2024-07-09

ISS Guckenheimer Joins U.S. Food Waste Pact

The U.S. Food Waste Pact, a national voluntary agreement for businesses throughout the U.S. food system to commit to reducing food loss and waste, announced today that ISS Guckenheimer has become its latest signatory.

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ISS Guckenheimer has expanded its sustainability efforts through this commitment, signing on to report food waste data and collaborate with industry peers in the sector and beyond.

In 2022, 235 million tons of food went unsold or uneaten in the United States—38% of the food produced. This amount represents nearly 145 billion meal equivalents, is worth $428 billion annually, and has serious environmental impacts, including generating 6.1% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Food Waste Pact is a national voluntary agreement that aims to help reduce food waste—identified by Project Drawdown as a top solution to slowing down climate change—through the “Target, Measure, Act” framework. Businesses that join the Pact commit to measuring and reporting their food waste data and have the opportunity to be part of pre-competitive working groups with industry peers and intervention projects that test, implement, and scale food waste solutions.

“ISS Guckenheimer is a great addition to the U.S. Food Waste Pact,” said Jackie Suggitt, Director of Capital, Innovation & Engagement at ReFED. “With their demonstrated achievements and commitment to sustainability efforts including on food waste, ISS Guckenheimer is well positioned to share their experiences and lessons learned with the community, and we are eager to see their contributions to the Pact.”

“For the last several years, we have aggressively pursued and adopted strategies that embrace a circular economy philosophy in the kitchen that help us use ingredients to their fullest potential, including repurposing peels, stems, and trimmings that are typically discarded, to reduce as much as possible any resulting waste,” said Paul Fairhead, CEO, ISS Guckenheimer. “Joining the U.S. Food Waste Pact gives us the opportunity to expand on our sustainability efforts through collaboration and measurement. We’re proud to be part of the Pact, and we look forward to seeing the change we can make in our own operations, as well as in our industry at large.”

ISS Guckenheimer committed to halving food waste in facilities where it provides food management services in the U.S. by the end of 2024. To meet its target, the company has implemented strategies that range from high-tech data collection to culinary resourcefulness and kitchen-tested trial and error. The company has equipped more than two hundred kitchens in the U.S. with technology that uses artificial intelligence to recognize food waste patterns and to recommend associated menu and purchasing changes to minimize waste. It has also invested in training its chefs on plant-based recipe development and preparation, including concepts for upcycling food scraps.

The U.S. Food Waste Pact is led by nonprofit resource partners ReFED and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with additional guidance from nonprofit WRAP. Signatories of the Pact receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Return on Investment — Food waste reduction programs around the world have shown proven significant return on investment for all types of food businesses;
  • Data Insights — Aggregated anonymous reporting from all signatories enables businesses to measure their progress, identify priority areas of action, and benchmark against competitors; and
  • Industry Collaboration — Pre-competitive working groups open to all signatories offer opportunities for businesses to learn from each other’s successes and discuss solutions to challenges.

The importance of food waste reduction as a climate change solution has increased in recent months, as climate researchers have highlighted the role of methane emissions reduction as an “emergency brake” that can allow more time to address carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This past June at the ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack announced the first-ever national strategy to reduce and prevent food loss and waste across the food system. 

For media inquiries:

Peter Mikol, Head of Communications, North America, 210-214-2161