The urgent challenges facing our planet have become all the more prominent in the past few months. Moving forward, it is important that we learn from the past, think critically, and pursue innovative solutions so we can use fewer resources and ensure an abundant future for people and the planet. But what does that look like? We asked four of our sustainability experts to share their thoughts on how sustainability will guide the future.
Data will power sustainability
The more we understand about how we use resources and how those resources create impacts, the more power we will have in making the right decisions for our food system and beyond. Today, when we buy a piece of fruit at the grocery store, we know very little about it. How much water was needed to grow it? Was that water taken from a drought-stricken region? Was the fruit transported by truck? Or boat? Or plane? Was the grower paid a living wage? How long will it take to spoil? With data science and the application of novel technologies, the answers to these questions are within reach. We are positioned better now than ever before to have enough traceability to make smart decisions, which can lead to sustainable outcomes that also make good business sense.
- Jessica Vieira, Director of Sustainability
Shape recovery into opportunities
During this atypical time of transition into a post-pandemic world, there is a window of opportunity to restructure our supply chains, our cities, and our policies to place social and environmental considerations at the forefront of decision making. As we begin to #buildbackbetter, businesses can reconstruct supply chains to prioritize transparency and human rights with an inclusion of a more local and diverse supplier network (UNDGC 2020). Likewise, urban planners anticipating the reopening of cities can develop projects that embed a circular economy and climate resilience into our physical world (FP 2020). Finally, as old and new policies are structured to prevent future pandemics and other hardships, governments have the chance to shape “more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies” (UNDGC 2020). Unexpectedly and humbly, we are collectively near what some are calling a global “restart”. With this daunting task, we ask, “what does a fresh start look like?”
- Charlotte Sedlock, Sustainability Manager
Humbling pandemic experiences will inspire sustainable choices
The COVID-19 pandemic has us all thinking the existential question of “what is essential?” We saw the panic buying in March when access to food (and toilet paper) suddenly became real concerns of many people for the first time in their lives. Unfortunately, not knowing where the next meal will come from is a fear that many do face on a daily basis. I am hopeful that this universal experience during COVID-19 will humble us all to take stock of our needs, understand the interconnectedness of our global systems, and make sustainable choices that both positively impact the livelihoods of people around the world and protect our planet.
- Anna Steffens, Senior Manager, Social Impact
Sustainability is driven by both individual and collective action
It’s easy to feel paralyzed in the face of the large sustainability challenges we face today. How can we even begin to chip away at a problem like climate change, plastic waste, or food insecurity? We have an immense capacity to incite change through both individual and collective action. More than ever, people are considering not only how to minimize the impacts of their purchases and habits, but proactively seeking out opportunities to also drive real positive change. Both the public and private sectors are rising to the challenge by pursuing innovative solutions to the structural challenges we face, whether it be transitioning to cleaner forms of energy, reducing food waste, creating more participatory and circular economies, or finding ways to pull carbon out of the atmosphere. The most empowering way to address paralyzing problems is to realize the power of our own choices, take action in building the future we want for our planet, and continue to inspire innovative solutions that will magnify our impact over time.
- Shannon Thoits, Sustainability Analyst
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do at Apeel. To learn more about our impact, check out our Sustainability page!