At a ceremony last week at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic received a 2017 Environmental Merit Award from EPA New England, a regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency. Each year, EPA NE honors those who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of the region’s public health and natural environment. For the past 45 years EPA’s Environmental Merit Awards Program has honored teachers, citizen activists, business leaders, scientists, public officials and others for their accomplishments during the past year and over a lifetime.

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic was the first clinic of its kind in the nation, focused on food loss and waste. Directed by Emily Broad Leib, the clinic encourages students to use legal and policy tools to address health, environmental, and economic impacts of the food system. By helping clients and communities improve policies and laws that reduce food waste, FLPC is on the forefront of work to achieve the national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030. Food waste — the largest waste stream disposed in the country — makes up 70 billion pounds or 21 percent of our municipal solid waste stream. Meanwhile, more than one in 10 households is uncertain of having enough food. Food production accounts for 50 percent of land use, 80 percent of freshwater consumption, and 10 percent of energy use in the country.

In 2016, FLPC hosted conferences, and issued policy recommendations, toolkits and a documentary on food waste. The Clinic’s recommendations, toolkits and policy analyses have been widely replicated throughout the region. In 2016, Time Magazine named Leib one of the 5 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink in recognition of the clinic’s work to reduce food waste.

The Clinic was one of six recipients in the Environmental, Community, Academia & Nonprofit category. Read more about the clinic on their website.