RELEASE: New Research Finds Hotels Saved $7 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2018 00:01 CEST

Contact:

Jillian Holzer, World Resources Institute, jholzer@wri.org, +1 202-729-7754
Kim van Seeters, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Netherlands, k.vanseeters@minez.nl
Amanda Williamson, WRAP, amanda.williamson@wrap.org.uk, +44 01295 2366643

WASHINGTON – New research on behalf of Champions 12.3 finds there is a compelling business case for hotels to reduce the amount of food they throw away.  For every $1 hotels invested in programs to reduce kitchen food waste, on average they saved $7 in operating costs.

In a first-of-its kind analysis for the industry, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 42 sites – including Sofitel, MGM and more – across 15 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. Within just one year, the hotels had reduced food waste from their kitchens by 21 percent on average, and over 70 percent had recouped their investment.  Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment.

The types of investments hotels made include: measuring and monitoring the amount of food wasted, training staff on new food handling and storage procedures, and redesigning menus. Nearly 90 percent of sites were able to keep their total investment below $20,000, which was less than 1 percent of sales on average. This shows that the cost of change was low and the benefits were high for all businesses assessed.

The 7:1 return on investment comes from buying less food and thereby reducing purchase costs, increasing revenue from new menu items developed from leftovers or foods previously considered “scraps,” and lower waste management costs.

“We need to take action right across the food chain if we’re going to halve food waste by 2030. That means reducing food waste in homes, farms, retail, distribution, and in the hospitality sector,” said Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3. “This report clearly shows that reducing waste in hotels isn’t just the right thing to do. It also makes good business sense. So even if the moral imperative doesn’t move us, the business case for reducing food waste should persuade every CEO.”

“With these figures, I hope more in the industry will see food waste reduction as an opportunity and an important part of the hotel business,” said Lionel Formento, Director of Food and Beverage, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. “Our customers increasingly care about the environment, and that shift shows no signs of slowing down. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit has prioritized reducing food waste as an important part of our sustainability efforts. From engaging management to our chefs and suppliers, implementing a food waste reduction program has helped us stay innovative and a leader.”

One-third of all food produced in the world is never eaten, which has tremendous economic, social and environmental consequences. Food loss and waste is responsible for $940 billion in economic losses and 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. At the same time, some 800 million people do not have enough food to eat.

“Reducing food waste within the hospitality sector provides us with a unique opportunity not only to influence an industry, but to raise awareness with travellers globally. It’s exciting to see foundations, NGOs, and businesses all coming together to solve this issue and recognize food waste’s impact on our planet and biodiversity,” said Yolanda Kakabadse of World Wildlife Fund US’s Board of Directors.

“This report, which WRAP co-authored with WRI, demonstrates the compelling economic case for reducing food waste in hotels. There is a 600 percent return on investment, and over two-thirds of the companies find they get their money back within a year. This is excellent, but if we are to deliver the SDG 12.3 target of halving food waste by 2030, we must build momentum for change in all hotels,” says Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP. “We have clearly shown that with simple measures, hotels can save money, protect the environment and still satisfy the needs of their customers. By working together we can make this happen more rapidly, all around the world.”

The report recommends hotel owners and managers take a “target, measure, act” approach to reduce the amount of food wasted from their kitchens. It outlines five action steps for hotel managers, based on interviews with those who have implemented successful food waste reduction programs: (1) measure the amount of food being wasted to know where to prioritize efforts, (2) engage staff, (3) re-think the buffet, (4) reduce overproduction, and (5) re-purpose excess food. By working together, businesses may also be able to share new best practices to make an even greater impact and put businesses on a trajectory to halve food waste in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3.

“The Sustainable Development Goals give us clear targets, which we need to achieve in just 13 years. We know that the worldwide food waste challenge is large and urgent. It will not be easy to solve and requires action by all of us,” said Liz Goodwin, Senior Fellow and Director, Food Loss and Waste at World Resources Institute. “This report demonstrates that action by the hotel sector can bring results quickly and that there are real financial benefits to be realized. There is no time to waste and we need more leaders to step up and do their bit, improving their businesses and securing the economic, social and environmental benefits.”

For more information, read the full report at https://champions123.org/the-business-case-for-reducing-food-loss-and-waste-hotels/

This report is follow up from The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste (published March 2017), and is the first in a series of papers examining the business case for specific industry sectors. Analyses of the catering and restaurant industries will be released later in 2018.

