This September, Olympia London is joining forces with the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to tackle food waste. The venue is encouraging all staff and catering partners to monitor personal and corporate wastage with the goal to completely drop food waste from the menu.
WRAP works with businesses and communities to promote a healthy “circular economy by helping to reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way”.
Taking part in the national campaign Guardians of Grub, Olympia London joins the Hospitality & Food service industry’s awareness drive.
Food waste is currently one of the biggest sustainability problems challenging the planet. It takes an enormous amount of time, resources and energy to cultivate food and yet, figures reveal that 1/3 of all produce is thrown away.
According to food sharing app, OLIO, “in the UK alone, households are responsible for over half of the waste with the average family throwing away £700 worth of food each year, adding to a whopping £12.5 billion going straight to landfill.” Just to put it into perspective, for every time we fill a 10-litre bin with discarded food, it is costing us £10.
In the corporate environment, the Hospitality & Food service industry wastes 1 million tonnes each year. According to Guardians of Grub, 75% of it is, in fact, edible and, if re-purposed, could reduce a current loss of £2.9 billion.
Olympia London is spearheading the message ‘your business is food; don’t throw it away’ and signing its onsite catering partners up to WRAP’s new campaign. The venue is tracking waste by measuring deteriorated food, preparation waste, inedible waste and plate waste.
In addition to catering partners, the venue is inviting all staff to get involved and measure their own food waste during September; plus offering tips on portion control (reducing plate waste) and planning meals/shopping smarter to avoid food going out of date.
Olympia London has sent zero waste to landfill for over a decade; with a recycling rate of 98% and the remaining 2% sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where green energy and fertiliser are produced.
In the past year, Olympia London has further optimised waste segregation across onsite catering. This facilitates the process when using food waste for biofuel purposes.
In addition, food surplus left onsite is distributed to those who need it the most through a partnership with City Harvest. A partnership between onsite catering partners and some event organisers ensures excess edible food is distributed to local food banks.