Environmental conferences can lead by example by serving low-carbon food
Events can take the sustainable food pledge by committing to:
Serve only vegetarian food, with a preference for 100% plant-based food
Give preference to organic, fair trade, and locally-sourced food
limit food waste, and donate or compost leftover food
JOIN THE CAUSE
pledge to serve sustainable food at your conference or event
WHY TAKE PART?
Recent studies published in Nature and by the EAT-Lancet Commission recommend transitioning to diets rich in plant-based protein and limited in animal-based protein in order to adhere to planetary boundaries, sufficiently mitigate climate change, and prevent up to 11 million premature deaths annually.
Are you attending a sustainability event that is serving climate-friendly or climate-unfriendly food? We want to hear about it!
+ How can my event sign on?
Fill out the form above to take the pledge. If you need assistance in designing or promoting your climate-friendly menu, or additional information to provide to your organizing committee, let us know.
+ What happens when my group adopts the Sustainable Food Policy?
Please contact us through the “JOIN” form, and we’ll list your organization on our website and promote on social media (if desired). We also encourage each organization to announce their participation through their own communications channels, and can send sample content and images.
+ Can we serve free-range/grass-fed/humane/sustainable meat?
In order to qualify for the sustainable food pledge, all foods served must be vegetarian, and preferably entirely plant-based, for the following reasons:
- In most circumstances, meat options still have larger carbon, water, and land footprints than plant-based foods. A report by Oxford University’s Food Climate Research Network found that even the best-managed pasture grazing systems are still net contributors of carbon dioxide.
- There is not enough pastureland to raise animals sustainably at the rate currently consumed (over 200 pounds per American per year). In order to transition to a more sustainable food system, scientists recommend that North Americans eat approximately 90% less red meat and 75% less poultry.
- Because organic, pasture-raised meats are very expensive, promoting them can create the perception that only wealthier people can take action to mitigate climate change. Plant-based protein staples such as beans and lentils are the most affordable, as well as healthy and low-carbon.
- To transition to a food system that does not exceed the global carbon budget, we need to shift perceptions so meals not centered around meat are seen as complete. By adopting this sustainable food policy, you provide people with an opportunity to experience how delicious and satisfying climate-friendly plant-based foods can be.
+ Should we replace meat with dairy?
The Sustainable Food Pledge recommends replacing animal protein with plant-based protein because beef and dairy cattle are responsible for 31% of methane emissions in the US, and cheese in particular is one of the most carbon-intensive foods.
+ How can we prevent food waste?
Here is a toolkit for food waste-free events, and here are 5 simple tips to ensure that leftover food is donated, including a database of local food recovery organizations in most states to accept your donated food.
+ Can you help us ensure that the food we offer is delicious and well-balanced?
Of course. The organizations in our resources section can provide guidance. If you don't find what you're looking for there, please fill out the contact form and we can put you in touch with someone who can offer more support.
+ What if we don’t follow through with the pledge?
The pledge is not legally binding, though it is meant to be taken seriously in order to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to its mission and its members. If you weren’t able to follow through with the pledge, let us know what happened. We’d like to help you overcome whatever challenges you faced to help you meet your goal with your next event.