Sodexo Challenges Industry & Businesses to Take a Global Approach to Preventing and Eliminating Food Waste

Sodexo Group aims to ensure 100% of its sites have implemented waste management programs and actions to prevent and reduce food surplus and waste by 2025
Apr 25, 2017 11:40 AM ET

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 25, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Sodexo, the world leader in Quality of Life Services, and a founding member of the International Coalition for Food Waste, is an industry leader in preventing, reducing and eliminating food waste, which accounts for $940 billion in economic losses annually. Understanding the impact that the food service industry can have in reducing or eliminating waste, Sodexo calls on the industry and businesses at-large to address the societal, financial and environmental impacts of food waste – locally and globally.

Globally, one-third of all food produced for consumption is wasted – wasted in the face of hunger, which affects far too many children worldwide, to include 1 in 5 in America. The financial perspective is no less shocking with $218 billion spent in the U.S. on food that is raised, processed and transported only to end up in landfills, which in turn yields damaging environmental consequences as a result.

“Eliminating food waste and all that comes with it is no easy task, but it is something that our industry and other organizations can achieve, with a strategic, collaborative approach that is comprehensive and enduring,” said Ted Monk, vice president sustainability and corporate responsibility, Sodexo. “As an active supporter and participant of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 12.3, Sodexo continues to engage partners, employees, clients, consumers and communities in the sharp reduction of food waste and food loss.”

If conserving resources or providing enough food to nourish the hungry are not incentive enough for organizations, businesses and governments to address the issue, then perhaps the bottom line is. Research from Champions 12.3 makes a compelling business case for reducing food waste and food loss. It found that for every $1 companies invested to reduce food waste and food loss, they saved $14 in operating costs. The report’s findings are the first of its kind, based on an analysis of data from 1,200 sites of 700 companies in 17 countries.

Sodexo has developed a waste roadmap adopting a circular economy approach, building the pro-file of waste around a preoccupation with prevention. When it comes to food surpluses and food waste, operational excellence is an imperative. To do anything else introduces inefficiencies, overproduction, system distortions and has potential food health and safety issues.

Since 2011, Sodexo has been implementing WasteWatch in its operations across the world. WasteWatch is a food waste prevention program focused on, tracking food waste, monitoring performance, taking actions to drive reduction and communications. Today, more than 40 countries have adopted WasteWatch, with results of up to 45 percent reductions in food waste in 2 to 6 months. The company aims to ensure 100% of its sites have taken actions to prevent waste by 2025.

Following a strategy that includes addressing the societal, financial and environmental concerns associated with food waste and food loss, Sodexo progress to date includes:

  • Founding the International Food Waste Coalition, an independent group of companies and NGOs focused on removing waste across the value chain and finding solutions to out-of-home food waste
  • Creating and developing the “WasteWatch powered by LeanPath” program, Sodexo’s comprehensive program to prevent and reduce food waste by tracking, monitoring and acting up-on preventing food waste
  • Working with pre-eminent organizations such as the OECD, WRAP and REFRESH and representation in bodies such as ReFED, Champions 12.3, EU Food Waste Platform
  • Participating in Government and Authorities Reviews e.g. UK House of Lords, EC and UNEP Innovation Forum
  • Adhering to national agreements such as the Hospitality & Foodservice Voluntary Agreement in the UK aimed at reducing food waste and associated packaging

“The foodservice industry, from field to fork, should be in lockstep and on the frontlines in the fight against food waste and food loss, adds Monk. “With 1 billion tons of food wasted each year while 1 in 9 people globally remain malnourished, the industry can ill afford actions for the sake of a single day of awareness. It will take a strategic commitment to collaborative partnerships throughout the entire value chain, locally and worldwide.”

Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.