Swedish retail giant Ikea has announced an ambitious plan to cut its food waste in half by August 2020.
Although best known for its flat-pack furniture and household accessories, Ikea also serves up a considerable amount of food—through its bistros, restaurants and Swedish Food Markets—in nearly 400 stores in 48 markets around the world.
To meet its goal to cut waste, Ikea has launched the Food Is Precious initiative where a “smart scale solution” is used to measure wasted food at its stores. The retailer has rigged up a system where a touch screen is connected to a floor scale with a waste bin where discarded food gets measured. Data is then collected that Ikea staff uses to come up with clever solutions to prevent food waste in the operation.
About 20% of Ikea’s stores have implemented the tool, which the retailer says has resulted in a reduction of 79,000 metric tons of food waste.
“Thanks to engaged co-workers and the measuring solution, we see up to 30% food waste reduction already after a few months,” said Michael La Cour, managing director of Ikea Food Services in a release. “I am following the development closely and hope it can encourage others to start thinking about food as a precious resource.”