Teamwork makes the dream work – Iberostar Group supported by Winnow technology to reduce the waste of 5 million meals and 8,000 tons of CO2 per year

Sustainability, food waste and CO2 emission reduction are issues that many businesses continue to grapple with whilst the importance thereof only continues to grow.

In a recent announcement, supported by the above video, Iberostar, the global hotel group behind some of the world’s finest luxury destinations, have confirmed the deployment of Winnow’s Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) solution Winnow Vision to drive down food waste.

What does this mean?

  • Iberostar Group will install Winnow technology in all its hotels to reduce the waste of 5 million meals per year and stop emitting almost 8,000 tons of CO2 per year
  • For each hotel, it is estimated that the savings will be 28 tons of food waste per year
  • Iberostar Group’s goal is to reduce food waste by 50% in the first year that Winnow is implemented

After successful pilot programs at Iberostar hotels in Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, Iberostar is now rolling out the technology globally across all hotels starting in September this year. Typically, establishments using Winnow’s technology cut food waste in half in 12 to 24 months.

Iberostar’s partnership with Winnow has already brought cutting-edge technology to the Iberostar Selection Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic slashing food waste by 35% and saving 300,000 meals a year from the bin; the equivalent food cost savings are $290,000.

This initiative is a part of Iberostar’s “Wave of Change” sustainability program, which promotes responsible tourism, circular economy thinking and the protection of coastal ecosystems. Their ambition is to send zero waste to landfill by 2025. With 60% of the hotel’s waste being food, reducing food waste is an integral part of this goal. Food waste accounts for up to 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, combating it is necessary to fight climate change.

The work done by this resort demonstrates that teamwork has the power to fight climate change on a global scale. By reducing food waste, the hotel successfully prevented 120 tonnes of CO2e from being released every year, the equivalent to carbon sequestered by 1,800 trees grown for 10 years. The collaboration between the team members is the driving force that powers the Waves of Change initiative.

Iberostar Selection Bavaro has reinvested their savings into improving their food quality, the team realised they were wasting 15% of the croissants produced, they are now making fewer croissants, but of a higher quality resulting in no waste.

According to Sabina Fluxá, Vice-Chairman & CEO of Iberostar Group, “Reducing food waste is key to meeting our 2030 Agenda goals. The value of food cannot be underestimated, and, at Iberostar, we want to ensure it is not wasted. In addition to training our employees to address food waste, we have put in place this innovative system to reduce the amount of waste we produce without affecting the guest experience. We are convinced the use of state-of-the-art technology, training, and innovation dedicated to removing food waste will help us reduce climate impacts, achieve our goals, and contribute to broader global goals that benefit the planet.”

Angel Arroyo, Executive Chef, Iberostar Selection Bavaro “As a chef, I work every day with one of the most valuable resources that we have: food. It’s such an important part of our guests’ vacations and it’s a shame to let it go to waste. With Winnow, I can become part of the solution to global food waste while continuing to deliver a great gastronomic experience.”

Food waste is an age-old problem for the hospitality sector. Kitchens are busy, and measuring food waste accurately is challenging. Historically teams simply didn’t know how much they were wasting or which items were being wasted.

Winnow’s technology helps solve this problem by making it easy to record food waste accurately, giving chefs analytics to pinpoint where waste can be reduced. The technology works in a similar way to a driverless car, with a camera positioned over bins capturing images of food waste. Over time the system learns to recognise items automating much of the recording process giving accurate data with little effort.

Winnow commented, “Iberostar has set out a clear and ambitious vision to become waste free by 2025, and we are delighted to support them on this journey. We hope that their leadership will spur action across the sector that’s badly needed if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste worldwide by 2030.”