One of the benefits of recovering and redistributing surplus food is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the food supply chain and food waste. FoodForward SA commissioned a report to quantify the reduction of GHG emission that results from its physical and virtual foobanking programmes between March 2019 and December 2022.
FoodForward SA’s operations, between March 2019 and December 2022, are estimated to have saved 409,025 tonnes CO2e being emitted into our atmosphere. For every tonne of food recovered, FoodForward SA helps save 5.2 tonnes of greenhouse emissions.
According to Andy Du Plessis, FoodForward SA’s managing director, the study found that FoodForward SA’s “annual emission savings are equivalent to the emissions associated with the annual electricity usage of approximately 135,000 South African households.”
Almost two-thirds (62%) of these emissions savings are associated with food production, with the remainder primarily associated with avoided landfill disposal of food. When surplus food is discarded or transported to a waste disposal site and landfill, instead of being donated, non-profits need to purchase food to meet the nutritional needs of their beneficiaries. With the intervention from FoodForward SA, surplus food is redirected from retailers and wholesalers to NPOs where it is prepared and consumed. The resulting reduction in the need for food production benefits our people and planet.