Across our operations, we’ve implemented practices that decrease the impact – and the cost – of waste. Starting with what we purchase, and continuing through to how we dispose of waste, we work hard every day to reduce our environmental footprint.
As a global food service company, we're proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion for our commitment to reduce food loss and waste in our operations by 50 percent by 2030.
Our approach to managing food waste is aligned with the EPA’s food recovery hierarchy, and with our “behind the scenes” food management programs, we make sure we are ordering accurate amounts of food, preparing and serving it in a way that limits waste, and tracking our progress.
Sometimes unique circumstances, like an event cancelled at the last minute, or an unexpected snow storm that closes dining facilities, causes us to make other plans. In those cases, we implement our food donation program to provide safe, unserved food to hunger relief agencies in our communities.
We partner with our clients to create robust recycling and composting programs to keep waste out of landfills. We also offer them solutions that help reduce waste at the source – like reusable to-go food and beverage containers, and “trayless” dining programs, which are proven to cut down on the amount waste created.
According to industry standards, pre-consumer food waste shouldn’t exceed five percent of the total food purchased. We’re on par with those standards, but our goal is to go beyond that.
We’ve developed a food management process and training program that teaches our employees about using standard menus, proper portions, preparation and production, and keeping track of waste through an online portal. This online program lets us know not only how much we’ve reduced our food waste, but also the value.
By following our process, we’ve seen a measurable decrease in the amount of food waste across all our businesses – about 12.5 percent on average.
We know we can do even more, so we’re testing new technology, and engaging employees with recognition programs to support our progress.
We’re also taking a closer look at “ugly” produce – fruits and vegetables that have a few bumps and bruises and would ordinarily be destined for a landfill, but can be used for a variety of recipes. Ugly produce is becoming more available and we’re continuing to discuss how we can incorporate appropriate product in to our menus.
Our first goal is to reduce waste at the source. But when unusual circumstances leave us with extra food, we donate our unused food to non-profit organizations and hunger relief agencies in our communities whenever we can.
We partner with The Food Donation Connection (FDC), a non-profit agency that connects us with community organizations, and helps us ensure food safety and distribution.
For more than 20 years, FDC has been connecting donors with more than 8,000 community organization, such as shelters, community centers, food pantries and children’s organizations, that help feed those in need in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Food Donation Connection identifies local agencies, approved by the regional health department, that most need the food donations, and assists the agencies with the food donation process, training them on processing, labeling and storing, and tracking food donations safely.
We also work with our front-line employees, educating them about our program, so we can continue to reduce food waste while feeding those in need.
We have entered into definitive agreements to acquire two companies that will deliver growth and strengthen our company’s competitive position across our portfolio of Food, Facilities and Uniforms businesses.
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