More than 50 tons of food is wasted every second, reaching 1.6 billion tons annually. Nearly one-fifth of all the world’s food ends up in the garbage can, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
About 26% of this waste pertains to food service, for example, in restaurants, hotels or educational establishments. And the problem does not end there. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to this problem.
In view of this alarming situation, September 29 was declared International Day of Awareness in Food Loss and Waste in 2019, with the aim of raising awareness and sensitizing people to the importance of this issue.
What is our movement doing to reverse the situation?
We have to think of this fight as an ally and management has a lot to do with it: working more efficiently means cost savings and better profitability, while at the same time helping to take care of our planet. We focus attention on this issue and transform it into a goal.
For this reason, we are committed to the creation of a culture committed to food waste management based on three pillars:
- Planning: Prevention of food waste during meal planning, from the management of suppliers to the planning of each dish. We seek quality over quantity, with the commitment to à la carte menus, focusing on fresh local ingredients and traditional cuisine. Our Hotel Bahia Principe San Felipe, for example, is part of a circular economy pilot project promoted by the employers’ association ASHOTEL, the Tenerife Island Council and the Canary Island farmers’ cooperative ASAJA.
- Handling: Prevention of waste in the reception and storage of foodstuffs, as well as in the preparation of menus. We work with external stakeholders and also provide training to our work team. Through our circular economy department, we are creating composting plants, organic waste biodigestion practices, a recyclable waste sorting system, organic landfills and our own vegetable gardens in all our complexes, for better control and use of what is grown and used.
- Service: Prevention of waste during and after service through pre-established internal protocols. In the Dominican Republic, we are also collaborating with the Biodiverse, Clean and Sustainable Samaná project, which, together with the German cooperation agency GIZ, schools and local administration, is implementing educational projects for community waste management.
Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 2030 Agenda aims to halve global per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels.
In order to achieve these goals, UNEP‘s main campaign on food waste, called Think Eat Save, has a guide on food waste prevention programs for countries and companies. An inspiration for us at Grupo Piñero, where we have already started to work on the development of our Circular Economy Strategic Plan, focused on optimizing the management of resources and guaranteeing zero landfill.