The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels was made possible by support from Walmart Foundation and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Lead authors were Peter Mitchell (WRAP) and Austin Clowes and Craig Hanson (WRI).

Champions 12.3 at 72nd UN General Assembly (September 2017)

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Champions 12.3 hosted a major event September 20, 2017 at The Rockefeller Foundation’s New York office that assessed global progress toward SDG Target 12.3 on food loss and waste, announced landmark developments and set forth a pathway to cutting in half the more than 1 billion tons of food that goes uneaten each year. This event coincided with the 72nd UN General Assembly and Climate Week.

Speakers

  • Dave LewisGroup Chief Executive, Tesco and Chair, Champions 12.3
  • Rajiv Shah (@rajshah), President, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Esben Lunde LarsenMinister for Food and Environment, Denmark
  • Hans HoogeveenAmbassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations for Food and Agriculture
  • Michael La Cour (@MichaelIKEAFood), Managing Director, IKEA Food Services AB
  • Liz Goodwin (@LizGoodwin), Senior Fellow and Director, Food Loss and Waste, World Resources Institute
  • Shenggen FanDirector General, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Rafael FlorDirector, YieldWise, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Yolanda Kakabadse (@WWF_President), President, WWF International
  • Sam Kass (@chefsamkass), Former White House Chef, Founder of TROVE and Venture Partner, Acre Venture Partners
  • Lorna DonatoneCEO, Geographic Regions and Region Chair for North America, Sodexo
  • Maria Fernanda MejiaPresident, Kellogg Latin America
  • Peter WhiteVice President and Chief Operating Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Among the event’s announcements:

The Global Agri-business Alliance announced a Food Loss Resolution to halve member companies’ food and agricultural losses by 2030, and to work with suppliers to the same end. The Resolution, coupled with The Consumer Goods Forum’s “Food Waste Resolution” from 2015, means that major companies covering the entire food supply chain – from farm to fork –  for the first time ever have set explicit commitments to achieving Target 12.3. Read more here:  Global Agri-business Alliance adopts Food Loss Resolution

The Consumer Goods Forum and Champions 12.3 issued a Call-to-Action to retailers and food producers to simplify date labels and reduce food waste by 2020.
The Call-to-Action says retailers and food producers should take three important steps to simplify date labels and reduce food waste by 2020:

  • Only one label at a time
  • Choice of two labels: one expiration date for perishable items (e.g. “Use by”) and one food quality indicator for non-perishable items (e.g., “Best if used by”). The exact wording will be tailored to regional context 
  • Consumer education to better understand what date labels mean

The announcement expands national efforts to streamline date labels in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan to the rest of the world. In addition to the labels on products, the Call to Action recommends companies partner with nonprofit  organizations and government agencies to educate consumers about how to interpret date labels. Education efforts could include in-store displays, web materials and public service announcements. Read more here: The Consumer Goods Forum issues ‘Call to Action’ to Standardize date labels by 2020

Tesco announced partnership agreements with 24 of its largest food suppliers to publish food loss and waste data for their own operations within 12 months and to take steps to reduce food loss and waste in their supply chain.  In addition, Tesco announced that its businesses in the Republic of Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary have published their food waste data. Read more here: Tesco Suppliers Join Forces to Tackle Global Food Waste

Champions 12.3 launched its 2017 Progress Report assessing global progress toward achieving Target 12.3, and a roadmap for how to halve food loss and waste by 2030. Read the progress report here and the roadmap here.

Watch video of the event:

Photos

 

View photos from this event on Flickr here »

Clock Ticking on Food Waste

By Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post on September 20. 

This week, leaders from around the world will gather in New York for the UN General Assembly. Climate change, conflict, and poverty will all crowd the agenda. But one issue on many people’s radar is food waste. It might not grab the headlines, but the need to tackle it is urgent and compelling.

Continue reading Clock Ticking on Food Waste

RELEASE: Michael La Cour and Selina Juul Join Champions 12.3, Coalition to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2017
Contact: Jillian Holzer, World Resources Institute, jholzer@wri.org, +1 202-729-7754

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017) Adding to its powerhouse ranks, Champions 12.3 – the coalition of nearly 40 CEOs, ministers and other leaders committed to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Target 12.3 on food loss and waste – announces new members Michael La Cour and Selina Juul.

Worldwide more than 1 billion tons of food each year is never consumed, while one in nine people remain undernourished. Food loss and waste amounts to economic losses of $940 billion per year and is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions; if it were a country, food loss and waste would be the third largest emitter after China and the United States.

