Working together for sustainable and resilient food systems

The way we source and dispose of food is pushing us beyond the Earth’s planetary boundaries – the limits within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive. 

The food sector needs a radically new collaborative approach to address this challenge and return to a ‘safe space’. To do this, we must tackle two intertwined priorities together:

  1. Reduce carbon at every stage of the food value chain
  2. Ensure food safety and availability for all

It’s why we are excited to be part of Sweden’s COP27 Delegation this year, where we plan to use our global footprint and industry expertise to accelerate actions and enable a shift towards resilient and sustainable food systems and healthier diets. Our progress depends on embracing a mindset which drives both growth and sustainability for a better future –system thinking, science-based decisions and collaborative innovation are crucial to this.  

"A wholly new, transformational approach [to food systems] must be adopted. This can be facilitated by a newly developed framework for coordinated systemic action."


Johan Rockström, Director
The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Member, Sustainability Advisory Panel, Tetra Pak

a special purpose paper by Johan Rockström and Svetlana Milutinović from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Remodelling the Global Food System for the Anthropocene

Co-authored by Johan Rockström, leading climate scientist and member of our Sustainability Advisory Panel, the paper offers a science-based approach to make the argument that the way we source and secure food is pushing us beyond the Earth’s planetary boundaries – the limits within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive. From climate change to biodiversity loss and pollution, we cannot continue to push these boundaries without putting societies at risk. As a result, a radical approach is required to create more sustainable food systems.

How are we transforming food systems while enabling healthier diets?

In recent decades, food systems have delivered major human development benefits through massive increases in productivity. Yet, today’s systems are no longer fit for purpose. They are failing to deliver healthy diets, with 800m people going hungry daily and 2 billion people overweight or obese. At the same time food systems bear high hidden costs - amounting to some $12 trillion each year - and have a detrimental impact on the environment. We need to reinvent how we source, produce and process our food, its transportation and the materials we use to package it.

The opportunities to do that lie in four key areas:

  • Increasing access to safe, affordable and nutritious food
  • Reducing food loss and waste
  • Building sustainable and resilient food supply chains
  • Leveraging innovations in food packaging and processing to improve global food security

This is a monumental task. Every actor counts.

Essential to this progress is collaboration, both across industries and between the private sector and governments. To drive food systems transformation and decarbonisation Tetra Pak is collaborating with multiple partners, including the Private Sector Mechanism of the United Nations FAO's Committee for Food Security and the Corporate Consultive Group of the World Resources Institute.

What are we hoping to achieve at COP27?

At this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, the focus needs to be on how collaborative action, policy reform and innovation can help drive the decarbonisation of food systems for the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals. 

It isn’t enough to say change is needed. A long-term, collaborative approach needs to be at the heart of all pledges, initiatives, and agreements to make this transformation happen. Tetra Pak is coming to COP27 to accelerate actions towards sustainable and resilient food systems.

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Programme

Please note all times are in local time in Egypt, UTC+2, events may start later than the scheduled time. This schedule is subject to change. Watch here the sessions as they will be live-streamed from the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

7th November, 10:45 AM
The role of innovation in the Green Transition
A panel discussion led by Business Sweden.

8th November, 1:20 PM
A Just Transition, Grounded in Human Rights: The Role of Businesses
A panel discussion led by the Raoul Wallenburg Institute

10th November 10:00 AM
High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate
A event hosted by UN Global Compact. Please note: this event is not livestreamed

10th November 5:20 PM
Individual versus industrial change - who’s responsible for reaching global net zero emissions?
A panel discussion hosted by Doconomy

11th November 4:20 PM
The importance of system-thinking and circularity for decarbonisation
A panel discussion led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

11th November 6:00 PM
Carbon-neutral and resilient agri-food systems
A panel discussion between Tetra Pak, the World Food Programme, the FAO and the UNFCCC. Please note: this event is hosted at the FAO Pavilion and will be livestreamed here.

12th November 9:00 AM
Adaptation: Business opportunities and responsibilities
A panel discussion hosted by the Global Challenges Foundation

12th November 12:00 PM
Call for collaboration: Developing climate resilient food system pathways  

12th November 1:00 PM
Technological innovations accelerating circularity within the food value chain
A panel discussion hosted by Tetra Pak, with Alfa Laval, Ragn-Sells, and the City of São Paulo. Moderated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

12th November 2:00 PM
How can we produce sufficient, healthy, and affordable protein in a sustainable way to feed a global population of 11 billion people by 2050?
A panel discussion hosted by Alfa Laval

12th November 5:40 PM
Healthy Planet and Healthy People – Dairy Net Zero, A Call for Action
A panel discussion hosted by Tetra Pak, with the FAO, Johan Rockström, Arla – other participants to be confirmed

16th November 12:00 PM
Nature Positive action for Net Zero future
A panel discussion hosted by Tetra Pak, participants to be confirmed

17th November 11:00 AM
The transition to a green and circular economy
Part of German-Swedish Industry Day
This event will be live streamed from Berlin and Sharm El-Sheikh

17th November 2:00 PM
Bioproducts as a solution for reaching carbon neutrality in the petrochemical-plastics industry. Please note: this event is hosted at the ICC Pavilion and will not be livestreamed.