Private organizations and local governments are recognizing that programs to reduce food waste can help mitigate our impact on climate change. Yet ensuring the long-term success of these programs can be a challenge. Organizations may find they can increase their chance of success with a change management strategy.
By establishing specific steps and processes to follow, a change management strategy can serve as a roadmap for your efforts to reduce food waste. More importantly, a change in management strategy can guide your team’s understanding of and participation in the changes you want to see.
Below, we offer seven steps that organizations can take to ensure management success for their efforts to reduce food waste.
- Set clear goals
The first essential step for success is to define the change you wish to make. Your vision for your food waste reduction program will help guide the next steps of the management process. Setting specific targets with defined metrics is helpful, but this is also an opportunity to set big-picture goals. If your vision is to create a culture of sustainability with a focus on reducing waste, then you have a good starting place from which you can build specific steps for achieving that goal.
- Build awareness
Changing a process is more effective when people believe in the value of the change they’re being asked to make. For the reduction in food waste, the first step is to build awareness around the many reasons why it’s important to reduce food waste: from reducing organizational costs to mitigating food wastes’ impact on climate change.
The next step is to build awareness of how your food waste reduction program can achieve these goals. This is an area where many such programs can stall. When people don’t believe that separating their organic waste is going to make a difference, they’re less likely to participate. Organizations can overcome this obstacle by involving their team in donating leftover food, helping with composting, or adding signage that lets them know landscaping is made possible through biodigester-supported irrigation. The key is to ensure your people see the end result of their work.
- Secure team buy-in
You’ll need to engage your entire team in your food waste reduction efforts, but change often begins with the support of a few “change champions.” Your change champions are the people who are already passionate about reducing food waste. These champions are willing to help their peers make the changes needed to realize the bigger vision.
These individuals serve as liaisons between organizational leadership and employees. However, for this relationship to be successful, it’s essential that communication goes both ways. Leaders must demonstrate that they’re willing to be flexible and incorporate the feedback from the change champions.
- Implement simple changes
Small wins can help change initiatives build momentum. In the early stages of change management, organizations may best realize these simple wins by implementing solutions that are convenient for employees. This is why organizations committed to reducing food waste may find on-site biodigesters are more likely to drive progress than composting or other manually intensive solutions.
Biodigesters are typically located within the food prep area. This minimizes trips made to dispose of waste and much of the other labor that comes with the disposal of food waste. When paired with bin tippers, this convenient method of sustainable waste disposal further reduces any strain on your team.
To make change even more convenient, biodigesters conveniently roll waste disposal and data analytics together into a single solution.
- Measure and track progress
Data is essential for ensuring success of the change in process. Every food waste reduction program should begin with a baseline understanding of the current state as well as clear metrics by which to measure future progress. Measuring food waste can be challenging, but there are a number of templates available to guide this progress. Or, organizations can measure progress with the aid of data collected by a biodigester.
Biodigesters’ ability to provide data on waste disposal trends through the LFC Cloud is a key part of its ability to drive successful food waste reduction efforts. That’s because this data helps organizations both divert food from landfills and make more effective purchasing decisions.
- Adapt your program
While a clear strategy should guide your food reduction efforts, this strategy should not be inflexible. Change may depend upon your ability to incorporate feedback and data and then adapt your program. The key is to remember that a lack of progress doesn’t mean it’s time to give up; it means it’s time to adapt and try something new.
- Celebrate short-term wins
There’s a lot of work to be done to mitigate food waste’s impact on climate change. So much, in fact, that the task can easily seem overwhelming. That’s why it’s essential to celebrate small wins as you make progress toward your goals.
Celebrating your change management success helps engage your employees. And, by publicly sharing your progress in reducing food waste, you can encourage others to take action. In this way, even small wins can lead to something much bigger.
If you’re looking for inspiration to jumpstart your waste reduction program, we invite you to read these stories from organizations that have used biodigesters to successfully divert their food from the landfill.
Ready to make a simple change with the ability to make a huge impact on your carbon footprint? Order your LFC biodigester today.