Together to Tackle Food Waste and Inefficient Lighting: GE and Grains

Together to Tackle Food Waste and Inefficient Lighting: GE and Grains
May 27, 2015 at 03:05pm

The statistics on the two interrelated issues of food waste and energy waste from inefficient lighting are shocking. That’s why GE Lighting has teamed up with UAE-based social enterprise Grains on initiatives to create a cleaner and more efficient United Arab Emirates.

The two companies will work to address the difficult fact that roughly one-third of the food produced around the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. What’s more, an excess of 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gases are needlessly generated every year because of this food waste.

The impact of inefficient lighting also is huge. For example, if every home in the United States replaced just ONE light bulb with a fluorescent or LED light, that would save enough electricity to light 2 million homes for a year and prevent 6 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Given new stories every day about both hunger — one in nine people suffer from undernourishment — and our warming planet — more of Antarctica’s glaciers are melting more rapidly — it’s urgent to address both problems, by reducing energy and food waste.

GE Lighting will be a key partner of Grains in driving its social responsibility campaigns. “Wasting energy can be just as harmful as wasting food, so it’s a priority to encourage individuals and companies be thoughtful about how they use their resources, whether food or electricity,” said Agostino Renna, President & CEO, GE Lighting, EMEA.

The collaboration will encourage people and businesses to adopt sustainable lighting solutions that boost building efficiency, take steps to support reductions in food waste and combat hunger, and to promote composting of food waste.

Grains is a unique UAE-based company that is using technology to create systems and incentives to reduce both individual and commercial food waste, to directly address hunger by providing meals to those in need, and to promote composting. Home composting can potentially divert up to 150 kg of food waste per household per year from landfills by providing fertilizer and soil to new plants.

With a range of LED and other high-efficiency lighting solutions, GE Lighting is a natural partner to Grains, especially since LED lights are one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce power consumption. GE’s LED lighting systems will be available at all Grains commerce locations, whether shop-in-ships, kiosks, Grains stores, e-commerce platforms, and Grains third-party locations and distribution channels.

As the partnership develops, GE Lighting and Grains will work towards a UAE-wide strategy to secure large, lighting-based energy reduction programs with hotels, franchise operations, petrol stations, institutions and commercial houses that are aligned with the core objective of making a more sustainable UAE.

It was a GE scientist who invented the first commercially viable LED light, establishing GE Lighting as a leader in the environmentally friendly LED market for home, office and roadway settings. More broadly, GE has made a multibillion dollar commitment through its ecomagination portfolio of technology solutions to help customers and GE itself save money and reduce environmental impacts.

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