7.3 million tonnes of food. 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. £13 billion of edible food thrown away every year.

This month v3 took part in the CEO CookOff - an event aiming to raise £2 million for UK Harvest and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. We also created our own story around food waste –  trying out DayOld, a social enterprise re-selling surplus baked goods to offices around London, Toast beers, which are brewed using surplus bread, designing posters aiming to raise awareness. And heard Too Good To Go talk about their ambition to make the app a catalyst in behavioural change around food waste. 

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Waste is a big problem and there are already big things happening to address it. Businesses are setting up to solve this global issue. From large scale waste haulage companies creating biofuel and fertilizer to digital apps.

It’s incredible to think that one man’s waste really is another man’s treasure and that today’s business leaders and entrepreneurs have proven that business for good can be profitable as well as ethical.

Charles Vigliotti in New York is a prime example. He’s changing the world by creating alternative energy purely from food waste. Originally a hauler of all waste, he’s hoping to create two separate revenue streams new venture: Fine fertilisers and biogas, which can be burned to make heat and electricity.

On a slightly smaller scale, there’s Too Good To Go. A social enterprise helping solve the problem of excess food. Their business is simple: partner with food outlets sell portions of their otherwise wasted food via the Too Good To Go app for the customer to collect. It’s a great way of giving food outlets the opportunity to reduce losses on unsold products while helping solve a social problem.

Most people believe that responsibility for taking the lead to solve societal problems belongs to businesses. Around the world, a new generation of social entrepreneurs is proving that it’s possible to create real change and make a profit. By 2050 the world’s population will be 9.6 billion. It’s up to today’s business leaders to make sure we can feed them all.

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