In 2016, Sodexo launched a flagship sustainability program in Singapore called WasteWatch powered by Leanpath. As a food services and facilities management provider, our aim was to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025.WasteWatch deploys technology to track and analyse food waste data, empowering our culinary teams to effect change. The information enables our chefs to make data-driven decisions at both the operational and behavioural level to eliminate excess food waste produced by our kitchens and the consumer plate waste discarded by guests.WasteWatch represents a simple vision for a more sustainable future, making a difference one plate at a time.Analysing food waste data to reduce wasteSodexo is a purpose-driven organisation where we live and breathe our three values of Service Spirit, Team Spirit and Spirit of Progress. We truly believe our purpose is to create a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all.As a service company, Sodexo takes care in getting to know our clients and customers. With WasteWatch, our culinary teams are equipped to service our clients’ growing interest in food waste reduction, present relevant data and propose waste reduction initiatives.Strong teamwork is essential to deliver our services. With WasteWatch, Sodexo’s culinary teams support each other in various ways – from recording and analysing food waste data to brainstorming ideas to reduce food waste together.We believe excellence in service means continuously seeking opportunities for improvement. With WasteWatch, Sodexo’s culinary teams take the initiative to measure and analyse food waste data, looking for better ways of reducing food waste to progress as a sustainable food services provider.Overall, WasteWatch empowers our culinary teams to contribute to Sodexo’s purpose. By reducing food waste and its carbon emissions, we protect the environment and create a better everyday for future generations.Sodexo chef recording food waste dataCombining hardware, software and behavioural educationWasteWatch reduced an average of 50% of food waste at Sodexo kitchen sites over three years. Since its pilot launch in Singapore in 2016, the programme has reduced food waste by more than 400 metric tonnes, preventing close to 3000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions. As Sodexo continues its daily efforts to reduce food waste, these numbers are expected to grow further.Supported by our technology provider, Leanpath, WasteWatch combines hardware, software and behavioural education. The core innovation is a measurement system that connects a touch-screen interface to weighing scales, which collects daily pre- and post-consumer food waste using metrics like weight, quantity and food type.All data collected are sent to Leanpath Online, the backend AI-powered platform that identifies areas of wastage and communicates the operational and behavioural changes needed to reduce waste. The AI platform also uses smart data to set waste reduction goals and shares in-depth real-time insights on the financial and environmental impacts of food waste.Sodexo culinary team using data to brainstorm food waste reduction ideasLike any new innovation, execution is key. Capability development is an important component of WasteWatch, as we use data to improve daily standard operating processes across our food service sites. For example, kitchen teams are trained in food waste data entry and data analysis. Wastewatch also considers how our business model influences behaviour. As our kitchen teams operate onsite services for clients, they are physically separated and accountable for different sites. Usually, ideas to reduce food waste come from and stay within the same team. A simple platform was thus created to share best practices and encourage cross-pollination of ideas across sites.Instilling a circular mindset in the long termSodexo is working to scale WasteWatch across a diverse range of food service sites, from large-scale facilities like manufacturing plants, hospitals and schools, to smaller corporate office pantries serving coffee and light meals. To enhance WasteWatch’s financial feasibility for smaller sites, Sodexo is developing WasteWatch Lite, where sites can continue using the Leanpath software for food waste data analytics while having the flexibility of choosing lighter hardware (weighing scale and tablet).Sodexo also plans to utilise data gathered from WasteWatch to drive further innovation, such as managing food waste that are traditionally perceived as "unavoidable." Examples include promoting zero-waste recipes made with usually discarded ingredient parts such as potato peels to reduce trim waste from fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, Sodexo aims to instil a circular mindset within its culinary teams, shifting from a linear take-make-dispose model to a sustainable take-make-reuse approach, contributing to a more sustainable future.