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In the context of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, this week's virtual Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good will convene leaders from governments, business, civil society, international organizations alongside innovators, financiers, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and youth to initiate and accelerate action for food systems transformation.

“This joint-partner organized event is co-led by the World Economic Forum, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Farmers Organization, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Unilever, PepsiCo, Royal DSM, Rabobank, One Young World, Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Wageningen University & Research, and the Government of The Netherlands.”

Carlsberg's clean drinking water partnership

Carlsberg Group announces partnership with Desolenator to create clean drinking water

As part of it’s ‘Together Towards ZERO’ sustainability programme, Carslberg Group aims to eliminate water waste across its breweries by 2030 and to protect shared water resources in high-risk areas.

Their innovative partnership with Desolenator (an UpLink cohort member) will see the implementation of the world’s first solar thermal sustainable water purification technology and help create clean drinking water for a town of 4,000, in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, India.

Image: Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

Turning plastic into treasure

Plastic waste is one of the most crucial issues in Indonesia today. One of the concrete steps taken by industry players is establishing PRAISE (Packaging and Recycling Association for Indonesia Sustainable Environment).

PRAISE is a non-profit organization founded by Coca-Cola Indonesia, Indofood Sukses Makmur, Nestle Indonesia, Tetra Pak Indonesia, Tirta Investama, and Unilever Indonesia Foundation.

To realize our ambition, we support the establishment of circular economic ecosystem where packaging waste is seen as resources, not just garbage.

—Diego Gonzalez, President Director of Coca-Cola Indonesia

The vision is to create and drive a sustainable ecosystem and convert plastic packaging waste into high-value resources that have economic, social, and environmental benefits for Indonesia in 2030.

“I fully support packaging restoration as it exhibits industry’s concerns to solve industrial waste problem, which has now become a world problem. If we do some calculation, Jakarta alone has around 8,000 tons of waste per day,” said Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Indonesia.

IKEA meat-free balls?

IKEA says it plans to make half of its restaurant menu meal offerings plant-based by 2025.

80% of offerings will be non–red meat, and 80% of the packaged food for sale will be plant-based, the company said.

“Research confirms the importance of making sustainable products affordable and desirable, and IKEA can really make a positive difference here. The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life.”

— Lena Pripp-Kovac, chief sustainability officer at Inter IKEA Group

IKEA says more than 680 million customers purchased food in the company’s bistros, restaurants and Swedish Food Markets in 2019.

Wellcome Trust makes progress on antimicrobial resistance

In 2019, the Wellcome Trust commissioned an analysis of actions toward the global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) agenda to identify where progress has been made and what critical gaps remain.

With input from leading experts within the public health, policy and scientific communities, they expanded this research over the summer of 2020, to understand the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic was having on antimicrobial resistance.

The report outlines a critical path forward for the AMR community.

Agility is bullish about logistics rebound

Kuwaiti logistic firm Agility expects its business to rebound next year as more units come back online after the pandemic and is in talks with pharma companies about transporting COVID-19 vaccines, its vice chairman told Reuters.

Tarek Sultan said the company was in a relatively good position despite the impact of the pandemic, which has forced some of its businesses such as airport services to temporarily close.

Toshiba's coal-free future

Toshiba Corporation has announced Toshiba Group's Environmental Future Vision 2050, a new long-term vision with a global perspective that responds to the drive for decarbonization, the transition to a circular economy and a society that lives in harmony with nature.

The company will stop taking orders for new coal-fired power plants as it makes a wider push to embrace renewable energy. The company plans to invest ¥160 billion in renewable energy for its operations through the fiscal year ending March 2023, and also aims to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This fits within Japan's intention to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Toshiba Group’s Environmental Future Vision 2050

Gucci makes movies

This week saw the launch of Gucci’s digital showcase — part fashion week, part film festival — that presents a series of seven short movies co-directed by Gus Van Sant, and a featuring friends of the house including Billie Eilish and Harry Styles.

Gucci’s upcoming collection will appear throughout seven episodes running from November 16 to 22, screened during a new digital fashion and film festival called GucciFest. The collection and the series are dubbed “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended.”

