Question: I am working on a project to reduce food waste in hospital kitchens in B.C. Just wondering if your site could share ideas, resources that relate to the topic or other organizations that are leading the path in this area.

Answer: Though BizEnergy focuses on the food service, accommodations, retail and small industrial business sectors — our green tips could easily be applied to any kitchen and a variety of businesses. We will gladly provide some direction when it comes to reducing waste in the kitchen!


While mainstream food services start to make move towards sustainability for 2014, businesses are trying harder than ever to figure out what steps to take when it comes to waste reduction and energy conservation.

The food service industry is notorious for being one of the most wasteful — from food and water to energy and take-out products. Though it seems like a long way for this industry to achieve a zero-waste goal like some other business sectors, there are certainly alternatives, steps to take and methods of diverting food service waste from the landfill (which itself is made up of 32% food waste).

Last year, we featured a helpful article How to stop wasting food, water and energy written by Janine Windsor, president of LEAF (Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice) that provides some solid guidance.

Implement a zero-waste philosophy and develop business strategies based on this

Creating sustainability and zero-waste initiatives will only benefit your business as it improves cost savings, eco-efficiency, greens your company’s image and can even help you develop a better understanding of your business operation.

Evaluate your menu: value quality over quantity and create portions based on this. Dissect your process and when it comes to sauces, consider using meat trimmings or recycling bones you’d otherwise throw away, turn leftovers into soup of the days or even transform perfectly good parts and pieces you’d usually throw away into staff meals.

Hire and train an excellent culinary team: Let them know you’re serious about your sustainability values and have them want to do their part by meticulously cutting and paying careful attention to their tasks. According to the Times of India, there’s an art to chopping and cutting ingredients that can help reduce waste. “There could be food wastage of as high as 15kg per person every year, due to wrong peeling and cutting techniques,” reports the Times of India.

Get creative: host a staff meeting, collect thoughts and create realistic initiatives.

Be on the look out for local programs that help avoid food waste

Whether you’re dealing with a kitchen in a food service business or hospital, there are programs available to help achieve a green solution for the waste. In B.C., there is a Food Waste Recyclers service that helps with organic recycling keeping the kitchen greener and cleaner!

South of the border, BioCycle covered a story about a Hospital Chain On Board With Food Scraps Diversion.

For businesses, we offer an Energy Audit tool that could be useful to help identify savings opportunities!


Image credit: Meilbhe