campus pilot study chops food waste by 30 percent
Sodexo employees at eight college campuses
cut kitchen waste by about one third, simply by tracking and
monitoring food waste, according to the preliminary findings
from the first eight weeks of a pilot study that is part of the
company’s commitment to stop wasting food to curb climate change
and improve business practices.
Sodexo is partnering with LeanPath, a technology
company providing food waste tracking systems, to conduct the
review. The pilot study focuses on kitchen – or pre-consumer
– waste, not what customers throw out. The pilot study system
features a tracking station where Sodexo employees enter data
about what they are throwing out and why. By tracking the reason
for throwing away items, Sodexo is able to correct the problem
to prevent future food waste. Sodexo employees at those eight
sites have dramatically reduced overproduction, spoilage, expiration
and trimmings by participating in the pilot study.
LeanPath estimates that 4 to 10 percent of
the food that is purchased ends up in kitchen waste. Each participating
site in the Sodexo pilot also has a Stop Waste Action Team (SWAT)
composed of employees. This group reviews the waste tracking
data, sets specific goals for improvement, and tests waste prevention
ideas. The most effective ideas become permanent.
In September, Sodexo launched “Stop Wasting
Food,” a program initiated at eight college campuses across the
country to analyze and measure kitchen waste in an effort to
better manage it.
Americans trash 25 percent of all the food
they prepare each year, leading to 31 million tons of wasted
food piling up in landfills annually.