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Life at Toast Blog

Toast.org’s A Toast to the Earth

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Amy S.-B.
VP of Social Impact

 

In my role as Vice President of Social Impact, I oversee Toast.org and our efforts to solve critical issues in the food ecosystem that impact people and planet. Our goal with Toast.org is to deploy our people, products and philanthropic capital to create a healthier, more sustainable and equitable world.


Naturally during Earth Month in April, our focus was on the intersection of food and the environment. Within the food system (the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food), there are significant opportunities for improvement that would lead to the necessary reductions of carbon emissions required to stabilize the climate and prevent the worst effects of climate change.

 

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For example, an estimated 30% of the world’s food is lost or wasted. Not only is that food not going to those in need, but it is also contributing to our changing climate representing roughly 6% of human-generated greenhouse gasses (the equivalent of 32.6M cars.)


Solutions to the issue of food waste range from prevention to rescue to responsible recycling of the extra food, and there are many areas where Toast can help. For example, we support organizations like Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Food Link and their work rescuing and distributing fresh food to those who need it most.


But our opportunity for impact isn’t just outside the four walls of Toast. It’s imperative that we manage and reduce the impacts of our own business on the environment as well. Toward that end, we are currently conducting our first greenhouse gas audit to understand the major drivers of our own carbon footprint (for example, electricity used in our offices and air travel) and to inform reduction strategies, like increasing our use of renewable energy.

 

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It’s an exciting time for all of us to think about how we bring the innovative and purpose-driven spirit of Toast to bear to build a healthier, more sustainable and equitable world - where the food system isn’t contributing to the overall degradation of the environment and where everyone has a chance to thrive and create opportunity for themselves.


Toward this end, Toast.org hosted A Toast to the Earth, a month-long event centered around Earth Day and Earth Month, providing opportunities for Toasters to contribute to solutions. Toasters were able to apply for our Employee Grants Challenge, giving them a chance to introduce new organizations to Toast.org and to pitch their favorite environmental nonprofit to senior leaders on Earth Day. Toasters also joined their local chapters in volunteer events around the world. They also attended education sessions on composting, food waste, the marine environment and the future of food. We even had a category in our bi-annual Hackathon called “Hack-EARTH-on” where Toasters could come together to come up with ideas on how our products can create a more sustainable world. 

 

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