Ximena Schmidt profile
Dr. Ximena C. Schmidt Rivera
I am a research associate at The University of Manchester (CSEF).
Tell us about your work
I work in the industrial system group (SIS), analysing the sustainability of different food systems. I am currently working on various projects, which go from crops cultivation, complex processed food items and their supply chain, to different cooking technologies and fuel options. I work applying a life cycle system approach to assess the environmental, economic and social aspects of products, sectors or specific systems, to then look for improvements and make recommendations to the different stakeholders involve.
What were your previous roles?
I joined CSEF right after finishing my PhD at The University of Manchester, where I assessed the sustainability of the UK Ready-made meal sector.
What do you see as the key important areas that need to be focussed on to reduce energy demand and meet carbon emission reduction targets?
I would focus on the stakeholders and their ‘power’ in this matter. I would start highlighting the important role that we as a society have; we, as consumers and members of the society, can make changes in our daily routines to help to reduce the energy demand and carbon emissions. For instance, in the case of food systems, consumers are key for encouraging the development of more sustainable products and responsible supply chains, through informed decisions-making and expressing their concerns about these matters. Moreover, our decisions in terms of purchases and consumption patterns are also very important; starting with having balance diets, avoiding food waste, being conscious about cooking methods, among others.
In the case of other stakeholders across the supply chain (agriculture, industry, retailers), they need to improve their resource efficiency and their technologies, to help their environmental performance. They also need to improve their socio-economic sustainability, for instance worker conditions, product prices, nutrition content, etc.
Finally, the government and other institutions (e.g. NGOs) should encourage and help with clear policies and guidelines to help to become a more sustainable society.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
Very difficult question, but let’s try: I was born in one of the longest and narrowest countries in the world, can you guess?!?! Chile
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