LAS VEGAS—Sands has made addressing food waste a top priority and set an ambitious target to prevent, donate or divert 25 percent of food waste by 2025. Food waste intersects multiple key environmental and social issues including biodiversity loss, climate change and food insecurity that are integral components of both the Sands ECO360 and Sands Cares global programs.
“Sands’ commitment to reduce food waste is guided by our intent to both minimize food going to landfill and maximize the value of food produced,” said Katarina Tesarova, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability officer. “We’ve made significant progress to reduce our food waste footprint and have set a solid foundation from which we can achieve continuous improvement and impact.”
To keep food out of landfills and ensure Sands’ properties maximize the food resources it procures and manages, the company employs three top-line strategies: waste prevention, food rescue and waste diversion.
Food Waste Prevention
The first part of Sands’ strategy is to prevent food waste from ever occurring. Efforts include working closely with meeting clients on accurate guest counts to avoid food overproduction for large events and training Team Members to minimize plate waste in company dining rooms. In Macao, each Sands China property is given a quarterly plate waste-reduction target for Team Member dining rooms. If achieved, Team Members get to enjoy a signature dish voted on by the group. Sands also transfers surplus food from events and meetings to Team Member dining rooms to avoid it going to waste.
Sands donates excess catered food to community organizations and has created partnerships in each of its regions to help mitigate food insecurity among people in need. Marina Bay Sands has a partnership with The Food Bank Singapore to donate unserved food to vulnerable individuals and families. The resort expanded the partnership in 2021 by providing funding to cover the operating costs of a chilled delivery truck to deliver fresh, edible foods to people in need. Since 2016, Marina Bay Sands has donated more than 24,000 kilograms of unserved cooked food to The Food Bank Singapore.
Sands China properties send food that would be destined for waste streams to animal service organizations. Sands China works with Anima Macau, a nonprofit association committed to the adequate treatment of animals, to donate food to animals in need.
Food Waste Diversion
Finally, Sands works to divert food from landfills via composting and anerobic digestion. Both Sands China and Marina Bay Sands employ on-site digestion systems to convert food waste into liquid, which is less emission intensive then sending it to landfill. Additionally, both properties repurpose leftover cooking oil for biodiesel and Marina Bay Sands uses coffee grounds in compost for landscaping.
Sands gauges the effectiveness of its work to reduce food waste in a number of ways, including measuring pre- and post-consumption food in Team Member dining rooms and using digester data logs to track food waste. The company also monitors food production in kitchens to detect actionable insights to help kitchen staff identify opportunities for menu adjustments and change food orders to reduce waste. Sands also conducts periodic audits and waste-characterization studies to understand the amount of food going into waste streams so that it can find and create additional initiatives to address waste.
“We rely on close collaboration with a number of partners to continuously develop strategies and more effectively reduce food waste,” Tesarova said. “Working throughout the entire food ecosystem, we ensure that we are making an impact today and in the future.”
To learn more about Sands’ commitment to reducing food waste, download the 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report: https://www.sands.com/resources/reports/.