Our hunger to end food waste in our operations

About the author : Better Tomorrow
Published on : 10/25/23
Reading time : 4 min
  • Recognising our responsibility as one of the largest food service providers in Australia, we choose to act now.

    Food waste generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the commercial flights in the world—with one third of food generated globally ending up in landfill, contributing 8-10% of global greenhouse gases.

    Recognising our responsibility as one of the largest food service providers in Australia, we choose to act now. Since as early as 2009, we have committed to making a Better Tomorrow, and that starts with tackling our food waste. Specifically, we’re committed to: 

    -    Cutting our food waste by 50% by 2025
    -    Reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2025
    -    Reaching net zero emissions by 2040

    These milestones form a part of our robust sustainability roadmap and are fed by our hunger to reduce food waste throughout our business. 

    Stop hunger 3.jpg

    Fighting food waste…

    Annually, we produce millions of meals. With the subsequent scraps and leftovers, it is imperative for us to tackle food waste and emissions through everyday innovation. We do this through our ‘Waste Lifecycle’. 

    … in the supply chain

    In Australia, 3.2 million tonnes of food go to waste before reaching consumers, and our responsible sourcing strategy tackles this issue at its core. 

    Before surplus produce has the chance to be ‘passed up’, we have intervened via our supply chain and our partnership with Social Traders, Yume. As one of the first corporates to sign their pledge, for our own operations we source bulk quality food and ingredients that help minimise carbon footprint and waste—year on year committing to the purchase of hundreds of more tonnes. To date, this collaboration has helped divert 469,702kgs of superior food from going to waste. That much could fill 21 semi-trailer trucks, avoiding 2,966,624kgs CO2, the equivalent of removing 645 cars off the road for a year and 146,719,991lts total embedded water, equivalent to 58 Olympic pools.

    …in the kitchen Wastemaster chef.jpg

    We employ innovative programs like WasteWatch, powered by Leanpath, to give us data-driven insights on food waste in our kitchens. This allows us to avoid food waste through modified menus, reduced deliveries, and the transport emissions that come with it. 

    As of Sept 2023, 55 Australian sites with WasteWatch deployed have prevented 170 tonnes of food waste, saving the equivalent of 312,251 meals or avoiding 1,184 metric tonnes of CO2e.

    …in the bin

    In the rare event of food wastage at the end of our supply chain, we have completed a 12-month pilot on one of our sites to convert food waste into a resource, as fertiliser through the help of WasteMaster, an on-site commercial food waste processor. The residual products are added it to a local business open windrow composting. To date, WasteMaster has enabled Sodexo to divert 64.9 tonnes of food waste from landfill, produce 21.8 tonnes of residual and a reduction of 123.74 tonnes of Green House Gasses. 

    …in the community

    NFYL-meals.pngWe pride ourselves on our community connections, a vital stakeholder to us. As part of Sodexo’s Stop Hunger initiative to fight food insecurity, we work with our national charity partner Foodbank Australia and organisations like Nintirri and Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd (NYFL), to address hunger in local communities and the most rural and remote areas of Australia.

    The fact remains that almost a third of Indigenous communities in rural and remote Australia experience food insecurity. Producing nutritionally balanced meals for diabetic community members and at-risk Indigenous Elders and supporting the Ieramugadu (Roebourne) Social Supermarket and Café and Gallery is one of the many ways we're actively working to extend our support where it’s needed most.  


    Sharing expertise

    Globally, we partner with environmental experts like the World Wildlife Fund and WRAP, supporting their campaigns tackling food waste and its emissions. 

    Locally, we actively participate in and are signatories to Stop Food Waste Australia’s Australian Food Pact, which is committed to halving food waste by 2030.

    Sodexo’s global mission for over 55 years has been to impact the communities where we work positively. Locally, we continue to work towards our environmental targets with transparency, authenticity, and the intent to make real change. To achieve this ambition, we are grateful to our customers, suppliers, and partners who provide us with the support and ambition to meet these goals.

    Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 commitments and initiatives contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    Contact us > Open sharing and other actions