Thoughts on COP
“We are on a highway to climate hell, with our foot on the accelerator.”
That’s the message from Antonio Gutteres, UN Secretary General, at COP 27.
It’s no secret that putting more plants on plates is one of the simplest and most impactful actions we can take to put our planet on a positive future path. allplants was founded as a response to the fact that, for the future health of all life on our planet, we humans must dramatically reduce our reliance on the industrial animal complex and all their products. So, allplants is on a mission to inspire everyone to eat more plants and to be a leading force for the future of food.
Though the truth is, we can’t reach the desired impact on our planet at the rate that is necessary on our own. There are changes that need to happen - and quickly - at an industry-wide and global level. With this year’s COP27 being dubbed as the first “food COP”, this evident need for a completely new food and agriculture system is in the limelight for the first time.
Last year’s COP26 in Glasgow ended with global consensus on the need to limit temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, and a vow to return this year with strengthened commitments and plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions - there’s not been much of note so far.
Rishi Sunak’s speech in Egypt last week reinforced the UK’s commitment to Climate Change in conserving threatened forests around the world; we’re urging him to take further action in pledging his commitments to plant-based diets and reducing food waste.
One of the world’s leading resources for climate solutions -Project Drawdown- analysed the 200+ top interventions to save our planet from overheating across sectors including electricity, transportation, buildings, food, agriculture and more. The study unequivocally ranked Plant-rich diets and Reducing food waste as the top two most impactful changes we can make (ahead of solar power, electric vehicles and tropical forest restoration!).
Animal agriculture is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for nearly 60% of all food production emissions. Eating a diet richer in plants reduces our reliance on keeping a herd of over 100 billion animals, thereby reducing land clearing, fertiliser use, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the risks of zoonotic disease, antibiotic resistance that are rapidly arising from the conditions rife in factory farming where most dairy, eggs and meat comes from. Governments need to prioritise creating awareness of the climate impact of food, to hold food companies accountable to reducing their emissions and empower consumers to make planet-friendly choices. We also expect the Government to set policies that favour sustainable food systems and make plant-based options more widely available in public catering and schools.
allplants was created to tackle the problem of animal agriculture emissions, by showing plant-curious people how exciting, delicious and convenient plant-based eating can be. We’ve since served over 5 million meals, which equates to 5,228 tonnes of CO2e, 2 billion litres of water and 6,151 acres of land saved, all by putting plants at the centre of our plate.
Reducing food waste
One-third of the world’s food is cultivated, picked, prepared and packed but never eaten. By reducing loss and waste, we can reduce the need for land and resources used to produce food as well as the greenhouse gases released in the process. What we need to see from the Government are national food-waste targets, make food waste reporting mandatory, and set policies that need to be implemented at corporate, supplier and consumer levels to encourage necessary widespread change.
Practising what we preach... at allplants, we take food wastage incredibly seriously. Being a frozen food company, we incidentally reduce food waste both in production and for the end consumer. But we don’t stop there. Our low waste dish design criteria ensures we use wonky, surplus veg where possible, and that we’re using as much of every vegetable as possible - this reduced waste by 600kg in 2021. We also donate surplus meals to our charity partners, The Felix Project and City Harvest; in 2021 alone we donated over 90,000 meals.
In addition to the benefit of frozen, plant-based meals on the environment, we make sure to think of the planet in everything we do. For example, we encourage a circular model by encouraging our customers to return their packaging with free doorstep returns which we then reuse (to date, we’ve had over 150,000 boxes returned, saving more than 72 tonnes of packaging waste). We’ve also recently added carbon footprint labels on the front of our new packaging, to empower shoppers and champion transparency. Find out more in our Impact Report.
Using business as a force for good is imperative in stopping climate change. As a B Corp ranking in the top 0.1% of food companies in the UK, everything we do is about positive impact on the environment and society. We have big ambitions, but in reality it all comes down to something very simple; inspiring people to get more plants on their plate. Our meals provide a convenient, healthy, and most importantly, delicious way to make a choice with your food that’s hugely beneficial for society and the planet. With our launches this month into retail for the first time with Planet Organic and Ocado, we’re welcoming more plant-curious people than ever before to join our table and build the future of food with us.
By Jonathan Petrides
JP can always be found hanging out with his friends and family – inside and outside allplants. He started the company with his brother to spread love, smiles and deliciousness – his personal favourite is the BBQ Burrito Bowl.