Elior commits to reducing its food waste by 30% between now and 2025
One goal: to reduce food waste by 30%
The Group has set itself the target to reduce food waste in its restaurants by 30%, on average, by 2025. This objective is in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal n° 12 (responsible consumption and production), and involves all Elior teams in the field.
To achieve this goal, the Group has adopted a 4-pronged action plan focused on: measuring food waste, preventing this waste, recovering surplus food and bio-waste, and transforming production methods. In each area, and respecting the specific characteristics of each country where Elior is present, innovative solutions adapted to operational challenges are put in place to involve all stakeholders: teams, customers and guests.
Measure food waste
Assessing food waste and sharing the findings with Group employees preparing food in the kitchen and guests eating meals in the canteen is a way to make everyone aware of its impact. This is why it is essential to diagnose food waste that could be avoided: overproduction, unsold products, returned trays, etc.
This diagnosis is carried out either directly by Elior’s teams or by external expert partners. The findings are then analyzed and shared with customers in order to draw up an action plan that is adapted to the sources of waste in the restaurant.
In Italy, Elior’s Italian teams are working with Winnow to correctly assess the sources of waste.
Prevent food waste
The Group's objective is to deploy in each country an anti-waste program that is adapted to the regional culture and its specific local characteristics. In these programs, several concrete actions are implemented: anticipating guest flows to allow for daily production adjustments, providing ongoing training of teams in the correct anti-waste gestures to be adopted, validation of recipes by guests, and offering guests the choice of two sizes of menu to suit their appetite, etc.
For example, in the United States, teams have developed a far-reaching “Waste Nothing” program which deploys innovative solutions to reduce waste while improving recycling. This program includes specific training for operational teams, dedicated measurement tools and a section to raise awareness among guests.
Recover surplus food and bio-waste
When food surpluses cannot be avoided, the Group undertakes to recover them, by offering unconsumed lunches for take-out. Thanks to the partnership with Too Good To Go, company employees can order their surprise basket of lunch leftovers at a reduced price, and then collect it at the end of the working day. In this way, several thousand meals are saved from the trash can every year, in France and Spain.
Redistributing unconsumed meals to associations enables Elior to actively contribute to solidarity initiatives by way of redistribution and food donation networks set up in regions where the Group is present, such as in Italy where it is a member of the Italian Food Bank Federation.
In addition, 90% of restaurants sort their own bio-waste for recycling by professionals in the local methanization or industrial-composting sectors. Other avenues are being explored, particularly in Italy where agri-food waste is being recovered and used as animal feed.
Transform production methods and consumption habits
To support the transition of contract catering professions towards adopting a more sustainable model, Elior works in the public interest by transforming its restaurants into real areas of innovation.
The Group is a member of the International Food Waste Coalition (IFWC), a group of catering and hotel players which regularly tests innovative solutions. Elior also participates in calls for experimental projects initiated by the public authorities (ADEME in France, Mondragon University in Spain, WRAP and Guardians of Grub in the United Kingdom).
Elior takes its responsibility beyond its restaurants, notably by involving the general public. For example, the Group publishes tips from its chefs and culinary partners on cooking leftovers, and raises its guests’ awareness to the fight against waste in the home. Likewise, the mobilization of Elior teams is essential: in the United Kingdom, the “Trashed” initiative rewarded the promotion of recipes that recycle left-overs or food that is destined for the trash can.