Sustainable supply chain: Food waste reduction

Reducing supply chain footprint, disposal of waste to sea and disposal of waste to shore are important contributing factors in optimising responsible fleet operations.  In 2017, Fugro teamed up with International Food Services to achieve further optimisation of these activities across its fleet.  By educating galley staff in the creation of modern, healthy and higher quality menus, together with improved food handling, dish presentation and stock management, initial results have already shown significant reductions.

Food waste to sea has been reduced by 8% and food waste to shore by 20%. Further reductions are expected following full rollout of the programme.  Although these strategies are not new to the marine services industry, the programme illustrates that refinement of existing methodology and close collaboration between supply chain partners can realise significant further improvements in environmental performance.

The safety of personnel working on Fugro’s global fleet is paramount, while sustaining an operational approach that strives to minimise its environmental impact.  Reducing supply chain footprint, disposal of waste to sea and disposal of waste to shore are important contributing factors in optimising responsible fleet operations.  Food waste reduction also contributes directly and indirectly to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The ‘Food Waste Reduction Programme’ has initially been piloted with selected vessels through 2018, producing significant reductions in waste and allied improvements.  Fugro and IFS are currently implementing the programme on all vessels in all regions, and the aim has been to complete global rollout by in 2019.  This includes an extensive 10-day training for cooks.

What was done?

  • Food Waste Reduction Programme menu creation – to inspire healthy, balanced food offerings on-board. Effective measures resulting from this include the replacement of ready-made and processed products with freshly made or healthier choices;
  • Food handling and dish presentation – to reduce waste from unnecessary exposure such as presenting too much food at the buffet and too early. Staff are trained to create buffet layouts that make the healthy food choices more attractive;
  • Food budgeting and standardisation – to enable more detailed insight into the actual food requirement to deliver the menus created on-board. This also allows for better cost control through improved budgeting of ingredients and insight into food cost calculations, enabling set budget targets to be met if applicable;
  • Stock and supplier management – to bring about control of quality and quantity of products ordered and supplied. This comprises ‘first in, first out’ management to avoid food exceeding its expiry date and avoiding overstocking.

Results and Conclusion

Participating vessels reduced food waste to sea by 8% and food waste to shore by 20%.  Figures vary per vessel due to differences in the level of knowledge and practices already in place prior to the start of the programme, as well as the timing of staff training within the year.  Once rollout is complete across Fugro’s entire vessel fleet, it is expected that a minimum 25% reduction overall will be achieved in 2019, establishing a marker for subsequent targets.

Although the campaign is still being implemented, it is already considered a success in its contribution to the reduction of the supply chain footprint, while ensuring staff are offered a modern and healthy food offering with all the related health benefits.