership fight food waste on World Environment Day

To celebrate World Environment Day 2013, and to help achieve Green Mark Level 1, Reed in Partnership ran a company-wide quiz on food waste, with the aim of increasing awareness of the environmental, social and financial impacts of food waste.

The event was a great success with 15 local teams taking part. The winning team, from Reed's Harrow office, was awarded a hamper of Fair-trade and ethical goodies.

World Environment Day (WED) 2013: ‘Think – Eat - Save’

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated each year on June 5th. It is one of the principle vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. Through WED, UN Environment aims to enable everyone to realise their responsibilities and their potential to become ‘agents for change’ in support of sustainable and equitable development. WED is a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.

Each year this day is celebrated with a theme: ‘Think. Eat. Save.’ was the theme for this year’s WED.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily due to hunger. Specifically in the UK, we waste £12bn a year on food which we buy and then just throw away.

Food waste impacts upon the environment because it leads to wasteful use of water, energy and chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides; more fuel is used for transportation; and landfilled food produces methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In addition, by wasting food, we are wasting the resources that went into growing it.

Selecting organic foods which haven’t been produced using chemicals, as well as local produce which hasn’t been transported a long way, can also help minimise the environmental impact of food. So, think before you eat and help save our environment!

Tips for food waste-prevention and reduction

Here are ten food waste-prevention and reduction tips to help you save time and money.

  1. Create guidelines about food and drink for company events to reduce food and disposal costs and protect the environment.
  2. Buy sustainable food from environmentally and ethically approved suppliers to reduce improperly produced food.
  3. Check the use-by date before purchasing any food products and make sure you take the freshest available.
  4. Buy only what you need i.e. buy for fewer people than are coming to the event; usually caters over provide.
  5. Buy 'ugly' food - we have become used to having a consistent variety, size, shape and colour of vegetables and fruit - the rest is wasted.
  6. Avoid carbon and water intensive food e.g. beef and cheese; you can serve chicken and vegetarian options.
  7. Keep the packaging that food comes in for any leftovers.
  8. Store the food correctly so that it lasts longer.
  9. Offer leftovers to staff, or for larger events, why not contact a homeless charity or food bank to see if it can be put to good use?
  10. Do a food waste assessment including tracking which dishes have more leftovers.

For more information about how Green Mark can help your organisation contact greenmark@carbonarchitecture.co.uk or telephone 02036 971253.

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