Go back

‘Research on social innovation needed’ to make food sustainable

Image: Marco Verch [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

European Environment Agency says understanding of “risks and opportunities” is lacking

To help food production become more environmentally sustainable, the European Environment Agency has called for greater research into social innovations, such as new products, services and business models.

In a report published on 6 October, the EEA said there is a “change towards a sustainable food system” underway across Europe, but that “this change can and must be accelerated” because food systems are responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions as well as loss of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation.

More research is needed to better understand the “risks and opportunities” of social innovations, including the potential for new forms of governance and partnerships, the EEA said. In addition, it said there is a need to explore the types of indicators and evaluation frameworks that could be used to monitor and assess the effects of innovation.

The agency said it “will continue to work towards gaining a better understanding of the social dimensions of innovation, how innovation connects to sustainability transitions, the relevant implications for policy and governance, and the knowledge system needed to move forward”.