Are you eager to learn how your business can create less waste? Already implementing sustainable practices and looking for more ways to help the environment? Skip has partnered with many sustainable packaging companies to supply eco-friendly takeout solutions across Canada. Join the #skipthewaste movement to make a positive impact on both your business and the planet using eco-friendly packaging.
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As sustainable packaging solutions continue to gain steam through every industry, it’s important for businesses to get proactive, stay ahead of the mandates, and embrace the changes as they come. Consumers need to know that the businesses they support are making decisions that positively impact the environment, now and in the future. According to these numbers from a 2018 Restaurants Canada survey, 98% of food operators recycle while 93% of them use energy or water-saving equipment. And when it comes to surplus food, 77% of these operators track, compost, or donate their leftovers.
To help support our Partners’ sustainability practices, we here at Skip have started a few initiatives of our own. And we took the lead from the top 3 sustainability strategies leading the way in 2023. Read on to find out what they are and how you can implement them in your business to further support the environment and grab the attention of more customers.
Strategy #1: Cut food waste.
Surplus food happens when the supply of food exceeds the demand for it. After that, otherwise edible products being left unsold in restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores ends up going to waste. According to this report from Second Harvest, Canada’s food industry produces 3.2M tonnes of surplus food every year and sadly 96% of it gets wasted. And with the foodservice industry responsible for over half of that wastage, it’s never been more important to get the right practices in place to help bring that number down.
Another motivating factor? Not only does reducing food waste help the environment, it also helps keep more money in your pocket too. A good thing to remember: businesses end up paying for the food they waste three different times: when purchased, when stored and prepared, and when thrown away. To help cut down on food waste, you may want to consider doing weekly inventory versus monthly. Learn more about the many benefits here.
What’s Skip doing to help?
Starting in April 2023, We expanded our ongoing partnership with Food Banks Canada and launched an initiative to collect surplus food through Skip Express Lane (SEL). Food Banks Canada matched all 23 SEL fulfilment centres with their local food bank across Canada to ensure we are giving back to the communities in which we serve. Skip Express lane locations are now donating products that may have been delivered slightly damaged/ dented or are nearing their best-before dates. Not only does this address food insecurity and support local communities, it also reduces food wastage by keeping more food out of our landfills and into the homes of those who need it.
Strategy #2: Reduce carbon emissions.
Speaking of food waste, it’s also one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Avoidable food waste in this country produces more than 35.5 million tonnes of these climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions, which is why reducing them is paramount for the health of our environment. As we mentioned, reducing food waste can help you save some money to put toward environmentally friendly investments, including more energy-efficient cooking equipment, like low-energy fridge units and LED lighting.
What’s Skip doing to help?
In December 2022, we started the Do Good Deal, a pilot project with 60 of our restaurant Partners to offer end-of-day discounts on unsold menu items that would have otherwise gone to waste. The idea is that this special deal would appear during the last two hours of a restaurant’s operating time, allowing customers the chance to order the discounted items as a delivery add-on. The fun part is, customers don’t know exactly what they’re getting, but they do know that the value of the add-on will be worth twice as much as the price (for example, they’ll get $20 worth of food for just $10). Why do we love this initiative? Restaurants get to cut their food waste (and therefore emissions) and customers get more bang for their buck. Win-win.
Strategy #3: Use sustainable packaging.
As the single-use plastic ban takes effect in Canada, more and more restaurants are going greener. That means adjusting their practices to reduce environmental impact, answering the call of their customers to kick their sustainability practices up a notch. We’re talking packaging, people. And according to this report, 82% of consumers are willing to pay more for it. The cool thing is, there are all kinds of new sustainable materials being used, from biodegradable materials to plant-based packaging like mushroom mycelium, coconut husk, and even seaweed.
What’s Skip doing to help?
From December 2022 – January 2023, we partnered with ShareWares in British Columbia to test-drive sustainable packaging for some of our restaurant Partners on the West Coast. Here’s how it worked: participating restaurants could offer customers the option to get their food delivered in a reusable container instead of a single-use container that ultimately will end up in landfills. The customer would pay a small, fully refundable deposit that they would get back once they returned the container to the restaurant, a Shareware bins strategically placed throughout the city, (or schedule a pick-up). From there, the container is cleaned, sanitized, and put back into circulation. And for our friends in Ontario, Skip piloted this initiative out with Friendlier, giving those from Guelph to London a taste of more planet-conscious packaging. Interested in giving it a go yourself? Our ever-growing partnership will also be expanding into other major markets this summer and fall, so keep your eye out for any opportunities. To read more about our alliance with Friendlier, check out our blog.
With the ongoing evolution of the foodservice industry, one thing’s for sure: the sustainability movement will only gain momentum as time goes on. And by implementing these strategies, you can stay ahead of the game and get more customers through the door.