FBA and Packaging Meeting

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On January 26 and 27, 2012, TSC’s Food, Beverage and Agriculture Sector (FBA) and Packaging Working Group held a joint meeting focused on further developing the science, information and stakeholders that inform the development of the Sustainability Measurement and Reporting System (SMRS). The meeting took place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, with approximately 60 participants over the two-day period. The meeting began with an overview of existing workflows and a summary of what is still needed to develop the SMRS. TSC Executive Director, Bonnie Nixon, provided an organizational update and overall vision of TSC. Joby Carlson, Level 1 SMRS Manager, provided an in depth update on the status of Level 1 SMRS, which included a timeline for moving forward with developing the existing product dossiers. Participants had an opportunity to visit the Knowledge Base to better understand the process of commenting in the product dossiers and the overall methodology. To further the discussion about how to better capture existing LCA data for hotspot identification, Kelly Scott Unger, Manager of the Packaging Working Group, introduced and presented the work that the Packaging Working Group conducted to identify existing data for packaging. Sarah Lewis, Manager of the FBA Sector then provided an update on the status of the prototypes and then joined Greg Norris in sharing a vision for how to develop a process for inviting the submission of LCA models to build the resources necessary to modularize hotspot identification for Level 1 SMRS. Members had an opportunity to provide input into how to move forward with such a process and also provided ideas about organizations that may have available LCA data.


On Day 2, the discussion continued around how to make the SMRS more robust through a presentation by Dr. Christy Slay about how to better capture land use, biodiversity, social, and water impacts through the use of GIS (maybe should spell out as well). Members had an opportunity to then share ideas about what they would like to see regarding geographical context in the product dossiers. Moving forward there was a discussion on calculation tool interoperability with the SMRS, which was preceded the evening before by a tool demonstration wherein five different calculation tools were demonstrated to better educate the membership on the types of available tools out there and how this creates challenges and opportunities for informing the SMRS. After a presentation by Daniella Malin from the Sustainable Food Lab, members provided input into the role of SMRS in helping move the industry towards calculation tool harmonization. Mary Van Leer, the IT Systems and Tools Working Group Manager, provided additional insight into the role of TSC in helping harmonize supply chain calculation tools. During this discussion, members also provided ideas about how to improve the existing IT infrastructure being used by TSC.


To further develop the SMRS, more diverse stakeholders are needed at the “table.” Therefore, Jennifer Luchte, Co-Chair of TSC’s External Relations Committee, presented the vision for the stakeholder engagement policy which we will begin to implement in 2012. The meeting concluded by asking members what they would like to see in 2012. There is interest for stakeholder engagement to be linked directly to product category development. Members suggested they would also like an easier way to comment in Knowledge Base and more linkages between dossiers. There is good response from members about becoming product champions and a good response from members who want to participate in a GIS task force, a committee to help develop a process for identifying and selecting available LCA models. Overall, the meeting generated a great deal of positive outcomes and insights from all those
who participated.