The Sodexo catering teams at several English universities have now saved over 1,500 meals from going to waste after signing up to the Too Good To Go app.
The app is now being trialled by the French foodservice giant at a number of establishments, including University College London, Coventry University, Birkbeck, the Sutton Bonington campus at the University of Nottingham, and City University.
The technology allows customers to purchase unsold meals, that would otherwise go to waste, at a discounted price. And according to company, the meals saved across all the sites so far have prevented more than 3,000 kg of food waste-related greenhouse gas emissions, which has benefitted the environment as much as avoiding 120 hours of driving in a car.
The team at UCL, which goes by the name of Food Federation UCL, joined forces with the app in October 2018, and has already rescued over 1,000 of the 1,500 meals.
Neil Whittle, Sodexo’s contract director at UCL, said: “We are committed to reducing food waste and are always looking for innovative ways we can make our meals go further.
“When we heard about the Too Good To Go app, we were really keen to give it a go. We always have a variety of meals on offer in the refectory at UCL, which means there is inevitably some left over once the lunchtime service comes to an end.”
Following the lunchtime service, up to 10 meals are made available to purchase through the app. Customers buy the meal through the app, then collect it from the UCL refectory between 2.30pm and 3pm, before the team starts preparing for the evening service.
“The unsold meals we make available include vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, which can come from any of our counters in the refectory, so the food we sell via the app is always varied,” Whittle explained.
“One day it might be a lasagne and salad, the next it might be a tofu stir fry. And if we have fruit pots or yoghurts that are at their use by date, we will include those free of charge."
Ana Svab, corporate responsibility manager at Sodexo, added: “As part of our Better Tomorrow 2025 commitment, Sodexo has signed up to the UN goal to reduce food waste, and we also have our own target of halving food waste by 2030.
“The Too Good To Go app is an easy way to reduce the amount of food that is fit for consumption being disposed of unnecessarily.
“It is really exciting to see that the Sodexo team at UCL is already having such success with the app, and we will be considering how we can make this available to our other clients.”