Food waste pioneer is proud to be among 15 major U.S. companies pledging to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent
PALO ALTO, CA (November 18, 2016) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy yesterday announced the inaugural class of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, U.S. businesses and organizations pledging concrete steps to reduce food loss and waste in their operations 50 percent by 2030. Bon Appétit Management Company is very honored to be on that list of 15.
“The founding 2030 Champions have shown exceptional leadership in the fight to reduce, recover and recycle food loss and waste,” said Vilsack. “The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. To help galvanize U.S. efforts to reduce food loss and waste, USDA and EPA announced the first U.S. food loss and waste reduction goal in September 2015. Today, the first 15 Champions are stepping up to do their part to help the nation reach this critical goal.”
“Reducing food waste is good for business, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for our communities,” said McCarthy. “We need leaders in every field and every sector to help us reach our food loss goal. That’s why we’re excited to work with the 2030 Champions and others across the food retail industry as we work together to ensure that we feed families instead of landfills.”
Bon Appétit Management Company has been working on food waste since 2007 and in 2014, even appointed a full-time waste programs manager. Our food waste-fighting efforts — which closely follow the EPA’s own Food Recovery Hierarchy — include:
- Cooking from scratch in small batches to order, utilizing stem-to-root and snout-to-tail cooking techniques at all 650-plus locations in 32 states
- A commitment to having at least 80% of accounts Food Recovery Verified by 2018, meaning they are regularly donating their excess food to people in need and verified by an outside organization.
- Saving thousands of tons per month of cosmetically imperfect and underutilized parts of fruits and vegetables from going to waste on farms and during distribution through its Imperfectly Delicious Produce program (launched 2014; watch video)
- Partnering in 2015 with the Food Recovery Network to create a first-of-its-kind handbook for student volunteers, “Guide to Gleaning,” with guidance on working with farms to harvest excess/late-harvest produce and get it to hunger organizations.
- Previously developing and hosting an annual, month-long waste awareness campaign where each kitchen tracks its waste and does employee training and education around waste-free prep and cooking techniques with a week dedicated to tracking plate waste and empowering guests to play a role in waste prevention and reduction.
- Pioneering going trayless at all-you-care-to-eat facilities, which has been proven to reduce guest plate waste on average by a third!
- Sending food scraps to animal shelters and farmers where it is then used to feed animals.
- Recycling waste vegetable oil to be turned into energy.
“We’ve long battled food waste at the source, in our kitchens and on farms, because it also represents a waste of our precious land, air, water, and energy,” said Fedele Bauccio, CEO and cofounder of Bon Appétit Management Company. “With so many Americans going hungry, redirecting any edible excess food to people also makes sense. We are happy to see the government taking action on this important problem and promoting the many solutions available to addressing it.”
In the United States, EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, about 21 percent of the waste stream. Keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of landfills helps communities and the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households. Reducing food waste also impacts climate change as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills.
Additional background and contact information for the 15 inaugural Champions can be found in the USDA Newsroom.