One-planet Prosperity Strategy: Sustainable Food at Leanpath

Aug 29, 2019 5:35 PM ET
Multimedia with summary

Name: Leanpath
Location: Beaverton, OR (USA)
Date founded: 2004
Mission: To make food waste prevention and measurement everyday practice in the world’s kitchens.
Business model: Food waste prevention platform offered on a subscription basis to the foodservice sector.
Geographical area served: Global.
Sustainability impact: Since 2014, Leanpath has prevented the occurrence of more than 40 million pounds (18.1 million kilograms) of food waste with clients in 35 countries around the world.
Revenue or other data to give an idea of your organization’s size: 60 employees, operating in 35 countries across roughly 2,000 sites.

How does your business or strategy align with one-planet compatibility?

We know the world cannot sustainably feed 9.6 billion citizens by 2050 while wasting anywhere from a third to half of the global food supply. For 15 years Leanpath’s sole focus has been on eliminating the excessive and costly amount of food waste in the foodservice sector.

While efficiently recovering excess food resources for downstream applications (feeding people and animals, creating energy, or composting) is beneficial, we also recognize that preventing food waste is the most impactful opportunity for people and planet - optimizing resource efficiency and minimizing environmental degradation.

Food waste is a critical link in the food-water-energy nexus challenge. Leading foodservice organizations, which serve millions of meals per day, can play a pivotal role in addressing it. The food waste they typically generate has been excessive and largely unaddressed. Leanpath has not only made that waste visible through measurement, we’ve made it a safe topic for discussion, and we’ve provided the automated tracking tools, analytics platform, and behavior-change coaching to reduce food waste at scale while preventing it from recurring.

Leanpath typically achieves a 50% reduction in food waste at client sites, reduces food costs between 2% and 8%, and generates 300% to 400% ROI. Customers are seeing the value in investing in our food waste prevention tools to generate financial savings, achieve CSR gains, aid the environment, and inspire their employees (improving retention and attracting talent.) Since 2014
alone, Leanpath has prevented over 18 million kilograms of food waste in multiple sectors, including colleges and universities, healthcare, hospitality, and with enterprise customers such as IKEA, Aramark, and Sodexo. Google alone has prevented more than 1,800 tonnes of food waste from going to landfill since partnering with Leanpath in 2015.

In the process, we assist one-planet compatibility by conserving resources for the future, mitigating the impacts of climate change by minimizing all of the environmental externalities that would otherwise occur in the production and distribution of that food, and freeing resources for other beneficial societal purposes (such as addressing root cause issues of hunger).

Read more about how Leanpath is managing its global impact in Schneider Electric's report.