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Preventing and reducing food waste to reduce environmental impacts and to help reach 2030 climate targets
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 2: Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-friendly Food Systems from Primary Production to Consumption
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
In line with the European Green Deal priorities, the farm to fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, and the EU's climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the successful proposals will support R&I to prevent and reduce food waste. They should therefore contribute to the transformation of food systems to deliver co-benefits for climate (mitigation and adaptation), biodiversity, environmental sustainability and circularity, sustainable food consumption, food poverty reduction and empowerment of communities, and thriving businesses.
Climate change and environmental degradation are recognised as the main challenges to tackle in the European Green Deal. Food waste prevention and reduction could contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, pollution reduction, better air quality, biodiversity preservation...
The 2030 climate target plan sets out to raise the EU’s ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Member States have prepared integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs) to achieve their 2030 targets.
The Commission brought support and expertise to Member States in the elaboration of their NECP and will continue to do so by supporting the full implementation of the plans, and prepare their update due in 2023.
Key policies within the framework of the European Green Deal also include the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the farm to fork strategy, and the EU zero pollution action plan.
Proposals should address all the following points:
- Provide reliable quantitative data for several Member States/Associated Countries on the environmental footprint of food waste, based on Life Cycle Assessments, and more specifically the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method developed by the European Commission.
- A specific focus on the following Environmental Footprint (EF) impact categories identified in the PEF method is required:
- Climate change (main focus)
- Land use
- Water use
- Resource use
- Other relevant categories that could help assess the impacts on biodiversity.
- Combined data for the entire food supply chain but also data for each stage of the food supply chain are expected, including a focus on sorting, storage, logistics and waste treatment. A detailed analysis for relevant food products is also expected.
- Concerning the climate change category in particular, provide estimates on the life cycle GHG emissions due to food waste. Potential double counting of avoided emissions should be analysed. If possible, these data would have to be compared to GHG reductions assumed by Member States in the NECPs – in order to enable measuring of potential impact from food waste prevention measures towards reaching the objectives of NECPs.
- Elaborate different pathways of food waste prevention/reduction interventions and assess their potential for climate change adaptation/mitigation, reduction of pollution and preservation of biodiversity. The analysis should be carried out for several types of stakeholders.
- Assess the potential for rebound effects due to food waste reduction.
- Carry out mapping activities of relevant emission reduction and funding instruments and other EU initiatives in which food waste prevention/reduction could be well integrated.
- Establish a set of recommendations on how to integrate food waste prevention/reduction in those instruments and initiatives (including NECPs).
- Implement the multi-actor approach (see eligibility conditions) by conducting inter- and trans-disciplinary research and involving a wide range of food system actors (including possibly food start-ups).
Proposals should also build on past or ongoing research projects and ensure synergy with relevant initiatives. In particular, they should build on the work done by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre in support of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste and be aligned with the Environmental Footprint method developed by the Commission. The possible participation of the JRC in the project would consist of gathering data collected in the projects into a consistent framework for modelling food waste. It will also ensure that the proposed approach will be compatible with existing databases for the assessment of environmental impacts and aligned with the Environmental Footprint method, helping translating results into policy relevant outputs.
Proposals should include a dedicated task, appropriate resources and a plan on how they will collaborate with other projects funded under this topic and any other relevant topic, e.g. by participating in joint activities, workshops, etc. Selected proposals under this topic will thus need to work together and adapt their initial work plan. Communication and dissemination activities should also be grouped and coordinated in a complementary manner.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all the following outcomes:
- Reliable data on the environmental impacts related to food waste, in particular GHG emissions;
- Better understanding of the food waste prevention efforts that will accelerate EU’s progress to reach climate targets and will help reduce environmental impacts (including on biodiversity) across the food supply chain;
- Integration of actions related to food waste prevention/reduction into emission reduction instruments, national energy and climate plans and other relevant EU initiatives;
- Contribution to the farm to fork objectives and to the Food 2030 priorities: nutrition for sustainable healthy diets, climate, biodiversity and environment, circularity and resource efficiency, innovation and empowering communities.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.
The proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the work programme.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.