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Sainsbury Aims to Cut Food Waste but Now Has Less Aggressive Goals

The UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury has come to realize that its goal of halving consumer household food waste within five years is out-of-reach. It had launched a program in 2016 to do just that, which would also save consumers money.

According to the Guardian, Sainsbury’s launched its “Waste Less, Save More” initiative  to save £10m over five years. It figured, according to the paper, that the average UK family throws away £700 of food each year. It thus set out to slash by 50%.

But at the end of a one-year £1m trial in the market town of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, it decided the effort was too aggressive, at least initially, the story says.

But the target was in synch the United Nations’ sustainable development, which wants to cut in half the per capita global food waste by 2030. The UN estimates that global food loss and waste causes about $940 billion (£770bn) a year in economic losses, the story says. It is unfortunate, given that a third of the world’s food is wasted while one in nine people remain malnourished, the story reads.

What the supermarket chain has done is to create apps and small fridges that better assist consumers when it comes to buying what they need.

Waste Less, Save More is a brand new way of working and completely different to what anyone has done before, so it was hard to define a measure of success,” said Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, energy, engineering and environment for Sainsbury’s, in the Guardian.

“Having spent the last year getting under the skin of household food waste, we have realized that this kind of behavioral change won’t happen overnight, but we have definitely seen positive progress on what will be a longer journey,” he concludes, in the story.

In a separate story for Environmental Leader, Jessica Hardcastle reports that companies are saving $14 in operating costs for every $1 they invest in reducing food waste.

That is coming from The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, she writes, which evaluated financial cost and benefit data for 1,200 sites across 700 companies in 17 countries. Companies, for example, are quantifying food waste as well as changing packages to extend shelf life.

The savings thus come from things like increasing the share of food that is sold to customers and introducing new product lines made from food that otherwise would have been lost or wasted, she writes, referencing the report.

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