New Strategies for Recapturing the Value of Hotel Food Waste
By Pete Pearson Director of Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund | December 23, 2018
I get the question often: why does World Wildlife Fund care about food loss and waste? People joke, do we need to feed surplus food to animals at the zoo?
Actually, donating surplus food to animals and zoos does happen in many cities, but food waste affects wildlife in a much deeper way. In fact, it affects every living animal on the planet, especially humans.
All by itself, estimates show that food waste is responsible for 8% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. That's more than half of what's emitted by cars, buses, trucks, airplanes and ships around the world. It also represents a colossal waste of water, land, and energy.
Food waste is also a huge waste of money and resources. Reducing waste is a perfect example of how more sustainable business practices can sustain people, planet, and prosperity all at the same time.
Yet the food waste debate often focuses on how to keep waste out of landfills. That's a worthwhile goal, but it's not the best way to save money-or the planet.
As one hotel executive put it bluntly to me: "When we donate food to shelters or food banks, we're not saving costs. When we donate wet waste to pig farms, we don't improve the bottom line. When we compost more, we don't become more profitable. When we produce less food for an event, we're more efficient and it affects profitability."