How to Waste LESS for a Week (or more) this October

How to Waste LESS for a Week (or more) this October

5 October 2017

WasteLESS Week is Sodexo’s annual campaign run at client sites around the world during October. Less waste means more quality of life, which is why reducing waste is one of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 commitments. 

In Australia, we started with a WasteLESS Day in 2012 and expanded to a week in 2013. Since then, it keeps getting bigger and better—and generates ever bolder and brainier ideas!

During WasteLESS Week, teams engage in waste reduction activities, challenges, and initiatives. Every site is different, and no one knows better than the staff on the ground what might be wasted on site—and how it could be saved. It could be energy or water, food or paper, or something else entirely.

Each site can choose their own week in October to dedicate to WasteLESS Week. Teams are encouraged to discuss the timing and ideas with clients, to get creative, have fun and influence positive change towards reducing waste.

In years past, teams across Australia have done everything from building a bowling alley out of recycled materials, crafting juice bottles into vases, and spelling out Waste LESS with cans and plastic to raise awareness and engagement during WasteLESS week.

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Some activities started out as fun and games during the five-day period but ended up inspiring long-term action—which is, of course, the ultimate goal. A competition for the best joke based on ‘How many ___ does it take to screw in a light bulb?’, ended with all lighting replaced with energy-efficient LED bulbs. A talk on local native plants led to the establishment of separate bins for coffee grounds, which now continues to make great fertiliser in the site’s gardens. 

Another important element of WasteLESS week is getting clients and consumers involved. We’ve joined forces with clients in all industries to roll out new recycling stations, create awareness posters, and label potential ‘points of waste’ such as napkin and takeaway cup dispensers with stats on Australia’s landfill. Sodexo also implements food waste prevention programs such as LeanPath, focusing on tracking food waste, monitoring performance and taking actions to drive reduction, and communicating success. LeanPath helps captures daily food waste data and measures pre-consumer and post-consumer waste which informs ordering decisions and portion sizes. The objectives are to rethink the value of food as an important resource, reduce food waste, increase profitability, and add value for our clients.

With the help and dedication of our employees, customers, and clients, our corporate responsibility achievements support our mission to enhance the quality of life of everyone we serve. Issues like hunger, droughts, pollution, deforestation and resource depletion may seem huge and overwhelming—but WasteLESS Week reminds us that we each have the power to make a difference. Our collective efforts can have a significant global impact, so don’t let this opportunity go to ‘waste’!