Home Kitchen & Laundry Mandarin Oriental Embraces Winnow for Food Waste Reduction

Mandarin Oriental Embraces Winnow for Food Waste Reduction

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT—On the United Nations’ World Environment Day, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced a significant stride in environmental stewardship with the goal of having Winnow’s food waste technology installed across all its hotels by the end of 2025. This initiative is a testament to Mandarin Oriental’s commitment to setting a new standard for sustainability in the luxury hospitality sector.

In a resounding endorsement of the effectiveness of Winnow’s AI technology, Mandarin Oriental has already observed a remarkable 36 percent reduction in food waste in four pilot hotels: Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London; Mandarin Oriental, Miami; and Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah, Dubai. These impressive results underscore the Group’s dedication to operational excellence and environmental responsibility.

Implementing Winnow’s cutting-edge technology across all Mandarin Oriental hotels is core to the Group’s broader sustainability strategy. Food waste accounts for up to 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and between 5 to 15 percent of the food purchased by kitchens is typically wasted, contributing to the Group’s goal to reduce waste intensity by 50 percent by 2030. This commitment is aligned with the United Nations SDG 12.3, which aims to halve global per capita food waste by 2030.

Kitchens Typically Save Up to 8 Percent on Food Costs

Winnow’s data will enable hotel teams to make informed decisions that positively impact both the environment and their bottom line, with kitchens typically saving between 2 to 8 percent on food costs. Initiatives to manage food waste will expand upon existing ones, including colleague educational campaigns, overhauling buffet operations, donating excess edible food, and innovative composting programs to improve soil condition and support efficient absorption of rainwater.

With Mandarin Oriental restaurants holding 26 Michelin Stars around the world including Michelin’s Green-star recognition at Amber, the signature French fine-dining restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the Group also looks forward to leveraging the creative platform of their chefs to raise awareness of the importance of tackling food waste. Looking ahead, chefs will be able to use insights from Winnow’s data to inform zero waste menus and recipes.

Torsten van Dullemen, Group Director of Sustainability and Area Vice President Operations, states, “Our commitment to sustainability goes hand in hand with our promise to deliver exceptional guest experiences. The integration of Winnow’s technology across our global portfolio is a bold step towards reducing our ecological impact and reinforcing our position as an industry leader.”

Marc Zornes, CEO & Co-founder of Winnow, comments, “Mandarin Oriental is at the forefront of sustainability in luxury hospitality. Our collaboration is already demonstrating the powerful impact of technology and data in reducing food waste. We’re honored to support Mandarin Oriental in their ambitious goals, and together, we’re not only setting new industry standards but also making a tangible difference for our planet.”

Successful pilot programs at Mandarin Oriental hotels in Miami, Dubai, London and Hong Kong resulted in annualized net savings of $207,000, 66 tons of food waste, and 289 tons in CO2e emissions. The Group will be building on this success by rolling out Winnow’s technology to all 40 hotels by the end of 2025.

How AI works at Mandarin Oriental

The Winnow technology implemented in Mandarin Oriental’s kitchens enables staff to seamlessly track exactly what wastage occurs throughout their production stream. With this data, users are empowered to optimize efficiency, change behaviors, and drive significant waste reductions.

Designed to require minimal interaction, the Winnow system consists of a camera, smart-scale and tablet. The camera, featuring computer vision trained to identify over 600 food items, automatically identifies waste as it is thrown away. The weight and cost of the food discarded is then instantly calculated and displayed.

All captured data is uploaded to the cloud, where food waste from each day is recorded and analyzed. With the preparation of daily, weekly, and monthly reports, Mandarin Oriental kitchens receive the necessary information to drive operational efficiencies, change behaviors, and innovate on techniques in preparation, cooking and plating.

The result is a win-win: using AI in its kitchens will allow Mandarin Oriental to improve its signature quality of service alongside significant reductions in costs and environmental impact.

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