Aiming to limit food waste generated by the hospitality industry particularly at a time when Greece is attracting millions of travelers each year, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Greece has teamed up with Unilever FoodSolutions for the ambitious “Hotel Kitchen: Food has Value” initiative which this summer will include three Greek hotels: Grecotel Cape Sounio, Aquila Rithymna Beach on Crete, and Athens Marriott Hotel.
Under the three-month pilot program, the three hotels will be introduced to best practices and ways to reduce food waste, including keeping record of waste across the supply, preparation and dining process.
Once the pilot phase is completed, WWF Greece will create a toolkit to be offered for free next year to hotel businesses interested in implementing some of the proposed strategies while at the same time reducing food waste and setting the example. Under the same program in 2020, WWF will organize seminars for hotel staff, executives, culinary arts students on ways to reduce food waste and make better use of raw materials.
The program, first implemented in 2017 in the US, through the collaboration of WWF and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, produced a comprehensive toolkit for measuring and preventing food waste.
“Food waste is a major social and environmental problem worldwide. The hospitality industry can become one of the most important factors in overcoming the current situation as it can change both business and consumer patterns. Although every hotel is unique and each market is different, measuring food waste, actively involving staff and informing hotel guests to reduce this phenomenon can emerge as good practices that will be institutionalized internationally,” said Pete Pearson, director Food Waste, WWF.
The 10 participating hotels achieved a 17-38 percent reduction in food waste during the 12-week pilot phase.
Key points in the toolkit are:
– prevent food waste on the hotel property
– donate what cannot be prevented but is still safe to eat
– divert the rest away from landfills.
“The program focuses on the proper management of resources and the reduction of the hotel industry’s environmental footprint, while ensuring an excellent visitor experience,” said Vicky Barboka, “Better Life” Project Associate – WWF Greece.
“Waste of food means waste of water, land and energy offered to us. Only if we begin to measure the volume of food waste, will we be able to understand the multidimensional cost of lost food, appreciate our sustenance, and look for ways to reduce waste so that we can gradually prevent it,” she added.