SDG UN Goal #12: Nudge to reduce Food Waste and ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production

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Sustainable Development Goal number 12 is about consuming and producing within our planet’s natural limit, and for next generations to be able to fulfill their needs. As food is a basic need to be fulfilled and a shortage in a large part of the world, goal number 12 is specified in a 50% reduction of the amount of food globally ending as waste throughout the whole value chain before 2030.

Globally, 30-40% of all produced food is wasted every year. Wasted food represents a massive social, environmental and economic loss, yet more than 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat.
This goal is very tangible for all of us to understand and to act upon, but it also entails an obvious opportunity for companies within the food and service industry to work with their supply chain and production of food, as they can both become more responsible and save a lot of money at the same time. One of the most valuable places to start is in the large professional kitchens: A small nudge and behavioral change here can have a big impact on the pursuit of goal number 12.

CASE: FOOD WASTE REDUCTION IN LARGE PROFESSIONAL KITCHENS

In Denmark, hotels and restaurants produce approx. 29,000 tons of food waste on an annual basis. That encouraged Nudge and Behavioral Design Expert Sille Krukow, to run a pilot within this sector to see whether our approach on behavioral design could help reduce the problem.

Through observations and data analysis, Krukow found that food is not only wasted when being left on our plates. The waste starts long before being served. Together with two of Denmark’s biggest Hotel chains, Krukow observed that the waste already happens in booking systems, grocery lists, storage rooms, and rotation systems of groceries. This means that these are crucial moments to address if we want to reduce food waste globally. By adding a few simple nudges to the booking systems, storage rooms and plate sizes – Krukow successfully nudged a reduction in food waste by 42%.

Imagine the positive impact,  we could have on people, the planet, and costs if these solutions were implemented globally!  For more inspirational insights on how we can nudge to reduce food waste and litter click here 

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