Sodexo Campus Food Waste Tracking Shows Dramatic Reduction in Kitchen Waste
November 17, 2010
Stop Wasting Food Campaign Pilot Study Boosts Environment by Chopping Food Waste by Nearly 30%
GAITHERSBURG, Md., November 17, 2010 — 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.
"Our people have been vigilant about preventing food waste at these sites demonstrating they are extremely good stewards of the environment," said Tom Post, president of education – campus, at Sodexo. "The pilot results show it's possible to send less waste to landfills and to reduce costs without compromising the quality or variety of the food we serve."
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 campaign to engage its customers and employees in reducing food waste to curb climate change. To learn more, visit www.stopwastingfood.org.
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. Food waste in landfills produces methane gas, which is at least 21 times more potent than carbon. Methane breaks down the ozone layer and leads to climate change.
Sodexo pilot study results come from a program initiated in early September at eight college campuses across the country to analyze and measure kitchen waste in an effort to better manage it. Colleges participating in the waste-reduction pilot program include Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, California State University of Monterey Bay in Seaside, Calif., Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., University of California at Davis, Calif., and University of Wisconsin in River Falls, Wis.
This campaign demonstrates Sodexo's commitment to work together with clients, suppliers and customers to take measurable sustainable actions today in the areas of environment, health and wellness and community that ensures a better tomorrow. Read more about Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Plan.
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Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $13 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
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