In June 2022, Twitter’s European headquarters in Dublin took another step to enhance their commitments to reduce the company’s impact on the environment by working with Positive Carbon to tackle food waste. As one of the largest tech companies in the world, Twitter feeds a vast amount of staff members on a daily basis. As with any business serving food, without a means to measure what is going in the bin, their kitchen was unintentionally creating tonnes of waste on a monthly basis.
The company has already undertaken significant steps to become a more sustainable entity. They have implemented a long-term strategy to reduce their carbon footprint which involves adhering to international protocols and partnering with organisations committed to environmental conservation and sustainability. To achieve this they have developed an effective energy management plan whereby they source 100% of their energy from renewable sources and have implemented an air quality project alongside various other initiatives.
But like with so many kitchens they did not know how to implement an effective waste management strategy as they had no visibility on their food waste. It was at this point that Twitter made the decision to work with Positive Carbon to address this issue. After the installation of the food waste monitoring sensors, Twitter can now see exactly what is being wasted and make the necessary changes to prevent it happening in the first place.
Aisling Kirwan, COO, reiterated this “our key goal is to support businesses to have a better understanding of their waste so they can apply interventions to change purchasing and preparation processes.”
The captured data presented on an easily accessible dashboard provides the kitchen staff with a full view of their waste, enabling tangible changes to take place. Prior to the installation of the food waste sensors the team would prepare potatoes by cooking them in the oven whole and scooping out the contents. However, this resulted in a high volume of wasted potato skins. Upon seeing this waste on their personalised dashboard, the kitchen made the decision to change how they served the potato dish. Now they serve the skins as a side dish on the menu.
This is an exemplary case of how live and accurate data can not only eliminate food waste but also engender creativity and repurposing in the kitchen. Importantly, this initiative will enable Twitter to report on their waste management and hit their sustainability targets.
Roisin Ellison, Senior Workplace Manager, reported “since our kitchen has been able to take control of our food waste and ensure that the resources such as the energy, water and labour used to create our meals are not going to waste, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in our employees' satisfaction. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness within the office on the importance of reducing food waste and its impact on the environment.”
The European Commission is due to propose legally binding targets to reduce food waste across the EU, by end 2023, defined against a baseline for EU food waste levels set following the first EU-wide monitoring of food waste levels. Moreover, all foodservice businesses will soon be required to report on their scope 3 emissions which includes the usage and disposal of the food produced in Twitter’s kitchens. In order to develop robust reports and detail how the company is making changes, reliable data is required. Soon this will no longer be an option and Twitter is taking essential steps to stay accountable.
Positive Carbon is committed to supporting businesses like Twitter achieve net zero targets. As well as reducing their own carbon footprint by preventing food waste in their kitchen, Twitter's initiative also has a much wider impact on improving our global food system. By refining food operations, it positively influences the rest of the value chain such as making the production of food more sustainable. Twitter is leading the way for enterprises to take responsibility for all aspects of their activities and Positive Carbon is delighted to support them on this journey.