Lifting the Lid on Food Waste

David Coaton, Corporate Sector Director – Hospitality, SWRnewstar
Food waste is still a huge problem globally and specifically within the UK. Whilst good progress has been made, there is still so much more to be done. Globally, 1/3 of food waste produced is wasted and in the UK alone, WRAP estimate that up to 10 million tonnes of food is wasted each year.
As a recycling led business, with a number of hospitality clients, it is a topic that SWRnewstar are extremely passionate about and one that we are in a great position to have a positive influence over.

SWRnewstar’s solution is a collaborative approach that encourages businesses to “lift the lid” on their bins in order to truly assess their waste production. By scrutinising what is going into bins and where the waste is generated, businesses are able to pinpoint parts of the supply chain, or internal processes, where behaviour change would reduce waste volumes and costs. This proactive approach is not only a catalyst for improvement but allows businesses to be innovative with its waste management practices.

Specifically, SWRnewstar’s approach is designed around implementing a four-stage process:

  1. Goal Setting – develop specific strategies with bold but achievable targets around improved waste segregation and reduction.
  2. Measure and track waste production – through innovation and quality management information, businesses measure exactly how much and where food waste is produced (e.g. from spoilage, prep or plate scrapings) – allowing improvements to be continually tracked.
  3. Staff engagement – including on-site consultancy on internal bin set up and staff training.
  4. Celebrate success.
  5. What are the results? 

The four step approach creates an environment that ultimately drives best practice and maximises waste segregation. The outcome is increased staff engagement around sustainability, increased recycling levels and a reduction in waste and / or food procurement costs. Champions 12.3 research found that for every £1 invested in food waste prevention the business saves £14. By continually measuring and analysing our customer’s ongoing waste performance, we are able to track their improvements, realign their goals and celebrate their successes.

A great example of this is Carluccio’s, who in 2015 had low recycling rates and little food segregation. Recognising there was an opportunity to do more, with SWRnewstar’s help, the group now recycles food waste across its restaurants and achieves an impressive 74% on site recycling rate.                 

“despite overwhelming evidence that increased food waste segregation is not only better for the environment but also delivers significant savings.”

Who needs to be involved in a restaurant? In short, everybody! Within a restaurant, whether working front of house or back of house, almost all staff will come into contact with food waste on a daily basis. Therefore, to achieve bold targets and make a real difference, clear goals and processes must be implemented and driven from the top down.

Without legislative influence, businesses have to either want to adopt a more sustainable mentality or have a need to do so. Without true buy in from businesses to drive change across its staff and wider supply chain, food waste will continue to be an issue within the hospitality sector.

We often hear flippant remarks such as “it will cost me more money” or “the staff don’t have time to segregate food waste” despite overwhelming evidence that increased food waste segregation is not only better for the environment but also delivers significant savings. When businesses see how easy it is to adopt a more sustainable approach to waste management and the financial benefits it delivers, it quickly becomes the norm and the question changes – “How can we do more?”

For more information about how you and your business can benefit from Food Waste: Bad Taste click here.

For more information on SWRnewstar’s services you can contact:

David Coaton

Corporate Sector Director – Hospitality, Healthcare and Retail

[email protected] | 01420 540140

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