To celebrate Food Waste Action Week (7-13 March 2022), the NEC Birmingham and the International Convention Centre (ICC) have released information on work behind the scenes to reduce food waste within the venues.
In total, more than 13,200 food portions have been saved during 18 months of operation through a partnership with OLIO, the food-sharing app, and Amadeus, the NEC Group’s in-house caterers. The initiative has also averted more than 11,400kg of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to taking 38,700 car miles off the road, and has saved two million litres of water.
“We’re committed to driving sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint and tackling food waste within the events industry,” said Marc Frankl, food and beverage director for Amadeus.
“It has been a tough, yet rewarding journey for us to transform our operations in this way. Our staff have really embraced the partnership and it’s moving from strength to strength.”
The food redistribution service ensures that surplus pre-packaged food such as sandwiches, salads and sushi boxes from the venues are distributed to those in the local community.
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses to make sure surplus food can be given away, not thrown away. The city’s large venues began working with the mobile app in December 2018, with community volunteers coming to the venues more than 4,100 times during months of operation to collect food which is either close to its sell-by date, surplus from large events or not needed by the venue. Amadeus staff volunteer as OLIO ‘Food Waste Heroes’ at its venues, who assist the local community with donations.
OLIO Food Waste Hero Christine said: “Volunteering with a big organisation like the NEC group gives me a real sense of pride, the food they don’t waste goes to help those who have very little, the appreciation I get from my side makes me feel really happy, I feel proud that I have played a part in the food being saved.”
The measurements are calculated by OLIO as part of the collection process. The figures are fed back to the venues as part of efforts to measure and reduce waste.
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