Logistics has key role in cutting hospitality food waste

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Hospitality companies, could cut food waste management costs by 30 per cent and send much less food be to landfill by better management of waste in the supply chain, according to new report by Carbon Statement for the Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum.

In particular, it said that there were significant saving to be had from collaboration between companies and efficient backhauling by logistics operators.

Forum members, which include Whitbread, Mitchells & Butlers and Wetherspoons, collectively spend over £46 million on waste management per year, half of all food waste, some 150,000 tonnes, still goes to landfill.

Transport, bulking up sites and delivery to Anaerobic Digestion facilities represent the single largest cost element.

With utility costs expected to rise by at least 30 per cent in the next three years, Carbon Statement estimates hospitality sector companies will have to increase their turnover by more than 10 per cent just to maintain their current business margins.

Peter Charlesworth, director of Carbon Statement, who prepared the report, said companies in the hospitality sector were facing escalating costs for disposing of food waste.

He pointed out that Scottish legislation due in 2014 will largely end the dumping of food waste to landfill, landfill costs are rising and fuel prices are continuing to drive up delivery and collection costs.

“Restaurant businesses produce a lot of waste and the industry is aware of this, so a lot of progressive work is being done to address waste and promote recycling, while educating and motivating people to do the right thing,” said Chris George, head of energy & environment at Whitbread.

“Whitbread already send restaurant food waste to AD plants to support the companies environmental targets of  sending no waste to landfill by 2017.”

The report has identified nine potential pilots, which could demonstrate the benefits of collaboration and new approaches to waste collection and management.

Charlesworth said: “We are very excited by the response we have had from forum members. A change in distribution and pricing brought about by the collaboration of the hospitality industry could lead a wholesale change in the way that companies manage their waste streams.”


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