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Danish biotech company will make the food industry climate neutral by 2030

Danish company Novozymes is researching technologies in microbiology that will make food production virtually climate neutral.

The food industry is sometimes criticized for having a negative impact on the environment when producing food, but this might not be the case by 2030 according to Danish biotech company Novozymes.

In the beginning of 2017 Novozymes published a study showing how enzymes and microorganisms can raise the yield of food production while lowering emission of greenhouse gasses. The carbon dioxide-emission of chicken production in USA can be reduced by 87 million tons (9 billion chickens are yearly produced in USA) as an example according to Novozymes. That is equivalent to removing 18 million carbon dioxide-emitting cars from the roads.

But the opportunities are even bigger than that says Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes Americas region.

“I have seen what Novozymes has in store for the food industry, and while I cannot tell you about any specific numbers, I can say it is looking great. We are learning more and more about the microbiology of food while using nature’s own tools. This will have a massive impact on the sector”, he says.

Novozymes scientists are studying and developing useful microorganisms found in the earth in order to create a technology that will increase agricultural yield and combat pests while being 100% biocircular. Sustainability is key.

According to Novozymes, biotechnology can reduce the carbon dioxide-emission of chicken production in USA by 87 million tons

The innovation in this field of technology is advancing rapidly and thus production is becoming cheaper as well.

“I have no doubt that our technology will be accessible for farmers in less developed countries very soon. We have seen it with so many other types of technology like the cellphone which most people have, no matter where they are from”, Adam Monroe says.

And the time horizon is not that big at all:

“I am quite sure it will be before 2030”, says Adam Monroe referring to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals”.
Novozymes is known as a frontrunner in microbiological food solutions, like the Novamyl® enzyme, which makes bread stay fresh longer, thus reducing food waste.

The future of food production

He tells that the company’s research and technological achievements are contributing to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Especially number 13 about “taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.

To accelerate this contribution political support is necessary:
“We are two actors who are responsible for this kind of technology. We, the innovators, have to be open-minded and share our research. And they, the regulators and politicians, have to understand the research and use it for creating policies”.

The public debate about food’s environmental impact is escalating these years, but to Adam Monroe this is great, because we will have to react quickly.

“It is very important to be interested in how the world is developing. The passion and concern about sustainability is great. But to be honest, the meat consumption for example is rising globally and we have to act fast on making the production and consumption way more sustainable. There is still room for dramatic improvement”, he says.

Would you like to know how the Danish food cluster works with sustainability? Read more about Food Nation’s stronghold on sustainability.

Source: Fødevarewatch
Photo credit: Novozymes