Accenture: Black is...

Accenture's African and Caribbean employee network in the UK and Ireland partnered with Black filmmakers and animators to share their stories about what it means to be Black.

Forum partners on the future of food - what did they say?

The session Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good kicked off today, revealing actions and insights from the Forum's business partners in the effort to unlock barriers to food systems transformation.

Unilever's Alan Jope spoke of "a unique moment, an opportunity to create a collective and ambitious vision for food systems" and asked, " What is the food equivalent of the 1.5-degree goal for climate change?". He called for a "big goal and a collective effort".


Geraldine Matchett, from Royal DSM, said, “When we think about climate change, the biggest risk is probably not the gradual rising of sea levels. What will hit us first is the rapid collapse of the food supply system across the globe, leading to a rise in poverty and unrest.”

At the same time, as Matchett explained, the irony is that food systems are one of the greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, suggesting the need for immediate action. She proposed three key actions to transform food systems and address this issue.

First, the people producing food need to earn more when they adopt more sustainable ways of producing that food. Second, we need to stop wasting a third of the food we’re producing. And third, we need to stop eating ourselves ill. Either we overeat calories with very little nutrition or don’t have enough food and suffer from undernutrition.

“The threat is here right now today, so let’s be courageous, let’s take bold actions, let’s work together and let’s get moving.”

Sunny G. Verghese from Olam International warned, “We need granular solutions enabled by tech to have a fundamental transformative way to address these problems otherwise we’ll be talking in generic terms and not address much.”

Find out more and watch the session here.

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are the latest organizations to announce positive high-level results for a coronavirus vaccine today, from an interim analysis of clinical trials.

Their news follows announcements from Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna in November, whose coronavirus vaccines were found to be more than 90 per cent effective against the disease.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine pledge for broad and equitable access.

Dr Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer of CEPI, said the world could not underestimate the importance of the news that has been announced. “The vaccine sequences for Sars-CoV-2 were released on Jan 12, 2020, and we have seen the delivery of phase 3 clinical trial results within 10 months of release of those sequences. That is nothing short of extraordinary.”

“However, vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations do. The challenge of scaling up manufacturing of these mRNA vaccines and delivering them to the people who need them worldwide will be immense and one of the greatest undertakings in modern times.”

Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations do.

—Dr Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer of CEPI

Arnaud Bernaert, Head of the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, said the Forum, including its COVID Action Platform, had worked tirelessly with stakeholders, sharing its commitment to universal access and equity to find solutions to the global pandemic.

“Crucially, our cumulative response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to focus on a range of initiatives to further mitigate the impact of this crisis, with the help of our partners. From helping companies transition their employees safely back to the workplace, to our Industry Action Group helping communities globally progressively emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are coordinating the relevant stakeholders to address the full scope of the coronavirus impact.”

“The latest announcements from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna regarding the development in COVID-19 vaccine candidates are promising, and we look forward to further updates on the trials.”

Unilever's "Future Foods" ambition

Unilever has announced a new annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years. The growth will be driven by the roll-out of The Vegetarian Butcher as well as increasing vegan alternatives from brands including Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s.

The target is part of Unilever’s "Future Foods" ambition, launched globally today with two key objectives: to help people transition towards healthier diets and to help reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain.

Unilever, which also makes Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr, has also committed to:

1. Halve food waste in its direct global operations from factory to shelf by 2025
Five years earlier than previously committed, as part of the Champions 12.3 coalition target.

2. Double the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025
Defined as products containing impactful amounts of vegetables, fruits, proteins, or micronutrients like vitamins, zinc, iron and iodine.

3. Continue lowering calorie, salt and sugar levels across products
85% of Unilever’s global Foods portfolio will help consumers reduce their salt intake to no more than 5g per day, by 2022.

1.95% of Unilever’s packaged ice cream will not contain more than 22g of total sugar, and 250 Kcal per serving, by 2025.

This is in addition to the company’s children’s ice creams, which have been capped at 110 kcal since 2014.

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