ReFED, the San Francisco-based nonprofit committed to reducing food waste in the U.S., has released two new Food Waste Action Guides for the foodservice and restaurant sectors, which state that there is a 16 million ton opportunity to reduce food waste and to recover the equivalent of 1.5 billion meals per year within the two sectors. This release comes on the heels of the nonprofit’s recently launched Retail Food Waste Action Guide, which reveals that food waste represents $18.2 billion in potential profits for grocery retailers.
The guides, which were developed in partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) along with input from more than 80 expert contributors and a number of restaurants across the country, are designed to help industry leaders develop and implement food waste reduction strategies. They provide best practices and strategies as well as present a set of proven prevention, recovery and recycling solutions to help the foodservice and restaurant sectors prioritize and accelerate waste reduction activities.
One of the expert contributors, Eunomia Research & Consulting Inc., led by Sustainability Business Director Mark Hilton, developed the technical content for both guides. Working with the ReFED team, Eunomia provided the practical step-by-step measures businesses can take to prioritize and implement prevention, recovery and recycling practices and procedures within and across their business, demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits.
“Food waste reduction is quickly becoming a key element of financial and reputational value for restaurants and foodservice providers,” said Chris Cochran, executive director of ReFED, in a statement. “ReFED is now partnering with leading restaurants and foodservice providers to put food waste solutions into action.”
The guides also build on ReFED’s 2016 report, A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20 Percent, and its mission to achieve a national goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.
“At Sodexo, we are committed to championing sustainable resource usage through our Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate responsibility strategy, and partnering with ReFED allows us to share insights, identify opportunities to innovate and drive industry-wide change,” said Nell Fry, senior manager of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Sodexo North America, in a statement. “Building on the impact of our work with ReFED around the launch of the Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, this action guide will help us prioritize our actions as we work to eliminate food waste in all our operations. We are proud to have contributed to a document that will help all foodservice companies address food loss in their facilities.”
In addition to the release of the new guides, ReFED has announced a new partnership with foodservice leader Compass Group to conduct food waste innovation pilots at a number of Compass Group client sites over the coming year.
“Our strategic alignment with ReFED allows Compass Group to help pioneer these industry steering guides as well as pilot these new and innovative programs to drive waste reduction with our clients,” said Amy Keister, vice president of sustainability and consumer engagement at Compass Group, in a statement. “With ReFED as our partner, Compass Group is one step closer to achieving our commitment to reduce food waste by 25 percent by 2020.”
Interested in learning more? Join us at the Food Recovery Program at WasteExpo, April 23-26, 2018, in Las Vegas.