Major hotel chain to grow vegetables at 1000 properties to cut food waste by 30 per cent

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Accorhotels, which includes Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis, will reduce the number of main courses on offer and record all food thrown away.

One of the world’s biggest hotel chains has announced it will plant vegetable gardens at many of its hotels as part of a plan to cut food waste by a third.

AccorHotels, which includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis chains, intends to “reduce food waste by 30%, in particular by sourcing food locally”, chief executive Sebastien Bazin said on Tuesday.

AccorHotels, which generates 25 to 30 per cent of its revenue by serving 150 million meals and 130 million pastries per year, first plans to determine just how much food it is wasting.

Its restaurants will be required to weigh and record food tossed out in order to best determine how to cut waste.

With up to one third of food produced being wasted, according to estimates by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, there is ample room for businesses to save money while also helping reduce hunger and greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming and transport.

Amir Nahai, who leads Accor’s food operations, said that menus currently offering up to 40 main courses would slimmed down.

“In the future we’re going to have menus with 10, 15 or 20 main courses, with more local products,” he said.

The group intends to plant vegetable gardens in many of its 3,900 hotels.

“We are also going to support urban agriculture with the creation of 1,000 vegetable gardens in our hotels by 2020,” said Nahai.

AccorHotels also aims to improve the energy efficiency in its buildings with the ultimate target of making them carbon neutral.

In its previous five-year environmental plan, AccorHotels said it cut water consumption by nearly 9%, energy consumption by 5.3% and carbon emissions by 6.2%.

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