Knowledge Hub

Provision Coalition – 2019 SDG Leadership Awards

Provision Coalition

Website: provisioncoalition.com

Industry: Food and Beverage Manufacturing

Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

Provision Coalition was founded as a coalition of 17 provincial and national agri-food association members focused on working collaboratively to support the sustainable growth of Canadian food and beverage processors and manufacturers.

Through this mandate, the organization has successfully leveraged the expertise of its coalition and industry partners to help address the mega-challenges facing the food system including the reduction of food loss + waste, climate change mitigation and circular economy. In addition, Provision has worked collaboratively with government and private businesses to align priorities, realize impact and provide knowledge-transfer to industry.

How was your primary SDG integrated and anchored throughout your business?

Partnerships is core to who we are and how we operate. Our mandate is to make food sustainability, and that requires building partnerships between the public and private sector, and civil society. Our projects and initiatives typically include partnership and collaborations between multiple stakeholders, such as government, private businesses, NGO’s and academia.

One of our keystone projects, The Food Loss + Waste Prevention Program, was funded as part of a grant by the Walmart Foundation in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, a Canadian non-profit and Enviro-Stewards ,a private B-Corp. engineering firm. Through this partnership we were able to engage 50 private manufacturing companies and their employees, representing civil society, to promote the reduction of food loss + waste, conduct public trust research and establish industry best practices for FLW prevention. Public funding and resources were also leveraged to deliver the program.

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

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Many national and international partnerships were created and leveraged. Provision Coalition participated as a key informant in the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) discussions regarding food loss + waste reduction between Mexico, USA, and Canada. Partnerships were created with The Walmart Foundation, Enviro-Stewards and Canadian Centre for Food Integrity to deliver the program to 50 manufacturing facilities across Canada.

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

We communicated frequently to our database of over 1,000 stakeholders telling them about the opportunity to participate in the national program and reported the results achieved to date. We attended and spoke at numerous national and international events, sharing the successes from the partnership and the results from industry. Communication of results will be shared at our final event on September 12th where we will report the results of the program which will be livestreamed across Canada.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

KPIs for this project were defined based on impact.  The KPIs included:

  • the number of partnerships created
  • the amount of food loss + waste reduction opportunities identified
  • the environmental and social benefit of those reductions (GHG emissions, water reduction, energy reduction, meals saved).

These KPI’s were outlined in our commitment to the Walmart Foundation for the delivery of the program and communicated externally.

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?

Reporting and monitoring was conceptualized through the requirement of the Walmart Foundation grant program, aligning with our company purpose and vision for the industry. It was undertaken as an ongoing task. Every two weeks we updated our progress towards our target, Provision Coalition was responsible for reporting and monitoring these numbers.

What were some key lessons learned? Please also elaborate on any setbacks you may have encountered.

We learned that connecting with international partners is critical to creating efficiencies and avoiding duplication of effort. We partnered with WRAP UK who had already developed a roadmap for food loss + waste reduction; we worked with them to make it applicable in Canada. This reduced the need for us to start from scratch to create the same type of roadmap.In addition, we learned that most processing and manufacturing facilities assumed that if they are diverting their waste they are managing their waste processes efficiently; however, they are losing much of its value. There was a larger education component to the project than what we had initially planned for.  The food waste assessments conducted in the project calculated the true cost of their waste (the initial investment in raw ingredients & packaging materials and the energy, water, labour, wastewater, and disposal costs) providing a complete picture of the facilities total waste, its economic value and its environmental impact.  This provided the necessary business case to address this loss, and accompanied with tangible solutions, meant that manufacturers were equipped with information to drive real action.

What were the key impacts and results?

The key impacts we were able to achieve were in the food loss + waste reduction results, our secondary SDG focus. By creating these partnerships, we completed assessments at 50 food & beverage processors across Canada.  Savings per facility are averaging:

  • $250,000/year (< 1 year payback)
  • 80,000 kg/year of food
  • 460 tonnes of GHG/year
  • 125,000 meals/year

Based on results to date, it is estimated that after all 50 demonstration assessments are completed, the collective savings will be:

  • $12,5000,000 / year
  • 4,000,000 kg of food / year
  • 23,000 tonnes of embedded & added GHG / year
  • 6,250,000 meals / year

In addition to these savings, we engaged hundreds of members of civil society on what they can do at home to further reduce waste. For case study results, see the Conestoga Meat Packers case study here and the Fiasco Gelato case study here.