A sustainable food system makes it possible to support several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including responsible consumption and production (12), climate action (13), marine life and its resources (14), and terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity (15). At the same time, food production accounts for about 25% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why the theme of this year’s Nordic Council Environment Prize is sustainable food systems, and the nominees were announced today at the Fundur fólksins democracy festival in Iceland, where the Nordic Council Environment Prize secretariat is based.
Lars Hindkjær, chairman of the judging committee, said:
This summer’s severe weather events around the world and the IPCC’s recently published report have underlined the need to retain a focus on the way we produce and consume food. So we are delighted with the eight projects that have been nominated for this year’s Environment Prize. Each in their own way, they show how a more sustainable food system can create positive changes for our environment and climate.
The nominees for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021 are:
The winner will be announced on 2 November 2021 at the Nordic Council’s award ceremony in Copenhagen.
About this year’s theme: Sustainable food systems
For food production to be considered sustainable, the food must be produced locally where possible, using environmentally sustainable methods. In agriculture, the emphasis is on recirculated plant nutrition and environmentally friendly farming practices that take into account greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, biodiversity and good management of water resources. Those engaged in animal husbandry and fish farming accept an environmental responsibility and maintain high standards of animal welfare. Natural resources used for food, such as game, wild fish and other natural products, are exploited wisely.
When ingredients are processed into food products, as much as possible of their nutritional content is preserved. There is no waste of resources in the food industry, products are packaged in an energy-efficient way and the environmental impact of distribution is minimised. Companies and retailers offer customers sustainable alternatives, and minimise food waste through their own initiatives. The food that consumers buy is based on environmentally sustainable alternatives, such as vegetarian food adapted to the seasons. We eat as many calories as we need, no food goes to waste and organic waste is recycled.
About the Nordic Council Environment Prize
This year is the 27th time the Nordic Council Environment Prize will be awarded, and in 2021 it will honour Nordic initiatives that have made a special effort to secure a sustainable food system. Anyone can nominate candidates for the prize, and the winner will be awarded DKK 300,000.
The prize was first awarded in 1995, and aims to raise awareness of environmental work in the Nordic countries. Anyone can nominate candidates. The Environment Prize is awarded to a Nordic individual, organisation or company that has managed to integrate respect for the environment into its business or activities in an exemplary manner, or has made an exceptional contribution to the environment in some other way.