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5 Years of Fighting Food Waste and Strengthening Hotel Sustainability

In 2017, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) joined forces to develop actionable projects to prevent food waste in the hospitality sector through better food management. Hotel Kitchen works with the hospitality industry on understanding and reducing food waste using innovative strategies to engage staff, partners and guests in cutting waste from hotel kitchens.

In the US, it is estimated that 30-40% of all food is lost or wasted. A large portion of this food waste ends up in landfills where it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The amount of nutrients wasted globally is likely more than enough to feed every malnourished person on the planet.

This food waste occurs while 41 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, and it poses one of the biggest environmental threats to the planet. Reducing food waste is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of our food system and feed our communities.

Through research and a series of demonstration projects with properties across the country, innovative strategies were identified to engage staff, partners and guests in cutting waste from hotel kitchens to:

  • PREVENT food waste from occurring;
  • DONATE what cannot be prevented but is still safe for people to eat; and
  • DIVERT the rest away from landfills.

To date, more than 6,000 individuals have completed the training series that has been adopted in over a dozen countries, helping hotels provide guests with a more sustainable stay. From menu planning to ordering and from staff training to stewardship, Hotel Kitchen has provided the resources for owners, managers, employees, culinary teams and guests to fight food waste and reduce our environmental footprint.

By joining the fight against food waste, America’s hotels are reducing their carbon emissions , but also improving bottom lines and elevating the sustainable culture of the hospitality industry. In addition to major reductions in water usage and energy across the sector, AHLA and its members have made significant commitments to reduce waste and source responsibly through innovative programs and partnerships like Hotel Kitchen.