A new Model Executive Order on Municipal Leadership on Food Waste Reduction developed by NRDC and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) can help municipalities reduce the amount of food wasted throughout municipal operations, highlight the importance of reducing food waste, and demonstrate food waste reduction measures that businesses and other entities may voluntarily replicate. Up to 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted. Local governments are well-positioned to address our nation’s food waste problem, and to lead by example in doing so. Given the large amount of food that some municipalities procure and the many people that they employ, the impact of food waste reduction measures in municipal operations can be substantial and far-reaching.

The best practices that municipalities implement as part of this new model executive order will lead to direct reductions in municipal food waste generation and disposal and allow municipalities to raise awareness about food waste and encourage food waste reduction—not only among municipal employees but among businesses and other local entities as well.

While the lead by example (LBE) concept has been deployed by states and cities in a range of sustainability contexts (one of the most common examples is energy efficiency), ELI’s research did not identify any state or local LBE initiatives focused specifically on food waste reduction. The model is intended to fill this gap and help cities realize the myriad environmental, social, and economic benefits of leading by example on food waste reduction. It includes provisions based on extensive best practices research related to staffing, municipal buildings and properties, municipal departments that serve food, special event permitting, procurement laws and policies, municipal education programs, benefits and recognition programs for municipal employees, and department-specific strategies.

To read the full story, visit https://www.nrdc.org/bio/darby-hoover/model-executive-order-helps-cities-lead-example-food-waste.
Author: Darby Hoover (NDRC), Linda Breggin, and Jessica Sugarman (Environmental Law Institute)
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.