Sodexo releases Appetite for Action report to help tackle food waste

Monday 7 March marks the start of Food Waste Action Week, a highlight of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which aims to create lasting change that helps to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving global food waste by 2030.

As an organisation that produces millions of meals every year, Sodexo – a sponsor of Food Waste Action Week – sees the prevention of food waste as an area ripe for tackling, and one which presents multiple opportunities to innovate.

Sodexo’s Appetite for Action report was compiled following an industry roundtable (pictured) it hosted with policymakers, industry stakeholders, chefs, academics and customers. These included representatives from WRAP, WWF, Defra, the Food APPG and CBI among others.

The report provides recommendations for both organisations and government on how food waste can be measured and reduced, so its impact on carbon emissions is minimised.

Recommendations for organisations included:
• Committing to a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030, at the latest
• Deploying technology to track and monitor food waste, which will support new mandatory reporting
• Supporting consumers in making the right environmental decision through positioning plant-based options first on the menu, carbon labelling on produce, and deliberate, obvious communication on where food has been sourced

Recommendations for the UK government included:
• Commission a dedicated strategy for tackling food waste, building on recommendations within the National Food Strategy
• PPN 06/21 should be extended to require public sector suppliers to report on their food waste; the private sector should be encouraged to adopt this approach as well
• Ensure the public understands the impact of food waste through nationwide awareness campaigns about food (waste) and its connection with climate change

Claire Atkins Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said, “As a leading food services provider, we have a responsibility to help combat food waste across our operations, as well as assist others in their goal to reduce carbon emissions.

'Our report shows how food waste reduction must be embraced across the food system if the UK is to meet its climate change commitments.

“Food Waste Action Week is an excellent opportunity to help make the connection between the food that goes to waste and the effect this has on the environment, and we hope this report highlights how the government, organisations and individuals can all play a significant role in reducing food waste.

'We hope to see actions taken and greater progress made by the time the world convenes again this year for COP27.”

Sodexo has long been committed to food waste reduction as part of its Better Tomorrow 2025 global strategy. In 2019, the organisation unveiled an ambition to cut food waste and loss by 50% by 2025. A commitment that was reaffirmed in its Social Impact Pledge 2021.