New research on behalf of the U.N.’s Champions 12.3 finds there is a strong business case for foodservice operators serving hospitals, schools, sports arenas and other facilities to reduce food waste. The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Catering shows that for every $1 caterers invested in programs to curb food waste, they saved more than $6 in operating costs. (“Catering” here refers to “contract catering” or “foodservice contract management.”)
Companies Save $14 on Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste
Earlier this month a new report was released from Champions 12.3, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WRAP, that found companies saved $14 for every $1 invested in reducing food waste.
This report, which includes customer-protected data from LeanPath among the data set, is very favorable financial validation of the food waste prevention work that LeanPath has led for the past 13 years. It supports the fact that if organizations, consumers and governments take action to reduce food waste they can not only prevent millions of tons of food from going to waste, but they can also save billions of dollars.
Many foodservice operations incorporate donating excess edible food into their food waste strategy and overall mission to do good. The US EPA food recovery hierarchy, which has long been a guiding resource for prioritization of food waste solutions, positions feeding hungry people just below source reduction for preferred approaches to food waste. And it seems like it’s hard to argue with the inherent “good” that comes along with feeding hungry people, right?
Continuing the push for more food waste legislation, United States Congress Representatives Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and James P. McGovern (D-MA) introduced The Food Donation Act of 2017 (H.R. 952) earlier this month. The bill amends The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (the Emerson Act), which was passed in 1996 to encourage food donation by offering protection from liability to those who donate food in good faith.
The food waste movement has come a long way in recent years, moving definitively into the mainstream of sustainability conversations. Television hosts and celebrity chefs are talking about it, and businesses and governments are setting goals to reduce it. The EPA’s food recovery hierarchy is the long-time accepted standard for best practices in food waste reduction, with prevention firmly established at the top as the optimal solution. And though there are various techniques for prevention, daily measurement of waste is emerging as a standard of excellence for foodservice operations that want to prevent the maximum amount of food waste.