PARIS—Reduction can only be achieved through precise measurement. To accurately quantify food waste and comply with shared standards, each property is encouraged to measure its waste using Gaïa, a dedicated online reporting tool unique to Accor hotels. This technology-based solution makes it easier for hotels to measure and monitor their energy, water, waste, and carbon footprint performance, so that they can accurately track the impact of their sustainability initiatives. To date, 71 percent of the Group’s affiliate, managed and franchised hotels, spread across 3,900 properties, have adopted this platform. The Group plans to extend this to all its hotels with catering operations by 2025.
Within the International Food Waste Coalition (IFWC), Accor is working to define a common methodology for measuring and establishing best practices to help reduce food waste in commercial and contract catering.
Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer for Accor, commented, “Accor has long been committed to transforming the way we work and to supporting our hotels and guests as they move towards more ethical consumption. To go even further, we first need to work on developing industry-wide standards. Accor is a committed member of the IFWC, which is working to define and implement a methodology and targets for measuring and reducing food waste. Secondly, it is essential to roll out working, reporting and analysis methods based on a rigorous scientific approach. To achieve this, Accor is now leveraging the latest technological advances in Artificial Intelligence. Thanks to these two levers, the Group aims to exceed its targeted 50 percent reduction in food waste by 2030.”
Lots of Food Left on Plates
In average, almost 20 tons of food waste is generated per hotel each year, accounting for around 43 percent of a hotel’s total waste. While 45 percent of food waste in hotels comes from processing and excess preparation, 34 percent is due to food left on plates. The remaining 20 percent is the result of poor inventory management.
To help reduce waste at source, 200 pilot programs have been launched in properties that generate significant F&B sales.
Since 2016, Winnow Vision has been scanning and visually recognizing surplus food to obtain detailed data on its quantity and type, enabling teams to adjust menus and reduce food waste. The solution is currently being used in around 100 properties, including at Fairmont Jakarta, which has reduced its food waste by 16 percent (1.6 tons) in a single year, and Novotel London Excel, which has reduced waste by 39 percent, a reduction of 12 tons.
Using Artificial Intelligence, Orbisk, a startup awarded the Accor Challenge at Viva Technology 2021, scans leftover food to obtain clear data on the amount and type of food being thrown away, helping to adjust menus and thus reduce waste. This has been used at Sofitel The Palm in Dubai, which has reduced its food waste by 13 percent in five months, corresponding to 3 tons annually, and Novotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which has cut its waste by 35 percent, the equivalent of 8 tons over two years.
Lastly, Fullsoon, a predictive management solution for restaurants, estimates the number of customers, the dishes that will be ordered and the exact quantity of ingredients needed to prepare them. This start-up emerged from an intrapreneurship program launched by Accor’s Innovation Lab. Through this initiative Accor enabled a Group employee to devote 100 percent of his time to bringing his idea to life, financing his project, and creating his start-up before ultimately leaving the Group so that Fullsoon could take off. Damien Perrot, Global Chief Design, Technical Services & Innovation Officer PME, said, “We’re working to get 10 pilots up and running by the end of 2023, before rolling out to a large number of hotels worldwide, with the aim of optimizing F&B margins by 6 percent and saving an average of €800 in waste per hotel per month.”
Sharing best practices for positively influencing the behavior of employees—and particularly chefs—is another point of action. The Group has designed specific training modules for its kitchen teams on the topic of food waste.
Improving customer awareness of the need to combat food waste is also an essential daily task for Accor teams: interacting, raising awareness, and embarking on a journey to encourage guests to adopt more responsible habits. Accor is also committed to selling uneaten food at reduced prices or donating it through a partnership it launched back in 2017 with Too Good to Go. In 2023, 137,116 baskets have already been collected from the 685 participating hotels, preventing over 345 tons of excess CO2 emissions, and saving 137 tons of food from the trash can.