InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with technology company Winnow to help its hotels automatically track, measure and reduce food waste.
IHG is the first global hotel company to use the award-winning Winnow Vision AI enabled technology, which will help its hotels achieve a 30 per cent reduction in food waste.
Through the use of an intelligent camera, smart scales and AI-based smart meter technology, Winnow Vision analyses ingredients during food preparation, as well as plates returned to the kitchen, to assess which food items are most wasted and in what quantities. This builds up a bank of data which in turn informs buying decisions, shapes menus and hones food preparation techniques.
Winnow’s technology has been successfully installed in seven IHG hotels in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region, with installation due in a further 30 properties in the coming months.
One hotel already benefitting from this approach is InterContinental Fujairah Resort, UAE. In just six months, the resort has been able to reduce food waste by more than 50 per cent. 60 more hotels in the EMEAA region have expressed their interest in signing up to the technology and IHG is currently exploring rollout to its other two regions – the Americas and Greater China.
CEO – EMEAA, IHG, Kenneth Macpherson spoke on the development: “With more than 5,600 hotels right across the world, a commitment to operating responsibly is at the heart of all we do. “We know there’s always more that can be done to make a greater difference – whether that’s minimising waste through the removal of plastic straws or introducing innovative technology to reduce our environmental impact. Our partnership with Winnow will help our hotels be smarter and savvier in their approach to creating compelling menus that result in less waste whether it’s a grab-and-go breakfast, a family restaurant or a Michelin dining experience,” he added.
The partnership builds on IHG’s long-term commitment to minimise waste across all of its hotel estate and operations, beginning with its IHG Green Engage system – a well-established online sustainability programme which recommends ways for IHG branded hotels worldwide to manage their waste more effectively. This includes guidance on how hotels can handle, store, recycle and dispose of waste both on and off-site, to minimise environmental impact and costs.
Macpherson concluded: “I’m delighted that this is being led by some of our hotels in the Middle East, who are already seeing significant food waste reductions, and I’m looking forward to seeing this technology take off in more and more of our hotels around the world.”