“I am really pleased that Michael and Selina are joining the Champions 12.3. A key focus of our work as Champions this year is to help drive action in reducing food waste across the whole food chain – in particular, upstream in the catering industry and in peoples’ homes. The expertise that Michael and Selina bring to the group will greatly strengthen the work we’re doing in these areas and support our efforts to meet the UN’s Target 12.3,” said Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3.

Continue reading RELEASE: Michael La Cour and Selina Juul Join Champions 12.3, Coalition to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

Welcome Michael La Cour to Champions 12.3

We’re delighted to announce that Michael La Cour, MD IKEA Food Services AB, has joined Champions 12.3 as a Champion.

Driven by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, Michael La Cour has been leading the development of IKEA Food Services AB for the past years with focus on health and sustainability. The main objectives of this transformation is to move IKEA Food towards a wider offer of delicious, healthy and more sustainable food, easily available and affordable for the many.

Michael has experience from the food retail business prior to joining IKEA, where he has now been working for the past two decades. He started out as a Country Manager at IKEA Indonesia to become a Deputy trading area manager for IKEA in South East Asia. He has been an IKEA Store Manager in the USA and a Business Manager for one of the Business Areas at IKEA of Sweden.

Along with Michael’s decision to join Champions 12.3 as a Champion, IKEA announced today their goal of halving their food waste by the end of their August 2020. See the IKEA Press Release for details.

Food waste: how governments, financiers and consumers can play their part

This op-ed first appeared in Thomson Reuters on March 23. 

A recent report from the Champions 12.3 coalition underscores the fact that the global community is capable of tackling the long-running issue of food loss and wastage if all players in the food ‘supply chain’ take action. The challenges are well defined, the incentives are many. But are we doing what is necessary?

Continue reading Food waste: how governments, financiers and consumers can play their part

Tackling food waste: Something politicians can agree on

This op-ed first appeared in The Hill on March 10. 

By Liz Goodwin

From my vantage point in a village in the English countryside, party politics in America are certainly eye-catching. The question for any leader looking to break a stalemate is, what areas of common ground can be found? To my mind, there’s a really clear option.

One would hardly call politics in the United Kingdom tame, and yet one area where our government has found agreement and seen real results is reducing food waste. Nearly 10 years ago, few people in the UK (or elsewhere for that matter) were focusing on food waste as a critical social, economic or environmental issue. Myself and my colleagues at the nonprofit organization WRAP recognized that the amount of food households, restaurants, grocers and others were throwing out was probably sizeable. So, in 2007 we began measuring what edible food was being needlessly thrown away. 

Continue reading Tackling food waste: Something politicians can agree on

Curbing food waste saves money, as well as the planet

BY DAVE LEWIS, CHAIRMAN OF CHAMPIONS 12.3 AND GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TESCO. THIS ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE TELEGRAPH ON MARCH 6.

Imagine a land mass greater than China. Now imagine that land is only used to produce food. Then suppose all the crops and produce from those 2.5bn acres are not eaten. Imagine all of that – and you have grasped the amount of food the world wastes every year.

Every year a third of the world’s food is wasted. In terms of weight, it adds up to around 1.3bn tonnes. In the UK alone, we waste over 10m tonnes of food in a year.

Continue reading Curbing food waste saves money, as well as the planet

RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste

Contact: Jillian Holzer, World Resources Institute, jholzer@wri.org, +1 202-729-7754
Contact: Kim van Seeters, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Directorate General Agriculture and Nature, The Netherlands, k.vanseeters@minez.nl

RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste  

Report from Champions 12.3 shows that companies, consumers and governments can save billions of dollars and millions of tons of food by acting to cut food loss and waste

WASHINGTON (March 6, 2017)–One-third of all food produced in the world is never eaten, which has tremendous economic, social and environmental consequences. New research on behalf of Champions 12.3 finds that for every $1 companies invested to reduce food loss and waste, they saved $14 in operating costs. The report finds that household savings could be much greater.

In a first-of-its kind analysis, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 1,200 sites across 700 companies in 17 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. The types of investments companies made include: quantifying and monitoring food loss and waste, training staff on practices to reduce waste, changing food storage and handling processes, changing packaging to extend shelf-life, changing date labels, and other staff and technology investments.

Continue reading RELEASE: New Research Finds Companies Saved $14 for Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste