It appears that one third of the food produced worldwide, representing 1.3 billion tonnes, goes to waste. This waste has serious environmental and financial impacts and has prompted a genuine rise in awareness. Initiatives to combat the phenomenon are on the increase. They target individuals, but also business and collective catering, in supermarkets, cafés and company canteens.
On the occasion of the 2016 OSCEdays, SUEZ, its partners and Future Of Waste (1) co-authored a downloadable guide to help company canteens to reduce waste. Focus on this unique collaborative experiment.
Concrete solutions to reduce food waste in company canteens
Food waste represents a loss of 10 million tonnes per year in France, of which 1.5 million tons come from collective and commercial catering. Reducing food waste in this sector often raises serious logistical issues, in particular due to the legal responsibilities surrounding food donations.
What better playing field to invent and test new solutions than the La Défense business district near Paris, with its 147,000 permanent workers present every day? An estimated 12 to 16 tonnes of food still fit for consumption would be thrown away every day by the business district’s company canteens. This is the reason why the workshop organised by SUEZ and Future of Waste during the OSCEdays concentrated on this district, which is also home to SUEZ’s headquarters.
The workshop explored two working areas:
- “upstream” reduction, consisting of optimising the logistical chain to reduce the production of food waste,
- “downstream” reduction, for example by making food donations to vulnerable populations, in particular through NGOs. This solution is still infrequent amongst the players in the collective catering game.
The operational guide resulting from these discussions is intended mainly for company canteen operators, but it may also be of interest to any professional in the sector. It contains detailed information, the contact details of key players in the field and examples of concrete actions.
Making more accurate estimates of the numbers of diners, rearranging the layout, changing the prices … discover all the solutions proposed in the guide downloadable: