UK-based WRAP partner with UAE sustainability company to support their Food Loss and Waste Protocol in the UAE
Thriving Solutions, a UAE-based sustainability and circular economy consultancy, have signed a deal with UK’s climate action NGO WRAP to assist their “Food Loss and Waste in the UAE” project. The project, which is supported by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), is designed to increase knowledge about food loss and waste (FLW) in the UAE and develop capabilities within local operators to measure and ultimately reduce it.
Thriving Solutions have been specially selected by WRAP to oversee the review of the “Connecting Food Loss and Waste to Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Guidance for Companies” element of the internationally recognised Food Loss and Waste Protocol and Standard and the Greenhouse Gas Guidance Tool and assess its applicability to the UAE. Their work will be used to adapt the internationally recognised Guidance Tool, which quantifies greenhouse gases associated with FLW, to the local market. This joint project will bring the UK’s successful FLW reduction experience to the region and also create an important UK-UAE partnership able to support future activities and initiatives dedicated to FLW.
His Majesty’s Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, said “The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi is delighted to support the UK Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and their local partner, Thriving Solutions, in delivering this initiative here in the UAE. Reducing food waste has never been more important given the impact of climate change and our diminishing resources, coupled with a growing global population.
“As we look towards COP28 later this year and the need for meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gases, this is an example of the support that the UK is providing to our Emirati partners. We know that addressing climate change will require renewed efforts and collaboration from governments, commercial entities, and the general public at large”.
Seta Tutundjian the Founder and CEO of Thriving Solutions says, “Food loss and waste is a huge problem in the Arab region. Unfortunately, we do not know its exact scale and dimensions because of the limited studies carried out, but all estimates indicate that the region wastes much more than the global average, albeit that we import the majority of our food. In the UAE, the per capita food loss and waste is a staggering 285 kilograms per person per year. This is more than twice the average loss and waste in Japan or Singapore, it is also an excess of 100 kg per person more than the average in neighbouring Saudi Arabia”.
Seta, who is also the co-lead of the global Food is Never Waste Coalition, a body that seeks to encourage countries halve their food waste by 2030, goes on to say: “The UAE commitment to the Paris Agreement is to halve their food loss and waste by 2030. This is a huge and commendable undertaking and the guidance tool for GHGs that we are adapting to the UAE will facilitate quantifying and tracking the associated GHG emissions avoided.”
Richard Swannell, Interim CEO at WRAP, said: “The UAE is a key focus for food loss and waste due to the scale and the increasing importance of this issue in this region. At WRAP, we recognise the need to share knowledge and experience on a global level, while also considering the individual needs of separate countries. WRAP is delighted to be partnering with Thriving Solutions to customise the most effective solutions which are necessary to reduce food loss and waste in the UAE.”
To kick-start their collaboration WRAP and Thriving Solutions will be hosting a virtual event on Monday the 20th of March to highlight the importance of FLW reduction efforts in the Arab region and introduce the International Standard and Protocol for measuring FLW. The free virtual meeting is open to the public and will be held in English, at 13:30.