Domino’s Pizza, Greene King, Greggs and Unilever Food Solutions along with 65 other UK hotels, restaurants, contract caterers and government departments have agreed to cut food and associated packaging waste five percent by 2015, the equivalent of about 100 million meals.
The five percent reduction target contained in the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement will be evaluated against a 2012 baseline, and will be measured by CO2e emissions.
The voluntary agreement launched by the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) also has targeted an increase in the overall rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted, to at least 70 percent by the end of 2015.
If just 25 percent of the food sector committed to meeting the targets in the agreement, they could could save up to £76 million ($118 million) and reduce their CO2e impact by 570,000 tons by the end of 2015, WRAP said.
Organizations that sign the agreement can join as signatories or supporters, depending on their role within the sector. The 28 signatories, which include McDonald’s, Greggs, Compass Group, Greene King, Sodexo and Domino’s Pizza, will use a variety of strategies to reach the two main targets. WRAP will provide online tools, workshops, working groups and expert advice to help the businesses meet these targets.
A supporter is an organization that works within the sector and is not delivering the meal or snack directly to a customer. The 41 supporters that have signed the agreement include several UK government agencies, Unilever Food Solutions, the British Beer & Pub Association and Nestle Professional.
Initiatives in other global regions have been launched in recent years aiming to reduce food waste and support the re-use of organic waste. Earlier this month, the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region introduced the first waste-to-biogas mapping tool in the US to support the use of organic waste for energy projects.
Photo of food waste in anaerobic digester by WRAP