CASE STUDY FROM ACCOR - PLANET 21: REDUCING FOOD WASTE IN THE ACCOMMODATION SECTOR
Accor is a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique and meaningful experiences in over 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 countries. It aims to offer its guests healthy and sustainable food, while eliminating food waste.
Its Planet 21 sustainable development programme is based around four strategic priorities to: work with its employees, involve its customers, innovate with its partners and work with local communities. One of the key issues to tackle is food waste and Accor’s restaurants were committed to reducing food waste by 30% by 2020 compared with a baseline of 2016. (The deadline was restated until end 2021 due to the pandemic).
To achieve the target reduction in food waste the focus was on four key areas:
· Food waste and loss reduction
· Production of food and/ or procurement
· Sustainable diets/menus and preparation stage
· Communication to consumers
To provide the focus Accor defined a simple four-step strategy:
1. measure food waste;
2. reduce food waste in the kitchen;
3. interact with guests to reduce food waste;
4. resell unconsumed food at low prices or donate it.
A range of tools were then introduced to enable the hotels to deliver the strategy, including:
· A food waste reduction module “Food Waste Management” was developed in-house. The tool was designed to be very simple to weigh discarded products. This weight is then converted into cost to the business helping the hotel to identify areas to prioritise on to reduce costs and waste.
· Building on the same principle but using technology and artificial intelligence (AI) Winnow technology was also made available. The technology enables automatic recognition and measurement of food waste. All products not consumed are recorded and weighed by category (expired stock, leftover buffets, cooking errors, peelings, return of plate), then more specifically by ingredient or recipe (bread, dairy products, fish, meat, etc.). This solution enables hotels to measure in detail the weight of waste, its value as well as its environmental and financial impact. The kitchen teams equipped with this solution were then able to implement an action plan to reduce the most wasteful foodstuffs. To date, 62 hotels use Winnow, two of which use Winnow Vision AI.
· Guidance on communication on reducing customer waste, buffets for instance, to drastically change behaviours towards wasting food.
· Within the Group, initiatives were put in place to ensure that unused foodstuffs could be donated to food banks, or associations, or sold at affordable prices to local people. For example, The Too Good To Go app, which puts citizens in touch with restaurants or merchants offering their unconsumed products cheaply, has already been introduced in 11 European countries and has been adopted by over 700 hotels.
· At the end of 2020, 1,882 hotels had implemented the “Food Waste Management” project
· 482 hotels are precisely tracking the volumes of wasted food, 30% of which reached the objective of a 30% reduction.
· 56 hotels used the Winnow connected smart scale and reduced food waste by 56% in 2020. For example, the Winnow system was installed at Sofitel Kunming, China. With simple changes, and with regular meetings to discuss their progress, the team managed to reduce their food waste by over 50%. By cutting food waste, they helped the hotel save over 133,000 RMB (19,000 USD) that was be re-invested in other areas. The team also avoided 20 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. I
· Customer engagement – for example, the “Clear your plate” challenge developed for the China market.
· In total 1,461 hotels donated or resold food products.
· Since its launch in 2016, the total number of not wasted meals in restaurants using TGTG was 493,000. It is estimated that this partnership has avoided the equivalent of 1,200 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
The objective of reducing food waste by 30% by 2020 as part of the Planet 21 program ended in 2021.
The case study has been provided by Accor in support of the Global Roadmap for Food Waste Reduction in the Tourism Sector demonstrating the value of taking action to prevent food waste.