Rooftop Gardens and Smaller Menus Will Tackle Hotel Chain’s Food Waste Problem

rooftop garden

AccorHotels’ Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, and Ibis chains may conjure images of extravagant luxury, but the 3,900 hotels are about to become known for something much less relaxing: our massive food waste problem. The French hotel group says it’s going to reduce its food waste by 30 percent at all locations, and, it’s also going to begin installing gardens on various hotel properties to help reduce its overall “foodprint.”

Restaurants in the AccorHotels’ chains will begin to “weigh and record food that is thrown away in order to best determine how to cut waste,” reports the Guardian. The company says 25 to 30 percent of its revenue comes from food sales—about 150 million meals per year.

AccorHotels’ goal of a 30 percent reduction in food waste mirrors UN estimates on how much food is wasted annually–about one-third, says the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. One way the company plans to tackle its food waste issue is to reduce menu size, dropping down from 40 or menu items, says Amir Nahai, AccorHotels’ food operations director.

“In the future we’re going to have menus with 10, 15 or 20 main courses, with more local products,” he told the Guardian.

The company is looking toward a carbon neutral future, improving energy efficiency in its hotels. It has already reduced water consumption by more than 5 percent and reduced carbon emissions by more than 6 percent.

“We are also going to support urban agriculture with the creation of 1,000 vegetable gardens in our hotels by 2020,” said Nahai.

Other hotel chains, such as Fairmont hotels and the famed Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, have also begun taking unique sustainability measures such as installing beehives on their rooftops.

Approximately $1 trillion worth of food is lost or wasted in production and consumption systems, reports the UN.

“When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten,” explains the Food Waste Day initiative. “In a world full of hunger, volatile food prices , and social unrest, these statistics are more than just shocking: they are environmentally, morally and economically outrageous.”

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Rooftop garden image via Shutterstock