SAN DIEGO, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, in partnership with Sharp Healthcare instituted food waste reduction techniques at facilities for San Diego's leading healthcare provider, saving a minimum of 1,000 pounds of food each week – nutritious, healthy food that otherwise would have been tossed out. In recognition of these efforts, Sharp Healthcare earned the Emies Award for Unwasted Food from the San Diego Food System Alliance at the Food Waste Solution Summit II.
As much as 40 percent of available food in the U.S. goes uneaten, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. This means not only is the food wasted, but the water and energy that go into creating and transporting it is wasted as well. Reducing food waste does more than benefit the environment. It benefits the economy and those in need also. The Emies award recognizes the wide array of joint efforts led by Sodexo and Sharp Healthcare to include a commitment to eco-friendly food choices, composting efforts, movement from disposable goods to reusable goods to enhance the single stream recycling program and immense growth in food recovery efforts from 2015 to 2016.
"Sodexo is committed to working with its employees, clients and suppliers to reduce food waste in its ordering, storage, preparation and serving," said Lauren Blacker, resident district manager, Sodexo. "Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion of food each year, so, as a large organization, Sodexo's contributions to food waste reduction efforts are crucial."
One of the signature achievements at Sharp Healthcare was the August 2016 launch of a Food Recovery program that donates surplus or unsold food to the San Diego Rescue Mission. Based on early estimates, the program is projected to save an average of 1,132 pounds per week.
Other specific areas in which Sodexo contributed to reducing waste:
- A soup stock program launched in February 2016 that turns previously unused vegetable scraps into soup stock and saves, on average, 174 pounds of food each week
- An "imperfect produce" program that purchases, on average, 677 pounds of less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables that are healthy, nutrient-rich and full of flavor but would previously have been thrown away
- A composting program that in 2015 diverted 252,300 pounds of composted waste from landfills
- A cooking oil recycling program that collected 11,824 pounds of oil in 2015 and converted it into safe biodiesel
- Increased purchase of 100% recycled goods at all sites as well as a robust, system-wide recycling campaign
- Waste-mindful operations, including self-audit checklists that help kitchen teams reduce their carbon footprint in areas from food prep to cleanup
The San Diego Food System Alliance's mission is to affect positive change in San Diego County's local food system, and the Food Waste Summit II was held to discuss and create promising solutions to prevent and solve food waste problems. As part of the summit, five San Diego businesses received an Emies award.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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