Ikea owner Ingka Group has announced that it has reduced food waste by 54% in its stores.
That figure is the equivalent of over 20 million saved meals and 36,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions that have been avoided.
In order to cut its food wastage, Ikea partnered with Winnow, tapping its AI solutions. This meant that 20,000 Ikea food workers were trained on the tech in their daily routines.
“I truly believe food is too precious to be wasted and that everyone has a role to play to prevent and reduce food waste, whether it is at home in our own kitchens or in our business,” Ingka Group chief sustainability officer Karen Pflug said.
“We know that many people around the world suffer from hunger, whilst at the same time a third of all food harvested and produced is wasted.”
“It is clear that we need to take decisive action to play our part to change this. The impact we can all have on preventing and reducing food waste is beneficial for both people and the planet.”
“Although this achievement represents a relatively small proportion of our overall climate footprint, it is nevertheless an important step that we are proud of, and our food co-workers have been instrumental in this.”
“Throughout the process we learned from our mistakes, made use of valuable tools and implemented a range of solutions to bring the amount of food waste down.”
Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, prepares and serves food to over 560 million people every year.
Winnows’s Vision AI tool is built to measure and register food waste in the retailer‘s restaurants, bistros, and Swedish Food Markets around the world.
Workers are then provided with a deeper understanding of what is being discarded and for what reason, helping them make more informed decisions in the kitchen and reduce food waste.
Ingka Group global food manager Lorena Lourido Gomez added: “Together with our co-workers, partners and our customers we are determined to play our part, and as a global food player serving more than 560 million people every year, we want to show what´s possible and I really hope that by sharing our learnings we can inspire and encourage others to join us on this journey.
“This milestone has been met nine years ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Goal and shows the importance of setting bold targets, learning, and developing our approach along the way.”
“We are committed to maintaining these results while also going further to reduce consumer waste and put unavoidable food waste to good use.”