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Business & Industry

Supporting the First Zero Food Waste Generation

One third of all food produced in the world is not eaten.

Every year, the world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food. It is a huge waste of resources, as well as being an enormous economic loss and contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Karma saves food from falling into the garbage can through its app. 

So far, we have saved nearly 9,000 servings, and that's just the beginning.

Not only is Sodexo the world’s first to connect its financing terms to action around reducing food waste, but our primary goal is to bring food waste down to the lowest possible level in each restaurant. We measure the waste daily, analyze and take action. 

However, completely eliminating waste is difficult due to the nature of the restaurant business, which requires some overproduction of food. When the day starts, we don’t know how many patients or guests will need food, or how hungry they will be. Most restaurants cook according to estimates and forecasts based on statistics that could be months old. 

Hands holding a smartphone with Karma appA few years ago, we connected with four young Swedes who created a platform to combat the unknown and overproduction in meal planning, and it was clear that Sodexo needed to support their business idea. Karma is an app that links with restaurants, cafes and bakeries to sell food that would otherwise be thrown away for half the price. Our collaboration started on a small scale at the end of 2017 and is gradually expanding to more kitchens.

At the end of each day, member restaurants and production kitchens go through leftovers to determine what can be sold. Then, they go into the Karma app, describe each meal, note how many servings are available, and what it costs. The leftover food is then matched with someone nearby looking for a meal. 

Food handover is the next challenge for a restaurant that may be closing down for the night.
The hungry user connects with the restaurant via the app and can either get their meal at the restaurant or another agreed-upon location. Recently, Karma introduced smart refrigerators where customers can retrieve their food using a code, to further facilitate storage and handover. All bookings and payments are handled via the Karma-app, which minimizes the restaurant's work. 

So far, the Karma app has helped us save nearly 9,000 servings. This corresponds to about 3 tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of driving a fossil-fueled car about 1,500 Swedish miles.

The response from our customers and guests is very positive, as it is rare to find such a win-win solution. The Karma app is spreading to more countries and has been in London for a year and 6 months in Paris.

October 29, 2019

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How We Reduce Food Waste Every Day

Food should never be thrown away. Nearly all our site managers, chefs and kitchen staff have implemented initiatives to cut waste. But this is not enough. We're using data to identify actions that can change behavior and reduce food waste. For us, it's an opportunity to inspire creativity from our chefs, create new ways of enjoying food, and adopt more efficient operations for our planet.

Vegetable peels

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