Why Biodigesters are the Future of Food Waste Management

April 11, 2022

3 minutes, 31 seconds read

Why Biodigesters are the Future of Food Waste Management

Food waste management is going to play an increasingly critical role in corporate sustainability goals in the future. Today, more than a third of worldwide food production is lost or wasted each year, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons of waste food. Without change, experts predict that waste may grow to as much as 70% of all food by the year 2050. Not only does this waste drive up food costs and food insecurity, but it has major impacts on a range of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions. Reigning in critical scope 3 emissions will depend upon a sustainable food waste management plan. 

More sustainable food waste management will require organizations to adopt an approach that prioritizes right-sizing food purchasing and responsible disposal of food waste. However, it also requires that organizations implement simple solutions today that drive strategic progress. As global consultant Deloitte notes in its Future of Food report, digital technology must play a central role in identifying and preventing possible avenues of food waste. It’s for this reason that we believe onsite biodigesters will play a key role in the future of food waste management. 

Better data is first step for minimizing food waste

It’s virtually impossible to make clear progress on food waste without metrics against which to measure advancement. Organizations can and should set commitments to more sustainable purchasing from local sources and adopt environmentally responsible disposal methods. However, these commitments mean little without an ability to clearly measure the impact of these steps. This is an area where onsite biodigesters stand apart. 

Today’s biodigester solutions feature continuous remote analytics that display information about the type of food waste being processed. For example, Power Knot’s LFC Cloud retains historic data on the amount of waste food digested hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, as well as the amount of CO2 diverted from the landfill during this process. Moreover, data from multiple machines across an organization can be aggregated into a single report. When used with the LFC card reader, organizations can account for the type or source of the waste to be able to obtain even greater insight into where the waste is coming from.

This level of data reporting allows commercial food preparation organizations to create actionable plans for reducing purchasing. It also provides clear metrics against which progress can be measured and new improvement goals established over time. 

Align sustainability and operational goals for success 

With consumer sentiment tilted in favor of sustainability, organizations know there is a business case for reducing food waste. However, these goals must be balanced with ongoing demands to grow profits. As a result, the most lasting changes will be those that improve efficiency or otherwise reduce operational costs while achieving sustainability goals. 

This business imperative to improve operational efficiency is yet another reason we believe that biodigesters are the most effective option for future food waste disposal. Compared to a solution like composting, a biodigester does carry a higher upfront cost to implement. However, biodigesters significantly reduce the time and labor spent on the management of food waste. This is an operational improvement that carries longer-term cost savings.

Over time, biodigesters reduce the intangible costs of collecting and transporting waste, cleaning up spills, and keeping garbage areas clean to prevent attracting pests. It also carries a human impact, in that it reduces some of the monotonous labor that can cause injury and burn out employees. 

Organizations are far more likely to make forward progress on food waste reduction goals when they align with operational improvements. 

Biodigesters are the future of food waste management 

Strategic food waste management requires a systematic approach to the entire life cycle. It must begin with responsible food purchasing, but must also embrace opportunities to minimize waste along the entire life cycle, ending with responsible disposal.

Only onsite biodigesters offer organizations an opportunity to gain the data and efficiency needed to impact food waste from beginning to end. It’s a responsible place from which to begin a bigger journey to sustainable food management. 

To learn more about how an on-site biodigester can help your organization, contact Power Knot today.