IKEA is spearheading an initiative to slash the amount of food waste it produces.

The company’s ‘food is precious’ platform is striving to support workers cut food waste by 50% across its food operations by August 2020. This is a major undertaking for the Swedish giant, as it has 650 million customers visit its food courts worldwide every year.

IKEA’s ‘smart scale solution’ for gauging food waste – and its sources – is helping workers identify savvy ways of preventing food waste. To date 84 stores, around 20% of the company’s stores, are implementing the system and have saved emissions equivalent to that produced by 473 flights between Stockholm to London.

“It is very encouraging to see the initial results of the Food is Precious initiative. Thanks to engaged co-workers and the measuring solution, we see up to 30% food waste reduction already after a few months. I am following the development closely and hope it can encourage others to start thinking about food as a precious resource,” said Michael La Cour Managing Director, IKEA Food Services AB.

IKEA also recently joined Champions 12.3 – the World Resource Institute’s coalition for tackling food waste. And Michael has been appointed a member of the body, which brings together international stakeholders working to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 12.3 – to halve food waste.

“Members of Champions 12.3 are leading the world in addressing food loss and waste. The power of this unique coalition is that it brings together high-profile leaders from a range of sectors impacting the global food supply to motivate and demonstrate that reducing food loss and waste is possible and necessary,” added Liz Goodwin, Senior Fellow and Director of Food Loss and Waste at World Resources Institute, the co-secretariat of Champions 12.3. “As a Champion myself, I’m thrilled to have Michael and IKEA join our ranks.”