IKEA Cuts Food Waste by 54%

The company has saved 20 million meals, avoided 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents and saved $37 million.

September 26, 2022

STOCKHOLM—IKEA has cut its food waste by 54% since 2017 to save on food costs and reduce its environmental footprint, reports Reuters. IKEA is one of the world’s largest restaurants, along with being the largest furniture company.

In 2017, IKEA announced its Food is Precious initiative, which aimed to cut food waste in its food operations by 50% by the end of its fiscal year 2020. A smart scale solution, measuring wasted food and its sources, enables IKEA co-workers to find clever ways to prevent food waste, according to the company.

Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores, said that IKEA successfully saved over 20 million meals and avoided 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. Monetarily, the group saved 37 million euros ($37 million).

"Although this achievement represents a relatively small proportion of our overall climate footprint, (0.1%), it is nevertheless an important step that we are proud of," the group said in a statement. "We’re continuing to explore, test and develop ways to prevent and reduce food waste in our operations as well as to inspire our customers and the many people to do the same."

Reuters reports that IKEA’s value chain, which includes raw material production to customers’ product disposal, emitted 26.2 million tons of CO2 equivalent in the 12 months ended August 2021.

SPAR Austria recently reported that it is minimizing waste through digitization. Although only 1% of the food offered in-store goes unsold, the retailer is looking to bring this down further by using data and AI for goods ordering and supply chain management. Additionally, In August, SPAR Austria announced it was saving energy by reducing the hours it uses its lighting systems in SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores nationwide and using LED lighting.

(The 2023 Convenience Summit Europe is set for May 30 to June 1 in Dublin, Ireland. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.)

In the U.S., Maverik—Adventure’s First Stop announced it is expanding its pilot food waste program. Launched April 2021, the program now donates surplus food from 87 stores, supporting communities in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, through distribution to five network member food banks.

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The 2022 NACS Show, October 1-4, in Las Vegas includes four education sessions on foodservice: Menu Optimization: Think Like a Restaurant; Global Foodservice Trends & Menus; Foodservice Analytics: The Recipe for Success; and Gulp! Reinvigorated Dispensed Beverages. Register today to attend the NACS Show.