A recent research done on behalf of Champion 12.3, noted a nifty little thing: that there is strong evidence for hotels to reduce the amount of food waste they throw away. According to that research for every dollar (US) invested in programs that reduce food waste from kitchens, they saved, on average, about $7 in operational costs.
The research paper, titled “The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels”, was an evaluation of the financial workings of 42 sites across 15 countries, including Sofitel, and MGM, among others, and discovered that nearly every site had positive returns on investments made to reduce food waste. The research also discovered that the hotels that reduced their food waste from their kitchens on average by 21%, with 70% of the respondents already making a profit from their investment. In two years, only 5% of them didn’t get positive returns on their investment.
The investments include monitoring food waste, training for new food handling and storage procedures, as well as redesigned menus. The vast majority of the sites, at 90%, invested less than $20,000, on average less than 1% of sales, showing that the costs were low, especially in comparison to the gains.
Chair Dave Lewis, Champions 12.3, says that the report clearly shows that waste reduction isn’t just morally proper, but also that it’s a very strong business investment. He says that, even if businesses aren’t motivated by the moral imperative, the profits should make a very strong case.
Thai people have actually been privy to this new concept, at least if they’ve been to a Sofitel sky bar in Sukhumvit, as the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit has been trying this concept. Director of Food and Beverage for the hotel, Lionel Formento, says that the hotel has prioritized sustainability, part of which include reducing its food waste. He hopes that the figures from the paper will motivate the industry to embrace food waste reduction investments, allowing the idea to move from their sky bar in Sukhumvit to hotels across the country and the world.
About a third of all the food produced across the world is not eaten, which has a lot of consequences. Financially, it accounts for US$940 billion in economic losses. Environmentally, wasted food is responsible for 8% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, and, socially, about 800 million people across the world do not have enough to eat.