If you’re ready to start your own program for the management of food waste but aren’t sure where to begin, consider yourself lucky. As more organizations become aware of the social and environmental problems associated with food waste, more resources have become available. As many of these organizations agree, improvement begins with an assessment of current food waste levels and kitchen practices. This establishes a baseline from which to drive improvement. This kitchen waste analysis process often also identifies easy opportunities to make simple improvements.
Below, you’ll find a summary of popular resources – including toolkits, templates, databases, and more – to help you start or enhance your food waste management program.
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment guide and tip sheets
The U.S. EPA provides a wealth of resources to help homeowners and businesses account for their food waste.
The agency provides A Guide to Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment to help readers through this process; Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants, which offers guidance for using prevention tool tracking; and a printable tracking waste log.
EPA also offers tip sheets with targeted guidance for K-12 schools, food manufacturers, restaurants, universities, and grocery stores on strategies for preventing food loss and waste.
- The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations’ toolkit
This toolkit highlights examples of food loss and best practices for the reduction of waste. It provides helpful definitions and guidance based on the food waste hierarchy, which emphasizes prioritizing reduction, reuse, and recycling prior to disposal.
It also suggests information sources, guidelines, and pledges that organizations can adopt to enhance their food waste management program.
- The Center for EcoTechnology’s state guidance and waste tracking
This nonprofit organization offers a number of resources to help households and businesses assess and reduce food waste.
- Food Loss + Waste Protocol’s waste and emissions calculators
The Food Loss + Waste Protocol is the multi-stakeholder partnership behind the global Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard. The standard aims to enable companies, as well as cities and countries, to assess and report on their food loss and waste.
While many of the protocol’s resources are focused on compliance with the standard, it also offers a food loss and waste calculator, a publication to help companies connect their food waste to greenhouse gas emissions, and a practical guide on why and how to measure food waste.
- Further with Food’s resource hub
Further with Food is the result of a public-private partnership composed of a number of U.S. government agencies and associations vested in food loss and waste reduction.
The online center serves as a resource hub for businesses, investors, NGOs, academics, and other consumers to find and share information and new approaches to reducing food loss and diverting waste from landfills.
Resources can be filtered by audience and include campaigns, challenges, case studies, and targeted toolkits.
- Restaurant Kitchen’s resource hub
The National Restaurant Association and World Wildlife Fund have formed a partnership to help restaurants assess, reduce, and track their food waste.
Their Restaurant Kitchen resource hub features a spreadsheet to help calculate food waste, a five-step food waste audit, and suggested menu redesign concepts, among other resources.
- The World Wildlife Fund’s hotel messaging toolkit
WWF offers this toolkit to help hospitality organizations communicate with their guests about food waste.
This comprehensive guide helps organizations plan a data-fueled communication strategy and then delivers two sample campaigns that can be tailored to align with hotels’ own messaging.
- The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s hotel waste measurement methodology
This UN-based organization provides a Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology to help the hotel industry collect waste data and consistently track waste.
While this methodology is applicable for all types of waste, it provides a valuable framework for setting goals and metrics, gathering and verifying data, and reporting results.
- The Rockefeller Foundation’s food waste toolkit for the office
This office-focused toolkit arms businesses with data, objectives, and guidance on how to make the reduction of food waste a part of corporate culture.
The toolkit also features hands-on samples of messaging, posters, and even potential speakers who can help spur engagement around food waste management.
- International Food Waste Coalition’s hospitality food waste measurement and reporting methodology
The International Food Waste Coalition offers a food waste measurement and reporting methodology shaped by the principles of the UNEP Food Waste Index and the European Union’s methodology and minimum quality requirements.
It is designed to help hospitality and catering companies improve data quality, align how data is tracked by food organizations and their supply chains, and standardize the data used by regulatory bodies.
As such, it provides useful definitions and key performance indicators.
- ReFED’s Insights Engine
The national nonprofit organization has a database of more than 1,500 organizations that provide products and services to help reduce food waste.
Results can be sorted by state, sector, and solution type.
- The LFC Cloud: Your onsite, real-time food waste dashboard
If you want to take control of your food waste without relying on time-consuming, manual templates and logs, the LFC biodigester may be the answer. These machines connect to the LFC Cloud, an online dashboard that provides data on the amount of food waste consumed by the biodigester each hour.
Waste can be broken down by type (such as fruit or vegetables) to help businesses adjust their servings and procurement practices. By investing in an on-site biodigester, businesses gain resources to reduce food loss and more responsibly dispose of any remaining waste.
For more insight into how an on-site biodigester can improve food waste management, visit Power Knot’s Center of Sustainability. Our comprehensive resources aim to help any food-producing organization implement best practices for reducing their food waste and overall carbon footprint.
Ready to take control of your food waste? Contact Power Knot today.
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