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Reducing Food Waste in an Age of Change

As the global pandemic upended so many norms of operation, one of Sodexo’s initiatives became especially important to our food service operations around the country. WasteWatch Powered by Leanpath gave strapped staffs the ability to track food waste in real time and make adjustments that were ultimately cost-effective and good for our planet.

This was critically important as food service teams dealt with the constant changes and challenges wrought by COVID-19. “Our customer base dropped dramatically almost overnight,” said Troy Sheppard, Food & Nutrition Service Line Administrator and Client Executive with Sodexo. At the same time, abrupt closings of self-serve areas and an increased demand in to-go items disrupted the typical patterns of food consumption.

Sodexo partner Vidant Health System witnessed these fluctuations – and benefits – immediately. The Food & Nutrition team at Vidant rolled out Sodexo’s automated food waste tracking system this past year, refining their ability to measure their food waste. The teams receive detailed reports on what was being wasted and why and were able to quickly adopt their plans to prevent future waste.

The Vidant teams were able to spot increased waste quickly and precisely and target its reduction effectively.

“Our clients hire us to be the experts in managing the resources to be sustainable as well as saving costs. WasteWatch Powered by Leanpath aligns with that perfectly,” Sheppard said.

WasteWatch Powered by Leanpath has deployed at 732 Sodexo sites, including 188 healthcare sites in the US, nearly all since the onset of COVID. More than 1,200 Sodexo kitchens globally are currently in the program.

“Sodexo prioritizes addressing food loss and waste because, as a major player in the food value chain, it is imperative for our business and for the planet,” said Nell Fry, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Sodexo. ”This is even more true during COVID with tremendous volatility in supply and demand along with an ever-changing consumer landscape. The need to measure food waste has never been more clear or necessary.”

February 12, 2021

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