Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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WASTE MANAGEMENT SERIES 88 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • OCTOBER 2018 SERIES WASTE MANAGEMENT Waste Reduction via Two Noncommercial Foodservice Operators By Amelia Levin T hese days, restaurants and foodservice operations of all types are becoming more interested and active in food waste reduction. However, one might argue that noncommercial foodservice operators — those in the college and healthcare sectors, especially — have led the charge. That's based on the fact that they tend to produce the greatest amount of waste compared to others and realize the impact they can have on the environment by reducing that amount. Two major foodservice providers, Sodexo and Compass Group, remain extremely focused on waste management initiatives and services as each strives to reduce their carbon footprint and climb the Environmental Protection Agency's food waste hierarchy toward overall food waste reduction and reuse. Sodexo's Efforts Sodexo intends to reduce its food waste by 50 percent by 2030, as well as to eliminate all avoidable landfill waste by 2025. "We can't always install solar panels or install rainwa- ter cisterns at our clients' accounts because we don't have control over those decisions, but we can control how we help manage waste and what we buy," says Nell Fry, senior manager of sustainability and corporate responsibility field support at Sodexo. Sodexo's waste reduction efforts focus on tracking. It has even developed a proprietary program to facilitate these ef- forts. While not all operations currently have the software and hardware set up, Sodexo's goal is to roll out the program to all of its applicable foodservice sites (meaning the group that does not include Starbucks-branded outlets or smaller convenience stores) by 2025. In addition to its tracking program, Sodexo offers education, training tools and services, including a waste management tool kit, recovery tool kit and other guides with best practices for choosing disposables, composting/recycling/ digester programs and equipment, and more. The company also hosts webinars and in-person training. Just as Sodexo takes a hands-off approach to its clients — offering a variety of services but letting the client make the final decision — it does the same with its waste management efforts. Each client makes the decision about programs based on the infrastructure that exists or does not exist in their geo- graphical areas. "There is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all program," says Fry. "We try to help our clients determine their goals and priorities in terms of waste management, whether that's consumer education or donating food or better tracking, and we assess those variables first before pulling from our tools and resources to help them craft the best solution." Still, reduction seems to be the top priority among most clients, and tracking serves as the first step toward establish- ing baselines and discovering patterns and problems with overproduction, training or sourcing. Addressing issues in any of those areas can lead to a reduction in food waste. "In places where we have head chefs, they are much more "In places where we have head chefs, they are much more focused on food waste in the kitchen, but with other clients where you might not have trained culinarians, tracking is very important to raise awareness." —Nell Fry, Sodexo

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