This ACS-hosted international Summit explored how the chemical sciences—and engineering research and innovation—can contribute to progress toward the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of “Zero Hunger”. Experts from government, industry, academia and nonprofit organizations provided a wide range of viewpoints during the summit, held virtually on December 5-8, 2022:
Impacts of Agriculture on Climate: Mitigation of Greenhouse Gasses
Climate Impacts on Agriculture: Adaptation & Reducing Crop Stress
Optimizing Crop Production
Sustainable Food Packaging and Reducing Waste
Watch Now: Recordings from the ACS Zero Hunger Summit
Impacts of Agriculture on Climate: Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases
Agriculture contributes 19–29% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are likely to substantially rise unless rapid action is taken to transform agricultural practices. Solutions will require integrated approaches that address the mutually-dependent challenges of climate change and ability to feed the planet. In this session, experts will discuss how we evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on climate, and how we develop mitigation approaches to minimize its carbon footprint. These mitigation approaches aim to lower emissions per unit of food produced, minimize deforestation and utilize carbon in the atmosphere.
Climate Impacts on Agriculture: Enhancing Resilience
Recent changes in temperature, ozone, greenhouse gases and precipitation are having devastating impacts on crop, livestock, and fish production. To address the threat of growing food shortages in the coming decades, scientists must harness plant biology and chemistry to improve the resilience of crops and to more efficiently monitor and improve soil environments. This session convenes experts in the chemistry of crop resilience, crop adaptation through genetic modification, and deployment of specialized sensors for soil chemistry. Experts will discuss how the use of “smart” systems can help address some of these challenges and minimize the impact of agriculture on climate change.
The convergence of climate change, geopolitical turbulence and growing food demand is challenging agricultural practices in unprecedented ways. Sustainable solutions will require development of low-carbon growth enhancement products, safe and effective crop protection products and a pivot to smart systems that allow precise delivery. In this session experts will address innovations in the design of safe and biodegradable crop protection products, and soil supplements to address drought and enhance
Food Packaging: Reducing Waste
It is estimated that one third of food produced globally is lost or wasted. Food packaging technology is critical to reducing food spoilage during transport and preserving shelf life. However, contamination of packaging with chemicals of concern and plastic waste are driving the need for alternatives to existing technologies. In this session, experts address challenges and opportunities associated with food waste reduction, innovations and design challenges in the chemistry of food packaging and, where waste cannot be avoided, strategies to convert food waste to valuable products.
Speakers & Panelists
Spanning multiple countries and sustainability-related themes, the distinguished speakers presented at this Summit and offered knowledge, insight and inspiration to forge new paths in support of the Zero Hunger initiative.
Thank you to the many who contributed to planning this Summit!
Scientific Planning Committee:
Paul Dauenhauer, Professor | University of Minnesota
Bob Maughon, Executive Vice President, CTSO | SABIC
Mike Morello, Committee on Science | ACS
Susan Moser, Division Director | National Institute of Food & Agriculture | USDA
Vid Hegde, Vice President | Corteva Agrisciences
Fengqi You, Professor | Cornell University
Shannon Kenny, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator | U.S. EPA
H.N. Cheng, Immediate Past ACS President
Laura McConnell, Editor | ACS Agricultural Science and Technology
Coralia Osorio Roa, Deputy Editor | ACS Food Science and Technology