Why Collaboration is Critical to the World Feeding Itself

September 05, 2019

September is #HungerActionMonth! Read a message from Dane Taival, Vice President and General Manager of Thermo King North America, to learn more about how collaboration in business and across our communities can help to feed more people while wasting less food.

Last month, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that underscored the need for greater collaboration to reduce food waste in their recommendations for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and improving food security.

Both climate and hunger are important issues to us just as they are to our customers and the communities across the U.S. and around the world where we work, live and play. Approximately 10 percent of our world’s populations suffer from undernourishment while roughly one-third of the food produced in the world gets lost or wasted.  When the food we grow is not eaten, a considerable amount of resources involved in growing, harvesting, packaging and transporting food are also lost, including labor, water, energy, land and other natural resources.

Food waste impacts valuable resources and our climate. According to the World Resources Institute, if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the U.S. These are statistics we can change, but they need urgent action.

As a global company leading innovation of climate control solutions, we have long considered it our responsibility to improve efficiencies and the environmental footprint of our products and solutions. How we innovate and collaborate across the U.S. and around the world touches the lives of our families, our partners and the most vulnerable among us.

This month in the U.S. we recognize September as Hunger Action month. It’s a time when we raise awareness of the hunger crisis and actively seek solutions to help the world feed itself. I encourage business leaders, community leaders and each of us as individuals to think about ways we can collaborate in business and across our communities to feed more people while wasting less food.

What I know, is that collaboration is key to more efficiently sharing our time, our expertise and our passion. In just two years, we’ve witnessed that it’s possible to feed more people and waste less through our We Move Food program that is built around a model of collaboration.

Our family of Thermo King dealers across the U.S. partner with Feeding America food banks and local food recovery programs to provide grants, in-kind donations and educational support to increase each food banks’ capacity, and in some cases, to recover food that may otherwise go to waste and redirect it safely to communities in need. Through this collaboration, We Move Food has proven it’s possible to feed more people by wasting less and ultimately improve food security. By the end of the year, more than 5.7 million meals will have been served through our We Move Food program. It’s healthier for society and healthier for our planet.

How we innovate with our products, our operations and across our supply chain is equally important for reducing food loss and waste and driving environmentally-focused solutions. When we share our innovations through collaborative partnerships like We Move Food, we equip nonprofits with technologies—often out of their financial reach— that improve efficiencies to help them reach more people.  For example, We Move Food has partnered with a food bank to provide solar panels for their vehicles. 

We’ve also introduced nonprofit food banks to our connected assets that enhance visibility of temperature-sensitive cargo throughout transport. With the ability to monitor and proactively adjust temperatures en route, drivers are better able to ensure food is safely carried throughout the duration of transport. These technologies play a significant role in reducing food waste.

We’re also collaborating with customers, serving as a trusted advisor as we move closer to rapid market adoption of electrical architectures. More of our customers have a desire to operate sustainably and reduce their environmental impact because innovation is making it possible and more affordable and it’s the right thing to do.

I believe in the power of collaboration. We have a history of collaborating with customers, industry leaders, regulatory bodies, and nonprofits that demonstrates our commitment to the continuous advancement of climate control solutions and the betterment of our society. Today, I hope you’ll take a closer look at collaboration too.

Dane Taival
Vice President and General Manager of Thermo King North America