Company restaurants go zero waste

If garbage cans accumulate in Paris, the fight against garbage is organized in the main business district on its outskirts. Since 2018, a collective of around twenty companies from La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine) has decided to tackle the problem of waste generated by its company restaurants. “At the neighborhood level, the waste of food that is still edible has been estimated at between six to nine tonnes per day”explains Martine Baruch, president of the La Défense des Aliments association and CSR manager at Allianz France, one of the companies behind the project.

To raise employee awareness, “bread mixers” have been installed in several participating companies, such as Suez. “We put all the uneaten bread in a jar and display it at the entrance to the self-service”, explains Martine Baruch. With some success, since the volume of wasted bread has decreased year on year, Suez found.

108 grams per day per person

On average, the International Food Waste Coalition estimates that 108 grams per day and per guest will be wasted food in company catering in 2022. Figures that “are rather decreasing, due to changes in consumer habits and the Covid crisis, which has simplified the offer”explains Thomas Candeal, Project Manager within the association.

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To prevent neglected salads or gratins from going in the trash, the law on agriculture and food (EGalim) of 2018 has come to add its two cents. Operators must now implement a mandatory diagnosis to estimate the quantities of food wasted and their cost; in addition, those who prepare more than three thousand meals a day must set up partnerships with associations to sell their unsold products that are still consumable.

In the big family of collective catering, service providers are working to reduce the size of bins. Compass Group France sells food baskets that are still edible at discounted prices on the Too Good To Go application. The company also donates its surplus food to associations, which redistribute them to people in difficulty.

For the rest of the food waste, the service provider uses specialized companies that use the rest of the plates to make compost. On the plastic side, water fountains in restaurants aim to replace water bottles.

Reservation systems

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