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IKEA Canada reduces food waste by 31 per cent in 2019, prevents more than 200,000 meals from going to waste

Thursday, January 9, 2020 6:36:00 PM

-Home furnishings retailer is well on its way to achieving goal of 50 per cent reduction in food waste this year.

IKEA Canada announced that it has achieved its goal of reducing food waste in its kitchens by over 30 per cent within one year of implementing a new food waste tracking program. This program is part of a larger global ambition to diminish food waste in all IKEA stores by 50 per cent before the end of 2020. More than 94,000 kilograms of food waste has been saved since the program started in Canada which is equivalent to approximately 200,000 meals.

Nearly one third of all food that is harvested and produced in the world is lost or wasted every day, with roughly 35.5 million tonnes in Canada alone. Through a smart technology solution, IKEA Canada is now able to measure the food waste in its restaurants and bistros nationwide. This simple tool empowers IKEA Canada co-workers to better understand what is being wasted and why. They then can identify ways to prevent food waste in everyday operations, including more efficient meal planning and material handling.

"Food is valuable and precious. We believe that everyone in the food chain has a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste," said Melissa Mirowski, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Canada. "Our target is ambitious, but we believe that by setting actionable goals and drawing on the passion of our co-workers, we can help tackle Canada's food waste challenge."

IKEA Canada is transforming its business to be ever more sustainable. By 2030, the retailer aims to be a fully circular and climate positive business, while also enabling its customers to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet. As part of its sustainability ambitions, the food waste tracking program was implemented in December 2018, seeing immediate results. IKEA Edmonton has led the way with an accumulative food waste reduction of 40 per cent in one year.

As part of its commitment to make its food services more sustainable, IKEA Canada phased out single-use plastic straws from its product range and restaurants last year. The retailer also introduced new plant-based items like the veggie hot dog to bistro menus nationwide, making healthy and sustainable food options more affordable and accessible to customers.