The Office of Sustainability’s (OOS) Food Waste Business Challenge is a new pilot program that will engage a minimum of 10 Philadelphia businesses in pursuing new wasted food prevention and recycling programs. The participating businesses will work directly with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) to identify how and when food waste is created, identify goals to target this waste, and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce, repurpose, and divert wasted food. CET focuses on a holistic approach and targets both pre- and post-consumer food waste.
By implementing strategies across the U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, businesses can save money on food purchasing and disposal costs, thus yielding essential economic benefits. Example strategies include implementing source separation and composting, commencing food donation, offering flexible portion sizes, utilizing food parts that would otherwise go unused, making free bread and chips optional. OOS will actively promote the campaign and participants in it, which will help elevate city-wide awareness of the food waste challenge, attract more participation, and amplify the impacts of any individual instance of technical assistance. The selected businesses will collaborate directly with OOS and CET for a minimum of 6 months.