Fighting Food Waste in Arizona

Published on : 6/3/24
  • At Sodexo, sustainability is central to our operations. Among our ambitious sustainability goals, we strive to cut our food waste by 50% at 85% of our U.S. sites by 2025. And every day we make greater strides. 

    Food waste is a critical issue that affects not only our environment but also our communities.

    Our solution: WasteWatch powered by Leanpath, an innovative tool designed to track and reduce kitchen food waste. With WasteWatch, we empower our teams with data-driven insights to make smarter, more sustainable decisions.

    Recently, food waste was no match for Northern Arizona University’s lumberjack spirit, where WasteWatch enabled the saving of over 600 pounds of food across three university events.

    WasteWatch: How It Works

    WasteWatch provides an easy-to-use scale system that traces and measures all kitchen food waste. The program delivers detailed reports and best practice recommendations, enabling our teams to pinpoint the sources of waste and take proactive measures to reduce it. This comprehensive approach allows us to identify patterns and implement targeted strategies to minimize waste.

    Success at Northern Arizona University

    Fran Alvarado, NAU’s sustainability coordinator, has leveraged WasteWatch to drive their impressive reduction in food waste. In March alone, the university hosted three major events, each demonstrating the power of responsible, sustainable food service in action:

    Block Party

    During NAU’s WasteLESS Week, the Block Party event saved an impressive 200 pounds of food waste. By using WasteWatch data from previous events, the Sodexo team could adjust their purchasing and preparation processes to better align with consumption patterns. This proactive approach not only reduced waste but also optimized the use of resources.

    Family Brunch

    At the campus Family Brunch event, NAU saved 100 pounds of food waste. The staff utilized insights from WasteWatch to fine-tune portion sizes and conduct food recovery to manage leftovers more effectively. This event highlighted the importance of continuous monitoring and adaptation, proving that even small adjustments can lead to substantial reductions in waste.

    Football Game

    The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks football game in March marked another success, with 350 pounds of food waste saved. By analyzing waste data from past games, the catering team could better predict the amount of food needed, minimizing overproduction.

    These events underscored the value of predictive analytics in preventing food waste and demonstrated how WasteWatch is instrumental in planning large-scale events. See how NAU is leading the way in sustainability in higher education.


    Transformative Impact

    The successes at NAU illustrate the transformative impact of WasteWatch. By capturing detailed waste data and applying best practices, Sodexo has made significant strides in reducing food waste across North America. These efforts not only contribute to our sustainability goals but also set a powerful example for other institutions to follow.

    Reducing food waste requires commitment and innovation. At Sodexo, we dedicate ourselves to leading the way with innovative solutions like WasteWatch. We invite businesses and institutions to join us in this important mission. Together, we can make a substantial impact on our environment and communities.

    Learn more about Sodexo's sustainability initiatives to fight food waste.