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According to a report by Second Harvest, a Toronto-based agency that collects surplus food throughout the supply chain, 58% of all food produced in Canada is lost or wasted – the majority of which ends up in landfills, which we know creates greenhouse gas emissions and is contributing to climate change.  

That’s almost $50 billion-worth of food squandered, while so many communities in all parts of Canada continue to struggle with hunger and food insecurity.  

I find this incredibly worrisome. But at Sodexo, we are working to turn this around.  

At campuses across Canadian institutions, dining halls are a staple of the university student experience, and the problem of food waste is something that we need to address if we are to make any real positive changes.  

As a food service provider, at Sodexo we work with our clients to propose innovative and sustainable solutions, such as WasteWatch powered by LeanPath (WWxLP) – Sodexo’s global comprehensive program to prevent and reduce food waste by allowing staff to track food waste in real time, monitor and then make adjustments that are ultimately cost-effective and good for our planet.  

Implementing WasteWatch will help us reduce up to 50% of all food wasted and save millions of dollars – if not more – at sites across Canada.  

As an example, earlier this year we implemented WasteWatch at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in Nova Scotia, a client of ours for over 34 years where Sodexo serves over 400,000 meals a year on campus; and at Trinity Western University, in Ontario, a client of ours for 30 years where we provide over 210,000 meals.  

In the short amount of time since the program started, 30% of the total food at StFX University, which would have been wasted, has been donated to Meals on Wheels charity. Bob Hale, Director of Ancillary Services at StFX University, commented on the benefits and simplicity of WasteWatch, noting that “We have had an Executive Chef working here for the last twelve years. Now, armed with this tool, he is able to break down our food loss even further by weighing and categorizing in the kitchen. It is currently in our dining hall, but we are looking to expand out some of the retail units where it makes the most sense. It is very easy to use and the reporting is simply amazing.” 

As a corporate citizen, we champion sustainable resource usage. Our global target is to eliminate all avoidable waste by 2025. And I’m confident we can get there by implementing WasteWatch.  

Currently there are more than 1,200 Sodexo kitchens around the world that use the program, and globally, Sodexo has committed to deploy the WasteWatch powered by Leanpath (WWxLP) at 3,000 sites in 2021.  


This article was published for the first time on the personal LinkedIn account of Martin Lapointe, Vice President of Operations, Education Segment, Sodexo Canada

March 15, 2021

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