Circular Society Network Member Lise Colyer, is executive director and co-founder of OmniAction.org, a global non-profit dedicated to making ethical food choices possible for everyone. OmniAction has developed a sustainability framework for the food system, covering the full environmental footprint, labour rights, land sovereignty, nutrition and safety of food choices. A product is not sustainable if just its carbon was measured. It needs to score well for all its environmental, social and nutritional impacts.
Hundreds of conflicting ways to measure the impacts of food have left us with no agreed metric. Child labour and labour rights often go without independent monitoring and land sovereignty is almost impossible for consumers to track in their food choices.
The environmental damage caused by agriculture and food is gaining attention, but its full impacts are not captured in one complete metric. While nutrition and food safety measurements are taken for granted in some countries, through poor diet, hunger and malnutrition, food remains the biggest cause of death in the world.
“Our unified, global framework will inform social and sustainability goals for business, finance and policy. It will help establish an agreed ESG food benchmark. And it will make the full impacts of food choices available to consumers for the first time.
The framework is active. This means that advancements in science, monitoring, and standards will be reflected in real-time, with the framework iterating constantly. It will be formally updated every two years.
Advisory, science and technical committees will meet regularly to ensure the best developments are captured and to oversee OmniAction’s work.
OmniAction will set life-cycle assessment guidelines. It will apply true value of food accounting across all metrics. It will incorporate established data sets and create guidelines for those which are less established. It will then harmonise all this data into one framework.
Researchers across the food system are invited to contribute anonymised metrics and methodologies as they are established, folding them into OmniAction’s unified framework. The intellectual property of contributors remains full protected.”
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