29/04/2020 – News / Sustainability / Environment / BioFarm / Aleph Farms / Carbon-Neutral
Aleph Farms to go carbon-neutral by 2025
Sustainable food systems pioneer Aleph Farms – the first company to produce meat on the International Space Station, without dependency on local natural resources and without slaughtering animals – has committed to net-zero emissions across its supply chain, and is leveraging its existing plans for pilot plant (BioFarm) to reach sustainability goals at scale.
Valued at more than US$1 trillion, the global meat market is expanding at a pace – and environmental impact, resource use, ethical issues and bio-security concerns remain factors of contention surrounding the segment. With the goal of helping to reshape the global meat, Israel-headquartered Aleph Farms is one of few companies poised to emerge as a leader in this space. The firm, which cultivates real steak from the cells of living cows – without harming animals or the environment – was names one of the 20 Hottest Startups of 2019, amongst the top 50 Hot Tech Companies Globally in 2019, and one of the Top 10 Israeli inventions of the last 10 years.
Building on such recognition, the company has just announced its new sustainability strategy: to eliminate emissions associated with its meat production by 2025 and reach the same net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030.
Amid the COVID-19 health crisis, Aleph Farms told Food & Beverage Networker that it is consolidating its approach for food system resilience – not only to cope with local and global supply chain disruptions that put food securities at risk, but also to promote natural ecosystem preservation and reduce friction points with wild animals. As it prepares for active pilot-plant (BioFarm) operations next year, the company has set the bar higher for its sustainable development goals.
Meat’s sizeable environmental footprint
It is calculated that food production is responsible for over one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture uses half of the world’s habitable land and around 70 per cent of the freshwater withdrawals. In addition, 94 per cent of mammal biomass (excluding humans) is livestock: outweighing wild mammals by a factor of 15-to-one while posing a threat to the conservation of biodiversity in a global ecosystem. Aleph Farms’ move sets to limit global warming to 1.5°C – as targeted under the Paris climate agreement – and translate the European Green Deal resolutions into actionable climate practices that decrease ecological footprints of food production on a global scale.
Towards a carbon-neutral system
Striving to nourish the world and provide unconditional access to high-quality, safe and affordable nutrition to a growing population, Aleph Farms is actively engaging in a dialogue with livestock farmers to integrate cultivated meat as part of a solution set to fundamental challenges that the agriculture industry is facing, such as eroding revenues and increased retirement rate in developed countries. This establishment of a new category of meat products will actively support the capacity of current and future generations to maintain prosperous communities, as partners across the supply chain work jointly towards a carbon-neutral system. The company outlined a series of efforts and achievements it will leverage to reach its goals:
• Sustainability Advisory Board: The Company gathered top-level thought leaders from around the world to solicit views, reach objectives and implement its holistic approach to sustainability across the ecosystem’s entire value chain: Danielle Nierenberg, The President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues; Aimée Christensen, CEO of Christensen Global Strategies and the Founder and Executive Director of the Sun Valley Institute; and Marc Buckley, Advocate for the UN SDG's, Advisor & Consultant to the UNFCCC, Expert for WEF on Innovation, Sustainability, Agriculture Seafood, Food, and Beverages, and Climate Speaker and Mentor trained by former US Vice President Al Gore.
• Z-Board: In February, the Company announced the establishment of its ‘Z-Board’ – a dialogue platform that engages Generation Z leaders in the vision development for future generations.
• Sustainable Production and Process Design: The Company is collaborating with Black & Veatch – a global engineering and construction company – to build a resilient, compliant, and sustainable infrastructure for large-scale production, with the foundational principles of circular economy and renewable energy.
One of the year’s most promising innovations
It’s not only on planet Earth where Aleph’s efficient solutions for food security have been applied. Last year, the firm became the first to produce meat on the International Space Station – without dependency on local natural resources and without slaughtering animals, and utilising 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
In recognition of its continuous efforts towards sustainable food systems on this planet, Aleph’s innovation has been selected by Netexplo Forum, in partnership with UNESCO, as one of the ’10 most promising innovations of the year’ in terms of its positive impact and sustainable development.
Building food system resilience
As part of raising awareness to the impact of many small viral changes in the ways we manage our lives on the world around us, earlier in March the company started powering an initiative called #MyViralChange.
“At a time when the occurrence of regional and global crisis is increasing – African Swine Fever, Australia fires, COVID-19 – food system resilience is at the core of Aleph Farms' vision and the key to building a better future for generations that follow,” says Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “We have to rethink the way we use our natural resources, but our sustainability approach encompasses not only aggressive environmental goals – it also targets social, nutritional and economic objectives. We are identifying challenges and bottlenecks, engaging with experts and youth leaders, raising awareness and driving innovation across the entire value chain in order to accelerate the necessary global transition of our food system into the right direction.”
The way food systems across the world utilise the world’s finite resources wields a major influence on the direction in which climate change, food security, and socio-economic consequences will follow, according to Lee Recht, PhD, Head of Sustainability at Aleph Farms. “We see the situation and the challenges through an ‘innovation lens’ – that helps us understand the responsibility we share and the impact we have on the state of our world and our people.”
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