COP28's Agenda: Putting Food Waste Front and Center

Posted by David Jackson / 24-Nov-2023


As the world gears up for COP28, the conversation around climate change and sustainability is intensifying. One critical aspect of this global dialogue is the issue of food waste, particularly in the hospitality sector. Winnow is at the forefront of this battle, helping major players like IKEA, Iberostar, and Hilton make significant strides in sustainability. This article delves into the impact of food waste on the environment and how technology can be a game-changer in creating a more sustainable future.

Food waste is not just a matter of lost resources; it's a significant contributor to climate change. When food is wasted, all the energy, water, and labour that went into producing, processing, transporting, and cooking it are wasted too. This generates unnecessary greenhouse gases. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China. This startling fact underscores the need for urgent action in the hospitality sector, a major contributor to food waste.

Winnow is committed to helping the hospitality industry turn the tide against food waste. Winnow’s technology provides innovative tools and insights, enabling businesses to measure, monitor, and manage their food waste effectively. 

The results speak for themselves: IKEA has reduced their food waste by 50% across 400+ stores, contributing to saving 20 million meals from the bin. 

Similarly, Iberostar have partnered with Winnow to reduce their food waste by 28%. From a climate change point of view, this translates to saving 2,500 tons of CO2e per year - the equivalent of driving 10.3 million km in a car. These partnerships are setting new standards in the industry for environmental responsibility, and saving on food costs at the same time. 

The Green Ramadan campaign, launched by Hilton in partnership with Winnow, UNEP, and Goumbook, was a sustainability initiative aimed at reducing food waste during the holy month of Ramadan, when waste rises by approximately 50%. Utilising Winnow’s AI technology for precise waste tracking, the campaign resulted in a 61% reduction in food waste across participating hotels, saving over 8,600 meals from landfill. 

By using AI and machine learning, Winnow's solutions provide actionable insights that empower chefs and kitchen staff to make informed decisions. This technology not only tracks food waste but also identifies patterns and suggests optimizations, leading to more efficient kitchen operations and reduced environmental impact.

Beyond the environmental benefits, there's a compelling business case for reducing food waste. For every dollar invested in Winnow's technology, kitchens can expect significant returns in reduced food costs. This cost-saving aspect makes food waste management not just an environmental choice but a smart business decision. As more companies like IKEA, Iberostar, and Hilton demonstrate, sustainable practices can lead to both profitability and positive environmental impact.

As the world looks towards COP28, the role of technology in managing food waste will be a critical topic. Winnow's achievements in the hospitality sector offer a blueprint for how businesses can contribute to the global fight against climate change. By adopting such technologies, companies not only align with the goals of COP28 but also set themselves up as leaders in sustainability.

The fight against food waste is a crucial part of the broader struggle against climate change. As we approach COP28, it's clear that technology will play a pivotal role in this battle. Companies like Winnow Solutions, with their proven track record in helping giants like IKEA, Iberostar, and Hilton, demonstrate that reducing food waste is not only good for the planet but also good for business. The hospitality sector has a unique opportunity to lead by example, showing the world that sustainable practices can go hand in hand with commercial success.

Will you be at COP28? Reach out to connect with the Winnow team at and learn more about our program of events.

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