As kids, most of us hated hearing a parent say “clean your plate or you won’t get dessert!“….or the guilt-inducing “don’t you know there are starving children in China?!?“. Sigh.
But on some level, we did understand that it was wrong to throw away uneaten food when others were (literally) starving … somewhere…
Now, Zero Food Waste sounds good, but what does it actually mean? Read on to find out!
So, what is the point of all this?
It will come as little surprise that hotels have a massive food waste problem.
This is particularly true of the all-inclusive industry, where there is little incentive for guests to hold back. Pile up your plate with a little of everything, eat what you fancy, and leave the rest. After all, it’s all included in the price of your vacation, isn’t it?
However, as the world tries to be more sustainable, food waste is quickly becoming a priority issue – and one we can actually help solve.
One of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals is “Zero Hunger” and one way to reduce hunger is to reduce the overconsumption of limited food resources that leads to food waste.
According to the UN, approximately one third of the food produced today ends up in the trash bin.
This is where the Zero Food Waste certification comes in.
What does the Zero Food Waste program do?
Step one in reducing food waste is to identify what is being wasted in the first place. So, the first step for RIU to gain Zero Food Waste accreditation was to conduct a food waste inventory, to establish where the main causes of food waste occur.
Then RIU then had to define a plan for reducing and preventing this waste. Although the details of this plan have not yet been released, AENOR’s accreditation was dependent on such a plan. Once the relevant inventory and evaluations were conducted by AENOR, the certifications were awarded for the first three hotels. These certifications are valid for three years, and reviews are to be conducted annually to ensure standards are being maintained.
RIU is the first of (what we hope will be) many large hotel chains who will work to reduce food waste, in order to tackle global hunger and food insecurity.
What are RIU Hotels actually doing to fight food waste?
As mentioned, the specific details of RIU’s food waste plan have not yet been released, however, some steps have been noticed by guests and are mentioned on the company website.
Some of the steps taken to reduce food waste have included reducing the size of plates at buffets. This encourages guests to take only what they need, and therefore reduces the amount of food taken from the buffet that is not consumed. Optimization of stock taking and better adjusting the food ordering process to meet demand are other processes highlighted on AENOR’s website as ways to gain accreditation.
Which RIU Hotels does this apply to?
Towards the end of 2023, three of RIU’s hotels were certified as Zero Food Waste by AENOR. These were the Check PricesRiu San Francisco, Check PricesRiu Festival, and Check PricesRiu Concordia hotels, all in Mallorca. The company has two more hotels on the island, Riu Playa Park and the Riu Bravo, which will be certified when they reopen for the 2024 summer season.
Their Mallorca properties are serving as the “pilot program” to see how it goes, and hopefully will be rolled-out across all their hotels soon.
You can learn more about RIU’s “Proudly Committed” program here: