The 4 Pillars

Fixing the Business of Food calls on all companies in the food sector, both producers and distributors, to adopt clear guidelines, metrics, and reporting standards to align with the global goals.

The report identifies four overarching topics to help SDG alignment of the food sector.

Products that contribute to healthy and sustainable dietary patterns

Addresses the impact of products and services offered on human wellbeing and the planet’s sustainability.

The food industry has a major responsibility to address and reverse today’s epidemics of obesity, metabolic diseases, and other related disorders, and to address the special needs and challenges facing low-income households, which must obtain nutritious diets on a tight budget.

Sustainable ways to produce food

Refers to internal activities of the business, addressing social issues and environmental impacts.

Each company’s production processes raise a host of sustainability issues, such as the worker compensation and safety, the environmental sustainability of production processes regarding land, air, water, biodiversity, packaging and waste. Many of these questions are core topics of company reporting and practices, but others are not, especially the multi-dimensional environmental impacts of production processes. Companies should pursue best practices in social and environmental management, especially if they are already following higher standards elsewhere.

Sustainable global supply chains

Expands the responsibility of the company to the ecosystem of which it is part, to its interactions with providers, ensuring that its supply chain addresses social and environmental impacts and externalities.

Supply-chain co-responsibility raises a host of new and difficult challenges. Many companies, especially large multinational companies, source their inputs from many countries, and the largest from dozens of countries.

Monitoring of and co-responsibility for these global supply chains is therefore complex. Yet supply chain sustainability is vital.

Good corporate citizenship

Refers to how companies are governed internally, and how they engage externally and with their community.

The SDG transformations depend on eliminating negative externalities, that is company processes (even legal ones) that impose harms on others and the planet. Companies need to align their strategy with the SDGs, monitor their own behaviors, and report on them in order to bring such negative externalities under control, and to bring about positive externalities to contribute to tackling planetary and social challenges. Institutions play a key role in verifying and monitoring business behaviors.