Banking and Financial Services

People, Plate, Planet: Can we really eat to combat climate change?

UnionBank Sustainability Team | May 16, 2018

The issue of global warming is very real, but it is also tremendous. In 2015, global world leads went to Paris to sign a historic global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. So is it really possible for a personal choice—such as the food we put on our plate—to have an impact on the planet?

The answer is a resounding YES. Each one of us can help mitigate climate change.

Today, research shows that the production of livestock to meet the demand of the world for more meat is making the planet sick. In fact, animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors of human-made greenhouse gas emissions—almost as big as the contribution of the global transport sector. It is also the leading cause of deforestation because all those animals we need for meat need to graze somewhere.

Conversely, eating more plants is now regarded as a concrete move that individuals can make to help the environment in a more sustainable manner. An Oxford study suggests that adopting plant-rich diets and reducing red meat and dairy would significantly reduce our overall carbon footprint and save more lives. Just last month, global environmental organization Greenpeace launched “Less is More” to campaign for more plants and less meat and dairy in our diets to help tackle climate change, improve human health, decrease environmental impacts, among many other benefits.

To provide its employees access to plant-based food choices, UnionBank’s Sustainability Team has launched “Thank Gulay, It’s Friday!” TGIF is a pop-up booth at UnionBank Plaza lobby where, every Friday, UnionBank can avail of healthy and flavorful plant-based meals from Me & My Veg Mouth as well as fresh, organic produce and bottled goods from Good Food Community. The event also strives to promote zero-waste dining, therefore it encourages customers to bring their baunan or return the takeaway tubs in exchange for freebies or discounts.

Me & My Veg Mouth is a vegan kitchen that works to enable communities to heal themselves through healthy and sustainable plant-based food. It works closely with and sources majority of its ingredients from Good Food Community, which works directly with small organic farming communities and cooperatives in Luzon and connects these growers with the consumers. According to a 2018 study, organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets.

“Thank Gulay, It’s Friday!” encourages everyone to #givegulayachance every Friday. UnionBank’s Sustainability Team launched this campaign to also give people a chance to help our environment in a more personal, more accessible way while gaining health benefits that eating more plants can provide. TGIF is in line with similar sustainability initiatives focusing on lowering our carbon footprint such as pushing for LEED initiative of our branches.