Reducing Food Waste in Partnership With Hotels in Zagreb and Belgrade
Unfortunately, Croatia does not lag behind global data. We throw away about 400,000 tonnes of food annually, contributing to European figures of around 90 million tonnes. Natural resources are consumed for the production, distribution, and storage of food. WWF has therefore recognized food waste as one of the most important programs of its work, with the aim of reducing the pressure that humanity puts on our planet. WWF Adria began its work on reducing food waste through collaboration with the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, which strives for sustainable development, and together they are moving towards their zero waste strategy.
"Fighting food waste is very important to us at WWF and we want to encourage behavior change in our hotels. Our long-term partner, Esplanade Hotel, has recognized this project and started implementing it to reduce food waste. According to the first data we received after the measurement, we saw where significant changes should be made, and hotel staff were convinced not only of environmental benefits but also of economic ones, given the losses they can now avoid. We believe that with this example, we will inspire other hotels in the region to venture into the fight against excess food leftovers, ”said Fabian Peronja of WWF Adria.
As many as 50 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables are being dumped in Europe solely because of their 'irregular' shape, costing a whopping 140 billion euros. Food waste creates unbearable pressure on landfills and, through its decomposition, releases highly toxic methane gas. Throwing away food is also a major social problem given the increasing number of hungry and poor in the world. While we number about 850 million obese people, 795 million do not have enough food to live a healthy life, and as many as 9 million are dying of hunger.
"Through its responsible waste management and waste management program, Hotel Esplanade has for many years sought to properly and efficiently manage food in the procurement, preparation, and recycling of food waste, but through this initiative, the intention is to further maximize the use of food in the kitchen and in restaurants. Through staff training and guest-oriented information and education messages, we will strive to highlight this global problem. Of course, we also want to encourage other individuals and institutions to move in this direction, "says Esplanade Hotel Managing Director Ivica Max Krizmanić, adding:" The Esplanade Hotel strives for a zero food waste strategy. This project is challenging, some changes in the behavior of staff and guests in food management are needed, but with the right tools and focused leadership, through proven methods and examples of good practice, we believe we will get measurable results."
Throwing away food is a major economic problem for both the economy and consumers. Encouraging hotels to make a change is not only a step towards raising awareness but also towards raising awareness of this problem, which, ultimately, every individual should be aware of. In addition to the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, this initiative has already been adopted and is being implemented by the Belgrade-based Courtyard by Marriott Belgrade City Center and in hotel Jezero at Plitvice Lakes.