The UAE hospitality and foodservice industries have reportedly saved 1.5 million meals from being wasted in 2018 as part of the UAE Food Waste pledge.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) launched the initiative in May 2018 in partnership with Winnow, a UK-based startup, and also launched an online platform for the initiative.

The pledge challenged companies to save one million meals from going to waste in 2018, raising the target to two million in 2019 and three million in 2020.

The initiative supports the UAE’s commitment to halving food waste by 2030 in line with the global target to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030 as per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.

Early adopters, including Majid Al Futtaim, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Emaar, AccorHotels, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises and ADNH Compass, were joined by 15 additional companies in October 2018. Collectively, they surpassed the set target and reduced their environmental footprint, it was revealed on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019.

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According to data from over 450 sites in 25 countries that was collected by Winnow, restaurant kitchens generate waste that amounts to eight to 20 percent of total food costs. In some facilities, the level of food waste can be as high as 40 percent.