Invest in plant-based foods

Cows emit huge quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas

The earth needs you. More and more businesses and multinational organizations are sending us the same message: a plant-based diet is vital and necessary for a sustainable environment. One of the latest is the global management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which published a report entitled, “Food for Thought: The Untapped Climate Opportunity in Alternative Proteins.”

Investing in plant-based foods can make a big difference. According to BCG’s report, investments in plant-based alternatives result in 11 times more greenhouse gas reductions than those in zero-emission cars. They also come out on top when compared with green cement technology and green building investments. “There’s been a lot of investments into electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, which is all great and helpful to reduce emissions” says BCG’s M. Clausen. He goes on to say, “We have not seen comparable investment yet [in alternative proteins], even though it’s rising rapidly,” he added. “If you really care about impact as an investor, this is an area that you definitely need to understand.”

The good news is that plant-based investments are picking up, and experts expect the market to soar in the coming years. In fact, last year, Bloomberg Intelligence projected that the plant-based food market could hit $162 billion in the next decade. That’s serious money.

Some climate activists have come up with a plan called Appetite for a Plant-Based Treaty which highlights how the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has repeatedly demonstrated that a vegan diet is the best diet to drastically reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions. The treaty has so far been endorsed by over 50 groups and prominent individuals. The Plant-Based Treaty has 3 core principles: relinquish the expansion of animal agriculture, redirect policies favoring a plant-based food system, and restore ecosystems and reforest the Earth.

There’s more good news. Environmental organizations are finally beginning to get on  board. For instance, Dr Peter Carter, of the IPCC and Director of the Climate Emergency Institute says, “The science is definite, global climate catastrophe cannot be averted without the elimination of meat and dairy in our diet, and that must happen fast.”

Courtney Vail, Campaign Director at Oceanic Preservation Society, added: “Changing our diets from a focus on animal-based to plant-based products is one of the most powerful things we can do to positively impact the world. Animal agriculture utilizes precious water resources, releases climate-altering greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and reduces the planet’s ability to sequester carbon by destroying diverse ecosystems.”

As investors contribute to the plant-based alternative market, a wider variety of products will become available, making it ever easier for people to shift their diets away from animal based products.  As demand for animal products reduces, fewer animals will need to be raised, thus lowering the greenhouse gas emissions and pollution caused by animal agriculture.  Let’s hope that society can do this soon enough to avoid a climate catastrophe.