First major U.S. foodservice company to cut food waste in half by 2024 – Food Tank


ISS Facility Services recently announced a new program to halve food waste in all of its American kitchens. It is the first major U.S. foodservice company to reach this goal by 2024, six years ahead of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal halve global food waste by 2030.

“At the end of the day, we want an ambitious goal of adopting the right behavior in kitchens,” says Paul Fairhead, CEO of ISS Guckenheimer, the company’s foodservice brand. “We are really taking the opportunity to return to the office – this new day in the restaurant business – to make it a key part of cultural and culinary programs. “

By disrupting the restaurant industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has created even more opportunities for positive impact, according to Fairhead: “In many ways, the big restaurant reset is true. There are a lot of areas here where the industry can right some wrong and build back better, [this initiative] is part of it.

ISS Partners With Food Technology Company Winnowing bring its hardware and software to more than 200 kitchens. Winnow’s solution captures food waste data and presents information to kitchens in real time, encouraging teams to better prevent or use excess food.

Fairhead teams regularly track food waste figures, but since each kitchen has its own baseline, it’s hard to get the big picture. Now they are using Winnow to benchmark food waste efforts against each other, against the industry, and against the world.

“We live in a world where data is readily available, but it’s only of value if you actually use it to make decisions and maybe change behaviors,” Fairhead told Food Tank.

“We’ve been monitoring food waste in kitchens since I was in cooking school, but what do you do with this data? The beauty of this solution is that it’s up there in the lights. This very optical boost is extremely powerful.

Technology can make reducing food waste easy and intuitive, but these initiatives need a human touch for long-term traction, according to Fairhead. He suggests that kitchens report food waste levels daily and create healthy and fun competition between teams by prominently displaying benchmarks.

“Food waste is nothing new and food waste management is nothing new,” says Fairhead, “but having a champion on hand to pilot the use of Winnow, learn from it and share it with the team is what is more powerful. “

The business case for reducing kitchen waste is simple: more food waste means higher food cost. But beyond that, Fairhead believes all great organizations have a responsibility to lead the change. ISS has the reach and scale to change markets and behavior, he says: “We are seeing climate change and we are seeing an impact on the environment, which affects us all. It’s one way to support the right kind of behavior.

Fairhead emphasizes that this initiative is not a corporate mandate and that is why it will work.

“If we try to drive them like corporate mandates, it’s hard to get buy-in and buy-in from a large organization,” Fairhead explains. “But when it comes through the organization, that’s what gives me hope. We have thousands of employees who want to make a difference.

In addition to food programs, ISS teams champion waste reduction initiatives for common single-use items like vinyl gloves and plastic wrap from deliveries.

“At the end of the day, we don’t do this to tick the box, we do it because we want to drive change,” says Fairhead. “We’re also not going to stop at 50 percent food waste reduction. At the end of the day, we hardly want any food waste. “

Photo courtesy of Winnow

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