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Hospitality sector looks to collaboration to cut waste food costs

Leading hospitality companies have been told that smarter management of food waste across the supply chain could result in significant cuts in costs and material going to landfill.

Proposals include more collaboration between companies over waste collection and more efficient movement of products and waste by logistics operators.

They are included in a report carried out by Carbon Statement for the Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum (HCRF), which includes Whitbread, J D Wetherspoons, Mitchells and Butlers, Nandos and Hammerson and represents 13,500 pubs and restaurants across the UK.

HCRF members collectively spend over £46m on waste management each year but half of all their food waste, 150,000 tonnes, still goes to landfill. They say their single biggest cost is transportation, bulking up and delivery to anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities. 

Carbon Statement says collaboration between companies and efficient backhauling by logistics operators could help cut costs. More food waste would go to AD and energy recovery and the sector would become more efficient while overall waste costs would drop.

Its report has identified nine potential pilots to demonstrate the benefits of collaboration and new approaches to waste collection and management. The report also highlights new relationships and working partnership opportunities with AD sites.

Carbon Statement expects utility costs to rise by at least 30% in the next three years and estimates hospitality sector companies will have to increase their turnover by more than 10% just to maintain their current business margins.  

Louise Ellison, head of sustainability at Hammerson said: “As hospitality becomes an increasingly important element of the shopping experience, working with occupiers to identify cost effective, sustainable alternatives to landfill for food waste is a natural priority for us. 

“This report has produced very useful insights into this issue and we welcome the opportunity to continue working with the Hospitality Forum to take this initiative forward.”

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