On the occasion of the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste (September 29), the International Resource Panel (IRP) joined efforts with different knowledge groups at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to present findings on how green and digital technologies can be used to tackle food waste.

Globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, while an estimated 17% of total global food production is wasted. Food loss and waste not only imply lost resources such as water, land, energy, labor, and capital but also pose great threats to climate change as well as food security and availability.

Today, green and digital technologies are being utilized to reduce food waste at the consumer level, including in storage, packaging, pretreatment, portion control, compost, traceability, and supply-demand matching. The development of green technologies offers immense business opportunities and helps to decouple economic growth from resource use, ensuring the transition towards an Inclusive Green Economy.

In this context, the IRP collaborated with other UNEP teams to present five summaries that estimate the food waste problem and ways to harness the potential of green and digital technologies in 5 cities from around the globe (Belgrade, Doha, Bangkok, Kampala and Bogota).

The summaries are part of the UNEP-led "Build Back Better: Using Green and Digital Technologies to Reduce Food Waste at Consumer Level" project which utilizes integrated approaches that connect policy, data, technology, economics, and behavioral nudges with an aim to contribute to the following SDGs: SDG target 12.3 (halving food waste), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 17 (Partnerships).

Access the city summaries: BangkokBelgrade, KampalaDoha, and Bogota.

Download the report «Reducing consumer waste using green and digital technologies»

Find out more about the project.

Read the story "In Bangkok, tech startups take on food waste".