Earlier this month, I attended The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:comics conference where top business and environmental leaders, policy makers and entrepreneurs met to discuss the intersection of business and the environment. This wasn’t a sudden embrace of the green movement by the preeminent business newspaper in the U.S. — it was a very realistic look at both the opportunities and threats that these companies face from environmental issues. Here’s a peek at what these leaders are thinking about food and fuel issues.
By the Numbers
Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.
10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.
Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.
Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.
The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.
Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.
Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.
Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.
The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.