This September, Olympia London is joining forces with the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to tackle food waste.
The venue is encouraging all staff and catering partners to monitor personal and corporate waste with the goal to completely drop food waste from the menu.
WRAP works with businesses and communities to promote a healthy “circular economy by helping to reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way”. Taking part in national campaign Guardians of Grub, Olympia London joins the Hospitality & Food service industry’s awareness drive.
Food waste is currently one of the biggest sustainability problems challenging the planet. It takes an enormous amount of time, resources and energy to cultivate food and yet, figures reveal that 1/3 of all produce is thrown away.
Olympia London is spearheading the message ‘your business is food; don’t throw it away’ and signing its onsite catering partners up to WRAP’s new campaign. The venue is tracking waste by measuring deteriorated food, preparation waste, inedible waste and plate waste.
In addition to catering partners, the venue is inviting all staff to get involved and measure their own food waste during September; plus offering tips on portion control (reducing plate waste) and planning meals / shopping smarter to avoid food going out of date. The experiences will be shared on social media using #GuardiansofGrub.
Olympia London says it has sent zero waste to landfill for over a decade; with a recycling rate of 98% and the remaining 2% sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where green energy and fertiliser are produced. The venue’s goal is to completely eradicate food waste.
Food surplus left onsite is distributed to those who need it the most through a partnership with City Harvest: the charity distributes more than 12 tonnes of food every week, which benefits the local community; including Barons Court Project, Olympia London’s nominated charity of the year.
A partnership between onsite catering partners and some event organisers ensures excess edible food is distributed to local food banks.
The venue recently introduced a pop-up restaurant with a plant-based menu. Available to organisers, it can be purpose-built on their show-floor to suit each event layout. The menu, portion sizes and operation have been designed to reduce food waste, it produced less than 2% waste, compared to a 37% industry average; and met visitor demand for a healthier and more sustainability-conscious offer.