For IKEA Canada, phasing out single-use plastic straws and serving healthy food options such as the veggie hot dogs, are two ways of transforming its business to be more sustainable. Reducing food waste has emerged as another important and impactful way. In 2019, IKEA Canada achieved its goal of reducing food waste in its restaurant kitchens by over 30 percent within one year of implementing a new food waste tracking program.
The programme is a part of a larger global aim to diminish food waste in all IKEA stores by 50 percent before the end of 2020.
Globally, nearly one-third of all food harvested and produced is lost or wasted. In Canada alone, that adds up to roughly 35.5 million tonnes of food wasted per year. Through the implementation of a smart technology solution, IKEA Canada has managed to save 94,000 kilograms of food waste, or approximately 200,000 meals, in one year. The technology helps the restaurant coworkers to better understand what is being wasted and why. Using the insights gained, the coworkers can prevent food waste in their everyday operations.
“Food is valuable and precious. We believe that everyone in the food chain has a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste,” said Melissa Mirowski, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Canada. “Our target is ambitious, but we believe that by setting actionable goals and drawing on the passion of our co-workers, we can help tackle Canada’s food waste challenge.”
By 2030, the retailer aims to be a fully circular and climate positive business, while also enabling its customers to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet. As part of its sustainability ambitions, the food waste tracking program was implemented in December 2018.
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