GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized the accomplishments of 13 organizations and businesses participating in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge. Sodexo, world leader of Quality of Life services, was recognized for its leadership in reducing food waste through strategic food recovery efforts and its ability to leverage best practices in support of such efforts at its client sites.
In 2015, more than 800 governments, businesses and organizations participated in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge. Participants include organizations such as grocers, restaurants, educational institutions and sports and entertainment venues, who together kept more than 690,000 tons of food from being wasted. These efforts reduced carbon emissions equivalent to taking approximately 86,000 cars off the road for a year and saved businesses up to $35 million in avoided waste disposal fees.
"It was my personal goal to win the EPA Food Recovery Challenge Leadership Award on behalf of Sodexo," says Christy Cook, director of sustainability performance and field support, Sodexo North America. "Sodexo team members across the U.S. are taking significant and innovative actions at their sites. This award celebrates their contributions to Sodexo's overall goal to eliminate all avoidable waste from the landfill by 2025."
Sodexo stood out as a leader reducing food waste because of its innovative and deliberate approach:
- Implementing programs to properly measure waste reduction at client sites with its Global WasteWatch program
- Focus on behavior changes among teams to reduce waste before it happens and to donate when it is unavoidable
- Host trainings in coordination with the EPA across the country to learn more about waste reduction practices
- Collaboration with organizations to share best practices and leverage programs such as Save the Food.
Sodexo has a central role in achieving waste reduction targets and is strengthening its efforts to eliminate food waste at every client site, with a top priority to prevent waste from occurring. Its programs focus on raising awareness first and influencing behaviors of customers and employees, while continuously improving back-of-house processes and upgrading kitchen equipment. Measuring impact and sharing expertise with clients and external industry partners to drive fundamental change on the issue of food waste is seen as equally important.
In the United States, wasted food carries significant economic and environmental costs. Food accounts for the largest share of the municipal waste stream, with roughly 77 billion pounds discarded each year. The estimated value of food that goes uneaten each year is $161.6 billion, costing the average family up to $1,500. Uneaten food and other organic materials in landfills decompose and generate methane, a significantly harmful greenhouse gas. Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane emissions produced from human activity.
"The waste reduction efforts of this year's award winners, as well as all Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, are leading the way for the United States to meet the national goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030," said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management. "These Food Recovery Challenge award winners are reducing food loss and waste within their communities to make America a healthier, more sustainable nation. They are leading by example and have reduced their climate footprint, helped communities and achieved cost savings by taking actions based on EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy and sustainable materials management best practices."
A full list of Outstanding Food Recovery Challenge Participants is found on the EPA website.
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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