We only have one earth.
This is why we at Pluri are committed to creating a better planet on World Environment Day and every day.
These campaigns are important to shine a spotlight on our global footprint. To ensure we as a company and as individuals look and reflect on how we are taking action to make a difference to protect our planet and live sustainably. This is where technology is essential to enable this transformative change and support individuals as they commit to a better sustainable way of life. Whether that means going vegetarian or choosing electric cars to drive to work. These changes can only happen with technology supporting the way.
For us at Pluri, this is where we believe our cell-based technology platform can play a huge role to help transform industries towards environmental improvements.
Pluri’s technology can expand any cell type
Today, our PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cell therapies have treated hundreds of patients worldwide with a strong safety profile, demonstrated in the field of regenerative medicine. Yet, the power of our state-of-the-art cell-based manufacturing platform is not just limited to placental cells. Harnessing cutting-edge technologies in cell culture, tissue engineering and bioprocessing, our technology has the potential capabilities to expand and optimize cells of any type.
This opens up new possibilities to apply our technology to foodtech, agtech and other industries, where we can enable the mass-scale production of high-quality animal and plant cells with batch-to-batch consistency. The recent signing of our landmark food-tech joint venture with Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food producer, to establish a cultured food platform, is one example of the work underway.
As humans and animals use more resources and generate more waste than ever before, our technology brings great promising implications to help protect our environment.
In the last decade, there have been huge technological advances in the food tech industry. One of these is the development of cultured meat (genuine animal meat that is produced by cultivating animal cells directly). Pluri’s cell expansion technology can be directly applied to develop cell-based meat and plant products that would have flavor similar to conventional food. This would bring huge environmental benefits.
The influence of conventional farming on our environment today
Besides the humane aspects associated with the rearing and slaughtering conditions of animals in the food industry, the livestock industry today impacts our environment in many ways.
In fact, the biggest challenge facing the industry, and as a result our environment, is from the ever-increasing consumption of animal products. Global meat production is expected to double from 229 million tons in 1999 to 465 million tons by 2050!
This will have a huge impact on carbon dioxide emissions – one research paper estimates that the global livestock industry is responsible for at least 51% of the greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere. Furthermore, the increasing demand for animal products and the lack of land has caused the livestock industry to become the main cause for clearing forests and turning them into pasture. Production of animal food products is also the greatest agricultural cause of water pollution alongside bringing huge water wastage and the production of copious amounts of waste.
When we consider arable farming, a similar picture is seen. Intensive feed-crop production can lead to severe land degradation, water pollution and biodiversity losses, while expanding arable land into natural ecosystems also can have serious ecological consequences. These include the loss of biodiversity and of ecosystem services such as water regulation and erosion control. The use of fertilizers and pesticides also contaminate and degrade the environment.
But what if we could change this?
This is exactly where we believe the power of cell-based technologies, like Pluri’s, can inspire and transform.
How do cell-based meats and plants help the environment?
As our population grows, the foodtech and agtech industry must create a sustainable system that can feed the world in a way that is scalable, efficient, cost effective, and does not harm the environment.
Cell-based meat production (or cellular agriculture) provides the industry with one solution. Though large-scale cell-based meat production technologies are just getting started, the outlook is highly promising.
Two recent studies suggest that cell-based meat could cause up to 92% less global warming, 93% less air pollution and use up to 95% less land and 78% less water compared to conventional beef production.
So let’s imagine a future in which cell-based meat or plant production becomes the major source of protein. What would our world be like and how could this benefit our environment?
With less animals needing to be slaughtered, greenhouse gas emissions would be anticipated to fall, alongside less land and water used. This could also free up cropland to feed more people. This land could even be used for ecological purposes to aid reforestation for carbon sequestration or to replant. Here the capabilities of plant roots to absorb water can be used to help prevent the cycle of drought, flooding, and erosion that occurs in these areas.
With less fertilizers and pesticides, the quality of water may improve, and improvements in biodiversity may be seen which would impact the whole food chain.
The environmental benefits are vast, and it doesn’t stop there. By improving our environment, this may also have a knock-on effect with improvements in our health and wellbeing!
Enabling a better future for our environment
We at Pluri are hard at work to make this vision a reality. By combining our cell-based expertise through partnerships, we are seeking new approaches to accelerate development to create a better world for the generations to come.
However, true environmental change must come from the collective action of all of us. In the consumption choices we make here and now, as well as in the future. Only together can we build a more sustainable planet for our children.
As we honor World Environment Day, let’s remember there are billions of planets in the universe – but we have only one earth, one home.
Let’s make it the best it can be!
 Santo R. et al. Considering Plant-Based Meat Substitutes and Cell-Based Meats: A Public Health and Food Systems Perspective. Review Article: Front. Sustain. Food Syst., 31 August 2020.
 Dopelt K. et al. Environmental Effects of the Livestock Industry: The Relationship between Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior among Students in Israel. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Apr; 16(8): 1359.