Sodexo prevents 236 tonnes of food waste in last 12 months

Marking WRAP’s third annual Food Waste Action Week (6 - 12 March 2023), Sodexo UK & Ireland has provided an update on its food waste reduction programme, WasteWatch.

Over the past 12 months, the technology has enabled the prevention of 236 tonnes of food waste – the weight of nearly three orcas – equivalent to 434,745 meals.

This reduction was achieved by the accelerated deployment of WasteWatch at a further 132 client sites across 149 locations over the past year – a positive development following the programme being temporarily paused during the pandemic.

Overall, more than 400 locations in the UK and Ireland have implemented WasteWatch, which represents 55% of the total raw material cost and takes the organisation one step closer to its target of cutting food waste by 50% by 2025.

WasteWatch works by rapidly capturing food waste data and giving clear insights into what is being wasted and why. Teams can then bring in operational and behavioural changes to help end avoidable food waste, whether generated in the kitchen or by consumers.

In 2021, Sodexo launched its Appetite for Action campaign with the aim of using the organisation’s scale and food industry expertise to convene and work alongside political and industry stakeholders, chefs, and customers to drive meaningful change in food service procurement to help cut food waste. Last year, Sodexo was delighted to see Defra issuing a consultation on food waste reporting for large businesses.

Claire Atkins Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo UK and Ireland, shared,
“Tackling food waste is a key lever of our ambition to reach net zero, and our data shows that food systems are a considerable proportion of our carbon footprint.

“The only way to effectively manage food waste is by understanding how food waste is created and using the data to drive impact. We have seen how instrumental this approach is through utilising WasteWatch on our sites.

“As one of the world’s leading food service providers, we would encourage other businesses in the industry to do the same and recommend they get involved in WRAP's Guardians of Grub, which will help build momentum for making measuring and reducing food waste standard practice in the sector. Only together can we stop feeding the climate crisis.'

Sodexo is one of the first organisations globally to have both its near and long-term science-based targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as it prioritises decarbonisation to reach net zero. Its targets and key actions are outlined in its comprehensive regional roadmap and transition plan to reach net zero by 2040.

Sodexo is also the first group in its sector to link its financing to its actions to combat food waste and its strategy to protect and enhance the planet is addressed under its social impact pledge.

In January 2023, Sodexo UK and Ireland announced that its carbon emissions had been reduced by a third.