Measurement and training, powered by technology, are keys to Sodexo’s success

For Sodexo, fighting food waste is a daily responsibility to combating climate change—one that has become even more imperative during the pandemic. As the supply and demand shocks of COVID-19 disrupt the food supply chain, keeping close tabs on food waste has become even more important.

Waste is an example of something that is a truly a dollars and cents issue, says Nell Fry, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sodexo in North America. Food loss and waste is part of the cost of doing business right now and it is avoidable.

At Sodexo, more than half of our business worldwide is linked to food and serving consumers each day. Our annual WasteLESS Week campaign, which ran during the last week of October, is a fundamental way we empower our employees and customers to reduce waste and drive awareness of underutilized opportunities.

Each of us can take action to scale back on food waste, which helps combat climate change and increase efficiency. Sodexo is committed to cutting in half food loss and waste from our operations by 2025.

Measuring the problem and finding innovative solutions are key to addressing food loss and waste, according to a report by U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action, supported by the United Soybean Board. The October 2021 report recognizes Sodexo’s efforts to make food waste data more readily available.

Chefs don’t want to hear that there is food waste in their kitchens, Nell says. No manufacturer wants to hear that there’s food waste on their manufacturing floor because that’s dollars they are leaving on the table. But that’s the reality. As that data gets shared more widely, we can begin to identify and address opportunities for waste reduction.

Sodexo measures through WasteWatch, our data-driven food waste prevention program powered by technology from our software partner Leanpath. WasteWatch uses a smart scale and tablet solution to feed near real-time data to an online dashboard where our managers and chefs can understand what food is being wasted, why and where.  

Since implementing WasteWatch over ten years ago, Sodexo has logged more than 7.7 million pounds of food waste and saved more than 5 million pounds of food from the waste stream. That diverted waste also helped avoid nearly 16,000 metric tons of CO2 emission.

We need to make the business case for food waste reduction as clear as it is for climate change, Nell says. Both issues are about addressing risks and doing right by your shareholders as well as people and the planet.

Want to know more about our range of sustainability efforts? Take a look at Sodexo’s corporate responsibility roadmap, the Better Tomorrow Plan, and our objectives for 2025.

November 08, 2021