GAITHERSBURG, MD -- Sodexo employees at eight college campuses have reportedly cut kitchen waste by about one third, according to the preliminary findings from the first eight weeks of a pilot study. The program kicked off Sodexo's Stop Wasting Food campaign, launched in September to engage its customers and employees in reducing food waste.
Sodexo is partnering with LeanPath, a technology company specializing in food waste tracking systems, to conduct the pilot, which focuses on kitchen -- or pre-consumer -- waste, not what customers throw out.
Pilot colleges have a tracking station where Sodexo employees enter data about what they are throwing out and why. By tracking the reason for throwing away items, Sodexo said it is able to correct the problem to prevent future food waste. Employees at those eight sites have dramatically reduced overproduction, spoilage, expiration and trimmings by participating in the pilot study, Sodexo said.
LeanPath estimates that 4% to 10% of the food that is purchased ends up in kitchen waste. Each participating site in the Sodexo pilot also has a Stop Waste Action Team (SWAT) composed of employees. This group reviews the waste tracking data, sets specific goals for improvement, and tests waste-prevention ideas. The most effective ideas become permanent operating procedures.