THE MANY VIRTUES OF COMPOSTING

In the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) assessment methodology, Scope 3 of France’s National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC) corresponds to indirect greenhouse gas emissions, including those linked to waste.

Composting is a waste management technique that makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to work towards carbon neutrality in France (and all UN member nations, including Canada) by 2050. It falls under Item 11 of Scope 3.

Composting intersects with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to combat climate change and its devastating effects:

GOAL 2: End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

“Since the 1900s, some 75% of crop diversity has disappeared from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, improved livelihoods for farming communities and create more resilient and sustainable farming systems “.

GOAL 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Good health and well-being also come from the plate. Composting is a technique for improving the quality of the soil and the food put on the plates.

GOAL 12: Establish sustainable consumption and production patterns

“Although most environmental impacts on food occur in the production phase (agriculture or food processing), households also influence these effects through their food choices and habits.

Each year, it is estimated that one-third of all food produced, or the equivalent of 1.3 billion tonnes, ends up decomposing in the garbage cans of consumers and retailers or spoils due to poor transportation, harvest and handling practices.

Two billion people around the world are overweight or obese.

Soil degradation, declining fertility, excessive water use, overfishing and deterioration of the seabed are all factors that undermine natural resources and their ability to produce food.

The food sector accounts for around 30% of global energy consumption and nearly 22% of greenhouse gases”.

GOAL 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its repercussions

GOAL 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Just like the previous point, the technique of composting allows the limitation of the use of inputs and pesticides in agriculture (even at the scale of a vegetable garden) that otherwise end up in the world’s oceans and water reservoirs.

GOAL 15: Preserve and restore terrestrial ecosystems, ensuring that they are used sustainably, sustainably manage forests, fight against desertification, halt and reverse the process of soil degradation and put an end to the loss of biodiversity

Compost naturally, inexpensively and effectively enriches the soil, thus preserving and restoring biodiversity in the soil.

LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPOSTING

As defined by ADEME, composting is an aerobic transformation process (in the presence of oxygen, unlike anaerobic digestion which is an anaerobic reaction) of fermentable materials under controlled conditions. It provides a stabilized fertilizer rich in humic compounds – compost – which can be used, if it is of sufficient quality, as an organic amendment to improve soil structure and fertility. Composting is accompanied by the release of heat and gas, mainly carbon dioxide if the ventilation is sufficient. In the composting process we can distinguish four chronological phases related to the release of heat due to the activity of microorganisms: (1) mesophilic, (2) thermophilic, (3) cooling, (4) maturation. In industry, the first three phases are categorized as a group under “fermentation”. The person responsible for compost in various industry can distinguish the fermentation phase, which generally lasts a few weeks, from the maturation phase, which can last several months, especially for woody waste.