Food waste is a truly global problem – it’s responsible for eight per cent of global emissions and worldwide, it is estimated that around one-third of all the food we produce is wasted. Sarah May is passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the opportunity they present to make significant progress against wicked problems, including food waste.
The economic, social and environmental benefits of tackling food waste for Australia are significant, with huge opportunity to learn from others who have blazed the same path. Sarah is a 2017 Churchill Fellow who found that Australia has significant potential to meet its commitment to halve food waste by 2030 (SDG 12.3), leveraging our existing research, momentum and policy foundation to mobilise and track towards this target. The challenge we have is to increase the visibility and urgency of food waste prevention and coordinate a specific series of actions that are realistic, measurable and achievable in the next over the next nine years to 2030.
Sarah has since been actively sharing her findings, networks and ideas with changemakers within and outside government, across Australia and New Zealand. Working in policy development within governments at multiple levels (Commonwealth and ACT Government), Sarah has presented at a range of forums (including waste conferences, ABC radio, New Zealand’s Environment Select Committee food waste inquiry), has been an active participant in baselining and policy development processes (such as the national food waste strategy, national food waste steering committee, food waste baseline and national waste policy) and continues to work with like-minded individuals to agitate for action.
Sarah is a passionate waste avoidance advocate and is particularly interested in the opportunities for government in transitioning to a ‘circular economy’, where waste is avoided, the value of our resources are preserved for as long as possible, and products and materials are continuously (re) circulated.
Sarah holds a Masters of Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction (with distinction) from the University of Newcastle, and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University.
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