Hotel Industry Embarks on Pilot to Prevent Food Waste

Teaming with the World Wildlife Fund and The Rockefeller Foundation, the American Hotel & Lodging Association will offer support to its members as part of a pilot program that looks to stop food waste before it starts.

Food waste is a big problem, but it’s one the hotel industry is ready to tackle head-on—with the help of a couple of friends.

This week, the American Hotel & Lodging Association announced that, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and The Rockefeller Foundation, it was working on a series of pilot tests for reducing food waste in the hotel industry.

The project came about jointly, with WWF and AHLA developing it through AHLA’s Food & Beverage Committee and Sustainability Committee, and the The Rockefeller Foundation offering support through its YieldWise Initiative, which aims to halve food waste globally by 2030.

A number of major brands will take part in the 12-week project, including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), and Marriott International. The goal of the strategy being plotted out isn’t to find ways to simply donate food that’s already been made, but rather to prevent food from being wasted in the first place.

Following the pilot, a toolkit that reports on key findings, best practices, and next steps to tackle food waste in the industry will be published.

Pete Pearson, WWF’s director of food waste, noted that hotels were a good example for consumers due to their broad reach and high volumes.

“Imagine every hotel breakfast buffet or conference luncheon eliminating food waste,” Pearson said in a news release. “While businesses should make food donation and landfill diversion a priority, these pilot projects will focus on food waste prevention, which is ultimately better for business and the environment.”

AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar noted in the press release that the hotel industry has remained focused on the waste issue over the years—with the current collaboration just the latest example.

“The hotel and lodging industry takes pride in its dedication to fulfilling our environmental responsibilities, and we recognize the leadership role we can play in continuing to advance sustainability efforts like food waste reduction programs,” she said.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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