Sustainable Food Pledge
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"When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet." -National Geographic May 2014

 
 
 
 
 

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?

The food system - in particular animal agriculture - is one of the leading drivers of climate change, deforestation, soil erosion, air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, and oceanic dead zones.

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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.

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Several studies have shown that agriculture alone will consume up to 80% of the entire allotted carbon budget by 2050 without significant changes. Project Drawdown found that reducing food waste and eating a plant-rich diet are the third and fourth most impactful solutions to climate change.

 

endorsing organizations

 
 

PARTICIPATING CONFERENCES

 
 

Are you attending a sustainability event that is serving climate-friendly or climate-unfriendly food? We want to hear about it!

 

RESOURCES

Three Squares Inc.® (TSI) is an environmental consulting firm which designs sustainability into the internal and external DNA of organizations.  A global leader in green event production and the first firm in the U.S. to earn ISO 20121 compliance, TSI maintains the highest standards of environmental integrity.

Three Squares Inc.® (TSI) is an environmental consulting firm which designs sustainability into the internal and external DNA of organizations. A global leader in green event production and the first firm in the U.S. to earn ISO 20121 compliance, TSI maintains the highest standards of environmental integrity.

 
Forward Food  offers a wide array of resources for food service professionals interested in adding more plant-based foods to menus, from toolkits and recipes to in-person trainings.

Forward Food offers a wide array of resources for food service professionals interested in adding more plant-based foods to menus, from toolkits and recipes to in-person trainings.

 
The  Cool Food Pledge  is a new platform to help facilities offer diners more of what they want while slashing food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030. The Cool Food Pledge helps signatories track the climate impact of the food they serve, develop plans to sell delicious dishes with smaller climate footprints, and promote their achievements as leaders in a growing movement.

The Cool Food Pledge is a new platform to help facilities offer diners more of what they want while slashing food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030. The Cool Food Pledge helps signatories track the climate impact of the food they serve, develop plans to sell delicious dishes with smaller climate footprints, and promote their achievements as leaders in a growing movement.

 
Food for Thought  helps animal and environmental nonprofits adopt animal- and earth-friendly menu policies for fundraising and sponsored events. From one-on-one consultation to  grants  to cover food and menu planning costs,  Food for Thought  will help every step of the way.

Food for Thought helps animal and environmental nonprofits adopt animal- and earth-friendly menu policies for fundraising and sponsored events. From one-on-one consultation to grants to cover food and menu planning costs, Food for Thought will help every step of the way.

 
The idea is simple. When you cater for events, order vegetarian food by default, and ask anyone who wants to eat meat to let you know. That’s it. Organizations who have adopted the policy report big overall reductions in consumption of animal products, without restricting anyone’s ability to choose what they want to eat.

The idea is simple. When you cater for events, order vegetarian food by default, and ask anyone who wants to eat meat to let you know. That’s it. Organizations who have adopted the policy report big overall reductions in consumption of animal products, without restricting anyone’s ability to choose what they want to eat.

 
The  Center for Biological Diversity , in collaboration with Animal Place’s Food for Thought program, offers resources to help environmental events and conferences choose and promote Earth-friendly menus, and for organizations and event organizers to adopt plant-based policies.


The Center for Biological Diversity, in collaboration with Animal Place’s Food for Thought program, offers resources to help environmental events and conferences choose and promote Earth-friendly menus, and for organizations and event organizers to adopt plant-based policies.

 

FAQ

 

+ 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:

  • 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.